2019 IPA Buckeye Brawl

Today, this meet, turned out to be more than disappointing. I failed my mentor, my training partners, my friends and myself. My performance was pitiful and how I acted in response was shameful. I apologize to all of you who have dedicated time to me, provided support, advice and have helped me. You all deserved more from me both on and off the platform.

I weighed in at 259.0 which was perfect. My gear fits well at that weight and I'm able to tie my own shoes. I set my bar height to exactly where it was during training and walked out of weigh-ins feeling confident and ready to go.


Meet day

I didn't sleep very well but that is pretty typical for me the night before a meet. I get anxious and nervous and just think about things too much. This wasn't something new and I didn't worry about it. I got out of bed at 6:00 and went through the normal routine that I do before every ME training session. I was feeling good, prepared and ready.

I arrived at the meet at about 8:00 which was when the rules meeting was scheduled. I settled in, spoke to a few people, used the restroom and started to focus on warming up.

Squat warm-ups went really well. The weights felt light and the bar moved well. I worked up to 870 with my opener set at 930. My warm-ups finished just as the flight was starting so that was timed perfectly (I was 15th in the flight).

opening attempt - 930

I approached the bar focused and determined. As I was getting under the bar the first thing I noticed was a lot of play in the mono. I've dealt with this before and knew all I had to do was push back into the hooks before I set my feet and it wouldn't make a difference. My pick was clean BUT didn't clear the hooks and the rack could not be opened. I reracked it, had the bar lowered, hooks tightened so there was no play in the mono and re-picked the weight. Weight moved well and I received 3 white lights.

2nd attempt - 1,000 - this squat has been my goal for over 10 years and was the primary focus of my training for the last year. I've never been so determined for a lift in my life than I was for this squat.

My first pick I fell back into the spotters (re-rack). At this point I was upset. I've had plenty of issues and plenty of times where I had to re-rack a squat but was struggling to wrap my head around it today. The bar was lowered and re-picked. I came out of the rack out of position. I tried to correct it but was unable to and called for the rack. I was mentally and physically exhausted.


3rd attempt - 1,000

The mono was set 2 pumps higher than it was on my last pick. My pick was clean but again did not clear the hooks and the rack was unable to be opened. The rack was lowered, I re-picked it and again fell back into the spotters. I reset, re-picked it and again it did not clear the right hook and the rack could not be opened. I was done.

At this point, I was consumed with so many different feelings and empotions. Everything from rage, disappointment, embarrassment and the feeling of being overwhelmed. Dave said to me just focus on getting a total PR now. I went to the warm-up area, cut my gear off and thought about what he said. It did help and gave me a purpose for the meet but I was still struggling with how I failed on the squat. I couldn't stop thinking about how the training cycle that I thought was perfect could prove to be everything but so quickly. But for now, I needed to try to clear my head and focus on getting a PR total.



Warm-ups were not optimal. I was not paying close enough attention to the platform and before I knew it I heard my name as 4 out. At weigh-ins, I put in a token bench of 155 because with the way my bench has been going I didn't want to risk bombing out and losing credit for what I thought was going to be a 1,000 pound squat. I took the token bench, put in my 2nd attempt of 550 and took my last warm-up of 500 (which did not touch and the press was haphazard).


2nd attempt - 550

the bar came down perfectly in the groove and the press went well till the last 2 inches when I couldn't lock it out. I held it for what seemed like 10 seconds hoping for a rack command but it never came. The judge called for the spotters to take it, which was the correct call, and I was done.


I lack the words to describe how I was feeling at this moment. I was completely defeated so I withdrew from the meet. I didn't want to be around anyone and I felt like I had nothing to offer so I said goodbye to a few people and left.

As I have more time to reflect on things I'll share my thoughts. Until then, I apologize to you all for not representing any of you or myself well.





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