Well, there are 16 days until US Strongman Nationals. Yikes. That’s 16 days until over 300 competitors converge on Louisville, Kentucky to prove that they’re the strongest. I’m both totally pumped and incredibly nervous.
If I’ve run into you anytime over the last two weeks, I’m sure our conversation has made its way to Nationals. It’s kind of a skill now. Seriously. You can start the conversation about anything….say shoes or haircuts or rocket ships and I guarantee I can (and will) work that conversation back around to Nationals. (Did you know there was a city bus converted to look like a Rocket Ship in Louisville, Kentucky….which just happens to be the city that US Strongman Nationals is taking place this year.) See – it’s an obsession. J
So, today, I thought I’d do what I do best right now….which is talk about the upcoming US Strongman Nationals competition.
Training: I’ve trained. I’ve put in the time in the gym. I’ve continued with my twice a week HIIT/Strength workouts and my daily cardio. I’ve trained the Strongman implements once a week (cramming in as many events as I can into each Strongman workout.) My trainer, Robby, has also added some specific movements into my HIIT/Strength workouts that will help me at Nationals (my shoulders are still sore from Monday’s workout….) I’ve pressed logs, carried the Conan’s Wheel and deadlifted for a couple of months now. Am I ready? Who knows. I always think I should have trained more. I should have lifted longer, heavier, farther, more frequently….but I think that’s just how I operate. I never really feel ready. I do know that I’m more prepared than I was last year. But I also know the competition is going to be even stronger and fiercer this year. Speaking of my competition…
My Competition: There are a total of 10 girls in my weight class. I’ve only competed against three of them before. They were tough then and I bet they come back even tougher. The other seven I have no idea about. I haven’t Facebook stalked them. Haven’t Googled their contest results. I’m just going in as prepared as I can be and seeing where I stack up. But I tell you this – I know they’re all coming with their “A” Game.
What an Experience: How awesome is it to get to compete against some of the nation’s strongest athletes. You get to see where you stand against the best. I get goosebumps even thinking about it. However I end up placing in this crazy competition, it’s an amazing experience. I always laugh when I think about sitting on my front porch talking to my grandkids about the time that their Grandma competed at US Strongman Nationals. How awesome is that? Strongman has been such an awesome chapter in my life book and one that I’m so happy I’ve been able to write.
I’m Ready for it to be Over: Don’t get me wrong – I’m psyched about it. And I’ve enjoyed training with my friends for this (shout out to Jen and Heather!) But Nationals has become an all-encompassing thing for me right now. I’m either training, thinking about training, worrying about training or icing sore muscles and nursing bruises from training. I am looking forward to taking things a little easier once Nationals are over. And, it will be nice to stop daydreaming about the log press…
My Training Partners: I am so incredibly thankful that I’ve had Jen and Heather to train with this year. It’s been fun to have them in the gym to lift with, obsessively text about each event and compare sizes of our bruises. But, what I’m probably most psyched about is that we’ll all be at Nationals together. At Nationals last year, everyone was pretty laser-focused and not as talkative and social as normal competitions. I’m looking forward to having Jen and Heather there to talk to, laugh with and help calm me down.
Nationals Dress: There’s a banquet after Nationals. It’s a time where they give our awards and everyone drinks, dances and just has a good time. I didn’t go last year (I was anxious to get back to see Elinor) but I can’t wait to go this year. I decided that after a day of lifting, sweating and looking, well, like a hot mess, that for the banquet, I want to look fantastic and girlie. So, the hunt is on for an awesome dress. One that will actually show off a few of these muscles and curves I’ve gained during the last few months of training. And, worst case, if I finish dead last, at least I’ll look awesome.
It’s Scary: I won’t lie – I’m nervous. In training, you get chances to redo a mistake. But when it comes to competition – you get ONE SHOT. If you lose your grip, your footing slips, you misstep, there are no do overs. To win, you have to not only be the best, but you have to be the best on that one event on that one day at that one time during competition. #nopressureright? J And, putting yourself out on a National stage in front of hundreds of people is scary. Heck, even telling people that you’re competing is scary. I know that however I finish, my friends, family and training partners will be proud of me – they know the dedication and hard work and hours I’ve put in. But, man, I’d still love to perform well.
My Competition Wish: If I had one wish for my upcoming competition, it would be that I could perform at my best on every event at the competition. Seriously, that’s it. If I could go in there and do every event to the best of my ability, I would honestly walk out of there with a smile regardless of where I placed. Because if there is someone stronger than me, faster than me that can beat me at my best – then they deserve to beat me hands down. The worst thing that can happen is to walk away saying, “if only I had….” If you get beat, you want to get beat by the best. I’m just hoping to bring my best to Nationals with me.
This weekend will probably be my last hard Strongman training session before Nationals. And in 16 days, I’ll be lined up on Fourth Street in Louisville, Kentucky with some of the nation’s strongest men and women. All of us there to do our best and show what we’ve worked so hard for.
So, if you know someone training for Nationals, take a second and tell them good luck. There are over 300 Strongman competitors from across the country that have spent long hours training, lifting and getting ready for this show. They’re all scared (regardless of what they may say) they’re all nervous and they’re all 16 days away from one heck of a good competition.
US Strongman Nationals, Here I Come!!