What an amazing competition! 2011 So far has been pretty eventful going to all of these exciting competitions and competing against and watching the best lifters in the world.
After a long day of travelling I finally got into France. Administratively the competition was pretty chaotic. Upon arrival I waited two and a half hours to get picked up from the airport only to give up and pay for a bus to get me to the resort where I checked in and got my accreditation. Thank goodness my credentials only took 10 minutes because I heard some people, especially in the earlier part of the week were waiting between 10 and 15 hours!
The resort we were staying at was really nice. The beds and rooms were much more comfortable than we anticipated. The only down falls really were the food selection and internet access. You’d think for how much it costs a night to stay at a resort internet would be included and there would be a better selection of food. That’s just my opinion however.
The hotel was about a quarter mile from the training hall and a little further from the competition hall. I feel like the location and, distance, and way of getting to each of those places could have been better but, it was convenient to have everything within walking distance even other restaurants when the cafeteria food got shady.
The training hall was in basement of one of the other hotels. It had a ton of platforms. They had interesting new collars and bars I haven’t seen before and interesting weight trees. There were and unlimited supply of water to the athletes so that was good and there was free wireless internet. I had to wait every time I went to the training hall in order to use the internet and only for a short time but, it’s better than not having it at all. I can’t wait to catch up on my shows when I get home. The training hall was busy a lot of times. It was interesting to see how people accommodated their training to the new facility and to see different exercise, meet new people, etc. The only person who managed to control the environment of the room was Behdad Salimikordasiabi from Iran. He was clean and jerking some obscene amount of weight and everyone stopped to watch him in silence. It was a little teaser for his great performance later that week.
Training went really well for me leading up to this competition. It was night and day difference from when I went to Pan Ams and when I came to Worlds. I had snatched up to 112 a few times and clean and jerked up to 135 which is what I bombed with at Pan Ams. My goal was to eat and sleep as much as possible and make as many lifts as I could before I left. I felt like I did everything I could have done positively to get me prepared for this meet. I left AZ weighing about 119 kgs. We know my best clean and jerking days are when I’m weighing at least 121 kgs. I got to france and ate a ton, and had snacks and protein. At one point I weighed in at 123. Awesome! Comes the day of competition and I end up weighing 118. Fail. It’s surprising how different my body feels just two or three kgs different than it should be. Either I feel really heavy and slow when I’m heavy, or my legs feel really week when I’m light.
My warm ups for the snatch we kind of shaky. 45 kgs was really sloppy and I missed 100 behind made it, then opened with 105. I put so much on it I power snatched it. I was pleasantly surprised. I then had a little bit of a wait so I sat in the back. I ended up taking 95 for a full snatch and missed it. Then I made it. My next attempt was 110 which I made and caught it a little lower. I’m not sure if it was this one or the previous attempt but I had to take a step to the left and my feet were all jumbled underneath of me. I could hear my coach yelling for me to even out my feet. I figured it out after that. My last attempt was 114 kgs, a two kgs pr from two weeks ago at Pan Ams. I was so excited to get another PR in an international competition. So far, this is my third worlds in a row I have gotten at least one personal record. Clean and jerks felt a lot better than snatches did warming up. I think my last warm up was 129 and I opened with 135. I had sat a good while so it wasn’t the greatest of openers but I made it. I was happy to have gotten in an opener and have a total. I was having some of the same mental issues with the turnover I had at Pan Ams and did not complete my next two attempts at 140 kgs which is unfortunate because it would have moved me up two places I do believe.
Even though I had a bad day in the clean and jerk, there were still positives to look at. I got a personal record at the World Championships, I came back and totaled after a bomb out only two weeks before, and I am again the highest placing athlete at the World Championships the second year in a row. I can’t wait ‘til I’m super in shape in the clean and jerk to see what and how much more I can accomplish on the international scene. I’m creeping toward that 120 in the snatch and when my clean and jerks are back to where there were a couple months ago, 150 kgs, I’ll definitely be more of a threat to those girls in the A session.
After I lifted, my coach and I ate lunch then watched all the rest of the sessions. It was so exciting to see some world records get broken. The A sessions were definitely a spectacle and highly entertaining. I will be working on uploading the videos of some of the lifts I have on both of my youtube accounts.
Zach Schluender, DonnyShankle and I all stayed an extra day in Paris. It was a blast! We all did our own thing because Donny was “up and at them” at 6 am like a crazy person, Zach slept in ‘til 2 pm and I wanted to go to Disneyland. I’m sure Donny knows Paris like the back of his hand now. Zach finally got a good trade with another athlete (don’t trade with the Colombians lol) and I had my 24 hr vacation.
I was kind of glad to be going to Disney by myself. Usually other people like to lollygag. I like to get on the rides and look at stuff as fast as possible. I’ve been to Disneyland so many times, I could work there. The Paris version was pretty interesting. The American Disney is incredibly decked out in Christmas junk and the best part is the Haunted Mansion is decorated like the Nightmare Before Christmas. Not so in Paris. It’s just the “Phantom Manor.” Other rides like Indiana Jones, were just rides. In the US the rides tell the story. You feel like you’re in the movie. After I got done there I went to the Studio Park which I would liken to California Adventure. That had a few interesting things.
I then caught the train and went to see the Eiffel Tower. I got a delicious jambon and fromage sandwich of their delicious French bread. At first you can tell it’s huge but then it doesn’t look “that big” then when you’re right under it, it’s just so enormous. It’s beautiful. I oogled that for a bit, then I saw a giant building with gold on top, It was some library or Museum. I can’t remember.
As I was zig sagging my way through town, I saw a grocery store and wanted to see what French people ate and maybe try some interesting, different flavors of things. I picked up some kinder chocolates. If you’ve never heard of them or had them, they’re so fun. They are little chocolate eggs with little toys inside. I got some other fancier tasting chocolate and found some interesting flavored chips. Bolognaise and Chicken flavors. I don’t know what bolognaise is but it tasted almost similar to bbq flavor, and the chicken flavor, actually tastes like chicken. So cool. I also found pasta made from Quinoa. I don’t know if they have it in the US but I definitely invested in some. I bought curry and tomato basil flavor.
I made my way over to the museum and I saw an open door. I went into it and saw it’s creepy basement. I didn’t explore too much because I was pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to be there. Oops. The whole place was surrounded by this “land moat” as I call it. So would call in a ditch, or an alley. Anyway, It had beautiful statue work and stained glass windows. I figure I’d culture myself and look around but it was closed. So I walked through the courtyard and enjoyed their outside things.
On my way back home, I saw people practicing rugby and saw a massive amount of middle aged men playing some giant version of Marbles. It was pretty interesting. It looked like they were using miniature shot puts and they were knocking each other’s balls (that didn’t come out right haha).
The sun was starting to set and I wanted to make sure I got to the train station before dark. Unfortunately, I am ginormous, and don’t walk more than a few feet every day so this trek was particularly taxing on my life. Most people get a “second wind” I had like a 3rd and 4th. I rested a lot on the way back. By the time I got to the bridge near the Eiffel Tower the sun was almost down. It was lit up so beautifully. I ended up striking a conversation with some French guy as I was sitting on the bench watching the city reflect on the water. All of a sudden, the tower started sparkling. It was so awesome.
I finally ended up getting back to the hotel I managed to get in all this by like 8 pm. I was so hungry but, I could not stand anymore. I couldn’t figure out how to order pizza, and they don’t have room service so I ate chips and beef jerky and went to bed. Not the best of meals especially for the day I had.
I’m on the plane heading to Chicago right now. I’ll get home eat and sleep and get back into the gym. I have a lot of work to do. I have a promo shoot in two days to go to in California and the Olympic Test Event in December. My Christmas won’t be me going home that’s for sure. The only red and green and silver I’m going to be seeing are the weights on the bar. This will be my last leg of training leading up to the trials.