Wednesday is over with and I’m getting dialed in. Even though I was tired after a jam packed evening with clients, blood is pumping and visions in my head are forming about the meet; what I’m going to wear, how I’m going to lift it, how I”m going to warm up. This is the most important competition of my life thus far.
Thursday- The Flight In
The evening before, I prep myself to go to bed early. It was difficult. I knew I had to keep my calories down still (eating nothing but protein and a small amount at that) and start dialing back on the water. Woke up (starving) and was already slightly annoyed. Why? Because I found out the night before my 8 o’ clock flight was not 8am….it was 8pm.
I literally kept my schedule open so that I could ya know….be on the flight to Vegas. By this time it was too late to reschedule anyone.
I sat around the house, watching TV, sipping on water just to get by, and had one apple. Then shit hit the fan.
I was packed for more than a week out and I still didn’t have enough clothes. Not to mention I didn’t have a carry-on sized bag for the plane. The one I had was twice the size (and I thought it was a carry-on size).
Having said all that, my girlfriend helped me out by meeting me at the department store to pick one out. Finally got one, and for cheap too, I realize I might of had too much stuff in my original bag to pack. I haven’t been on a plane in quite some time. Somehow, my two pairs of size 12 shoes, lifting belt, and other clothes and essentials fit in the bag. The woman was a freakin’ magician.
It’s 5:30pm and we get on the road. And met by traffic over 2 miles long. Awesome.
Turns out a truck crashed, caught on fire and held up traffic on I-55 South. Managed to take a short cut and was on the way to Peoria Airport.
We get to the airport and I’m met by something I’ve never experienced. TSA security. I just realized I’ve never been on a plane in over 12 years, pre-911.
Get passed security and have my second meal of the day. An apple. I’m realizing the whole time that I should of eaten more through out the day to make sure I make weight for the weigh-in Friday evening. I still have no idea what my weight is.
Get on the flight and I’m immediately uncomfortable- middle seat, underfed, thirsty and tired.
Plane lands in Vegas and I’m super hot and lightheaded feeling queezy. This isn’t good.
My girlfriend is trying to help, but I’m not doing much but making faces and looking like I’m about to pass out. We get some food finally at a burger joint in the Stratosphere and I order a chicken salad. I’m trying not to eat a whole lot, but just enough to keep my hunger at bay. I’m still a huge asshole by this point.
Friday- Weigh in
It’s 8:30 am Vegas time (10:30 am at home) and I’m starving. By this point my vision is blurry. I wanted to go watch my teammate, Melissa Klein (123 Masters 40-44 and Overall Lightweight World Champion), perform. And. She’s. Killing it. I feel bad for the competition frankly. They didn’t have a chance. My heart is pounding as I watch nervously, munching on a bacon-egg n’ cheese sammy for breakfast. I make sure not to eat the whole thing because again….I have no idea what I’m doing.
My lips are suuuuuper dry too, choking down the food without any water. It’s the best tasting thing I’ve had in a while as it seemed…until someone brought crispy chicken strips right next to me. I cursed their names a 1000 times over.
6 hours later the meet is over and I finally get to weigh-in. 177.5 lbs. Well, I certainly made the cut off. Now it was time to eat.
Almost immediately we head to Walgreens to pick up some Pedialite to re-hydrate and get some electrolytes into my system. I start to feel better. In fact, it’s filling me up. I notice when I don’t eat my stomach shrinks, so I”m not able to hold as much in my stomach as I’m used to (when I was over 190#’s a week or so ago).
We get to Carnivale buffet in Rio Hotel off the strip in Vegas. I literally spent about 2 hours sitting down eating food, making deliberate walks to help with the digestion. I’m pretty sure I had well over 2,000 calories which was my goal. I felt no shame.
After we get done, we walk towards our hotel at the Riviera…..which was 2.7 miles. And I just googled that. Holy crap.
Anywho, we get back to the hotel and I’m partially kept up by the guys next door most likely doing drugs but who knows. It’s Vegas. They’re having fun. I’m nursing a food baby. It’s all good.
I begin to visualize what’s going to happen the following morning and start watching some motivational Powerlifting YouTube videos before I go to bed. My clothes are set out and ready to rock the competition once again.
It’s 5:30am (7:30am at home) and I’m already up. My body is ready to go. No more sleeping. My belly is somewhat still full from that amazing dinner I had the night before.
Singlet, socks, shorts, shirt, pants pullover, shoes then hoodie and my hat. In that order. My Creatine, BCAAs and pre-workout are already in my gym bag along with my shoes. This was it.
It’s 7:30am and I head down with Karin to start warming up. There are 2 guys there setting the place up. That’s it. I was the first lifter there. I felt like I had won already.
It was cold, but I was bundled up. I started to foam roll in the warm up room until one of the officials came to get my attention that no one could be in there before 8am. I said no problem. He shook my hand, I felt out of respect for my hustle and tenacity for getting up so early to be there. I warm up and stretch for a good half hour or so before the lifters has to be called in for rules.
Rules meeting gets over with and we’re assured that the meet is going to go fast. Which is good because I was sooo wound up and ready to go that I was afraid I was going to burn out.
But this meet was different. I was focused. Yet so relaxed. Besides buzzing off my pre-workout, Taze from Complete Nutrition, I was getting psyched from my playlist on my iPhone that served me well all year.
The squat was up. My opener at 430 was on the bar and I stared that son of a bitch down. Un-racked the bar. Went past parallel (like I always do). Hardly made a sound while squatting. All white lights (Note: 3 white lights is good, 2 white lights is still good, anything less than 2 white lights is a bad lift).
“Gimme some mo, Coach” is what I was thinking.
Coach Austin has done a great job at giving me my numbers. We both know knowing what those numbers are before I lift then does the mind no good. You start to think about them too much.
The next weight is on the bar. They call me up even though I thought I was in the hole. Frustrated that I didn’t get enough time to prep myself…I knew I was ready anyways.
Annoyed, I walk up to the bar and took what seemed like 10 seconds to get ready. I know it’s heavier than my opener so I take this one seriously because it’s going to set up my 3rd lift. I un-rack the bar. it’s a bit heavier as I stand with it for a few seconds to get used to it before squatting it. Past parallel. Came up a big slow. Not a sound. All white lights again.
“What was it??”
“446#’s”, he said.
We then have a discussion about how I’m feeling and that I need to not fuck up on this last one. “It’s gonna be a PR”, he says. I nod my head in agreement and visualize myself absolutely killing this PR. I have no idea what the weight will be, but it doesn’t matter. It either goes up or not.
Get up to the bar taking a little longer than I have in the last 2 attempts. This time I”m making sure that everything goes right in my mind and the bar is placed well on my back. Un-rack the bar. Hold the bar to feel the weight. It’s definitely heavier than what it was.
I get a little stuck in the middle but my lockout has been awesome all day so I push through that shit. All white lights. I’m relieved that’s over.
“How much was that??”
I’m Ok with that. Went up pretty fast for a PR.
The bench is up next, my worst lift. All day we’ve been talking about how I need to get my bench up. Warm up with 225, 265, and 275 before resting for my opener at 285.
I’m not tooo enthusiastic about the bench, but I knew I was going to kill this 285. Sure enough I did and thought nothing of it. What I was concerned was about my 2nd and 3rd attempts. I knew somewhere around 300 was going to be up there. My name is called. Bar is loaded. It doesn’t look too bad. In fact it went up pretty fast for being over 3 bills. 303 was on the bar and I was happy with that.
My last attempt was at 308 and I knew that beforehand. Why? Because it was either 308 or 314 (a hyoooge PR). I hit it before earlier in the year, but it was a fight to the death. I didn’t have it in me to finish the fight and lost. No lift. Next time, baby.
The last lift is up. The deadlift. It’s the 4×4 relay of the Powerlifting world. Half of your total depends on how much you can pull. Plus my back wasn’t killing me which it normally does by this point. I was feeling amazing.
I was going to put on a show.
I set my opener at 545 just so that I could be confident with it. Already it’s the heaviest bar on the platform and I’m about to pull this bitch like an eagle snatching a kid from a playground. I get up there and I pull it. My adrenaline was pumping so hard I might of let the bar down a little faster than I should have. The judges seeing how easy it was for me was nice enough to give me a warning. I didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but it’s not my call.
I knew 585 was next on the bar because I knew I could hit it. The idea was to see how I felt after each lift to try and get over 600, a meet PR.
To make sure I didn’t get red flagged for releasing the bar too fast. I make sure that the judges know that I can control the bar. It goes up. I hold it.
I look to my left, look to my right and the judges tell me twice to put it down. I set it down as gently as I could without being overly confident about it and mess my back up. The crowd gets a good laugh out of it as I mock the judges for almost red flagging me.
I talk to Coach Austin about what to do next. It was either 600 or 614 to go on the bar. I couldn’t believe that was the only 2. I went conservative and wanted 600 on the bar. I had only pulled it two different times in my life. Once in competition early in the year, the other outside. In jeans and sunglasses. It was random and awesome.
I walk. NO. Run up to the bar as shit was getting intense. I ask the crowd waving my hands up for some help. I haven’t been this intense in a while, but I knew I had to to get this weight up.
I do my thing. Get up to the bar. Pull it. Had the wherewithal to make sure the judges knew I had control of it looking all 3 of them dead in their eye before setting it down gently once again. The crowd gives me an ovation. Lifters give me a pat on the back. The President of the federation gave me a handshake as he knew it took me a couple years to get to 600 in this federation.
I’m super thrilled about my performance, but even more so about how my body felt. I didn’t feel beat up or anything like that. It was a miracle.
But actually it was due to the fact that I trained my body to lift without a belt for 8 or so weeks building up a foundation of strength. Once I used the belt it would become more of a helping tool rather than me relying on it for strength and stability.
The day is over and the awards are handed out. I take my picture with former top 10 Miss U.S.A. as they call me up to collect my trophy for 181 Overall World Champion. I tried to act like I had been there before in the winner circle. But this was different.
This was a fucking World Championship. So I acted like a total goofball because that’s what I do.
My goal was to get to an elite total but I felt like I won the day already when I got up that morning. I was so mentally prepared and physically prepared that I knew my competition couldn’t be me. Only I could beat me. It’s not cockiness. It’s confidence. There’s a difference.
I DID lose the Pound-for-Pound title though. As the results show (pending drug tests) I placed 3rd in the position. There were some really strong lifters there that day for sure.
Performing in Vegas was the best experience I’ve had in a while at a meet. I only wish I could take it all in, but there was just too much going on; first time on a plane in over a decade, first time in Vegas, first World Championship. Needless to say I want to go back to really get a chance to enjoy Vegas, but I have a feeling I will be back there for another big competition. And I’m sure the result will be the same.
Here’s a video of my lifts. Enjoy and thanks for your support!!