The right address was 20 minutes away and by the time I got there I was 35 minutes late. Parking was a little tricky so I anchored on a residential street about 5 minutes away and while anxiously walking toward the bustling activity across the street I saw this and almost committed hara kiri over the prospect of being at the wrong place again:
Alas, no Mexican food here, it was the fitness expo. I had already missed the car deadlift, an event I've been training for. The organizer was sympathetic and couldn't have been cooler to me about joining in, though.
Within five minutes of dragging my crap from the car to the expo I was up for the viking press. I basically did no warming-up except for some arm swings, but I figured it was going to feel light being a fixed implement and I was right. Unfortunately, having missed the rules I wasn't quite sure on whether or not I was allowed to set it down and attack again. In retrospect, it's obvious that repping it would be for time, but in the middle of the lift I didn't want to take any chances so I tried to rest pause while bracing it, which didn't do anything for me. I got 11 reps, which was 7th place.
This was basically God going "Oh, did you have a good time? You liked lifting the weight while people clapped???? Well eat SHIT now!!!!" I had watched Kalle's tutorial on how you really need to dig the thing deep into the crevices of your arms and bring it high up while keeping your hips under the implement. Making it stay close to you is the foundational principle. I had this all in mind but as soon as I stood up with the thing it all went out the window. I stumbled backwards before lurching forward like Frankenstein with his rectum caught on fire at a roller skating derby. The thing went down my arms and holding it with bicep power was the single most amount of strain I have ever felt isolated on one part of my body, barring shoulder dislocations. I'm seriously glad I didn't tear anything.
As ghastly as this was I actually could have kept going in this horrible position, but it was low to the ground and the scrape made the judge say "Down!" as I kept moving forward. I stopped because of this, although he probably saved my arms. 8th place.
I dropped the frame on the first run down the lane but picked it right back up and exhibited some decent foot speed to zoom past the girl ahead of me who was going at the same time. On the way back my quads just failed and I couldn't get it any further. I'm seriously shocked and chagrined at my legs being the issue here (my grip held up good, as painful as it was). I've not been squatting past 315 during my knee recovery but I'd figure the car deadlift simulator would have helped moreso in here than squats anyway. Oh well. Get stronger legs, bitch. Somehow I took 3rd here.
I notice some people, both here at the event and in WSM, stop and look at their hands after a drop in the middle of the event. I've honestly never understood this and consider it an excuse to stall rather than practical concern for the skin, in which case I'd rather just be frank about my intentions.
I expected this to suck and the Conan's wheel to be a good event, especially after one guy came off without lifting the finger and saying "That was torture", but the opposite happened. This was enjoyable as hell and not painful at all. I'd go so far as to say this is my favorite strongman event in terms of fun factor. I'd seen many people not come close to getting this up so I was bracing for a sensory suckage, but was surprised at how light it was. I started "climbing" fast and frantically which prompted the judge to tell me to slow down and aim when my fingers missed the center. Unfortunately I couldn't get a second out of me despite the first going by pretty swift, which stunned me to learn I had taken 1st.
At the end I found I had placed 6 out of 11 while not having any points from the car deadlift, so that's pretty cool. One guy came up to me after the award ceremony and said he was surprised I wasn't up there until I told him I'd come late. I'm glad my pattern has been to get better and better every comp, though.
As I was about to go home I came across a bench press contest at one booth of the fitness expo and signed up. We got 2 attempts. I picked 315 as my opener and finished with 350. The spotter remarked I was strong off my chest but "wonky" by the middle, feedback I appreciated. This was a test for me to see where I was after gaining the weight back from being sick. I'm very happy with it. There were some awesome benchers who went in the low 400s so I didn't expect to be competitive.
Right as I finished I scored some flamboyant socks from someone passing them out so I considered it my prize. All in all, a kickass time. I'll be back.