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Competing at the Canadian CKA Nationals in Edmonton

Back at Pride after returning home from Edmonton, Canada, and it is time to think about and write about the lessons learned in competing up in Canada. Before I get into my set and my performance, I’d like to talk about the CKA and the people who run it and the other competitors.

I had a great time in Edmonton, the city was super nice, and very similar to Charlotte in size and population and growth and all the social and economic problems that a growing city has. I was able to stay with the founding members of the CKA, Misty and Renee, and they were very gracious and accommodating and it truly was a blast hanging out with them and many other members of the CKA national team and athletes competing to get a spot on team Canada. We shared a ton of training knowledge and competition experience and coaching methods. Being around people who have this much knowledge and are willing to share it is truly a great thing and these are great friends to have. The competition was run well and smoothly, there was a great vibe and great energy from weigh ins to setting up and all day competing and judging and then tearing everything down and then going out for food. The facility the competition was held in was stellar, huge, state of the art, and had so many courts and hockey rinks and cardio equipment and a track, this venue was absolutely perfect for a national competition. I really cannot thank Misty and Renee and the CKA enough for hosting me, really, thank you. I always tell people I am nobody special, I am not an amazing lifter, I just work hard and I am very dedicated and I truly love this sport and I love training and competing, so for a guy who doesn’t think he is anything special, it was very cool for the CKA to host me. There were many really good amateur lifters at the comp and of course some great pro lifters, I saw some really good smooth technique and solid reps.

On to my set…

Well, all I can say is shit happens. I live at 700 feet elevation and the competition was at 2,200 feet, and that little 2% loss in oxygen really got to me. The lower oxygen I was breathing very hard and fast and my heart rate wasn’t coming down, and it was causing me to sweat a truly insane amount, I was soaked before I finished my warmup. At 5:00 I started losing feeling in my right hand, for some reason I kept resting my funny bone in my right elbow on my hip in rack and I just wasn’t able to grip the bell anymore. My jerk felt fine but my clean was killing me with energy loss and at around 8:00 I thought I had another two minutes of slow fight left in me but I dumped into backswing and the bells just went to the floor, I couldn’t close my right hand. It took all day and into the night for feeling to return to my right hand. Lame. So, lesson learned, research elevation of competition location (almost every competition I go to is at sea level or under 1,000 feet). And, I need to take a bit longer to warmup before a competition set. Lastly, I need to take care of me more, my spinal erectors have been bothering me for weeks but I have been too busy to go to our PT and get needled, and it cost me, I was very uncomfortable in rack, I need that recovery and soft tissue work before going to compete. I fell very short of my goal, but it’s ok, it was a good competition and it’s just more experience. Shit happens. Moving on!

The day after the competition was great, the CKA held a free seminar and we had some great discussions about training, and programming, and social media, and drug use, and a very special topic all about footwear. We broke into some groups and I helped a couple lifters with some issues they were having and we addressed some weak points and how to strengthen them. It was great to have this sharing of knowledge, and not for money, not to feel important, but just to share, to help people become better and train smarter and hit their goals. I was truly touched to be asked to help out with the seminar and I was happy to help out.

Overall another great trip and more experience and bonding with long time friends and making new ones and learning and sharing. This my friends, is what kettlebell sport is all about, it’s not about likes on instagram or records or how many lifters you have under you, it’s about training hard and putting up your best set and it’s about friendship and love of the sport and sharing knowledge.

Peace and Love!


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