Now that I have returned to the USA and have begun to settle back into business and regular life it has come time to write up my journey to the kettlebell lifting world championship in Dublin, Ireland. This journey has been almost a year in the making and it has not been an easy one that is for sure, but after months of training, qualifying at nationals, more grueling training, and with the support of many many people I made it to the biggest competition of my life. While I did not stand on the podium, I came close, but being close doesn’t get you a medal, so it is back to training to improve my technique for a better performance next year. As lifters we are on a constant quest for better technique, to be smoother, to be more efficient. But before I get into my performance and what I learned from this competition and what I need to work on and my plans for the next year, I have a lot of people to thank!!!
This is in no particular order…
Lindsay. My wife. Thank you for dealing with me and all the stress that went into this training cycle. It shouldn’t be this stressful and we figured out how to balance everything together and we figured out how to pack weight on to a body that didn’t want to get bigger. You know how hard it was for me and eating like that was not fun, thanks for all your help. Thanks for listening to me week after week of rough sets and missed reps and all the frustration. Thanks for dealing with my tired and hungry and annoyed self over in Ireland with all the problems we had with money and the banks. Next time we leave the country we…I…will have that shit all taken care of! Promise!
Duff. My coach. I am sure there were days you wanted to tell me to get lost. Thanks for putting up with all my questions. But most of all thanks for talking me down from taking this so seriously. Your words and advice helped take a ton of pressure off me and allowed me to sleep at night and not worry so much and not be so stressed about training and competing. I’ve learned a lot from you and you are more than just a coach who programs numbers, you are a teacher and a sport psychologist and a good friend but you are also our team patriarch and that means a lot to me.
Yuri. Our Team USA leader. Thanks for everything you do buddy! Thanks for letting us handle the shirts, it was stressful but we got it done and everyone was happy. Thanks for taking our team to 3rd place in the world!!! Next year…maybe second!!! You and me all the rest of team USA, we are going to take kettlebells to the Olympics.
AIKLF (Mick, Mark, Sarah, Collette). Thank you to the Irish for hosting this event! The event rocked and I was thrilled to meet all of you. Your country was great, your people were friendly and we had a great time!
Will Metcalf. BJ. David Koehen. Josh Harshman Johnny Danger. Juan Pellot. Steven Kuong. Thanks for all the behind the scenes talks and all the advice and sharing training videos. Glad we are all friends. Will and Michael Cluse thanks for chalking my bells. Will thanks for yelling at me during my set. David, glad we got to meet and hang out. Juan thanks for keeping me calm and keeping my heart from exploding during my set. Steven thanks for also yelling at me to move and trying to keep me calm all at the same time!
My gym, the entire Pride Conditioning crew. Thanks for all your support, all your encouragement, all the shirts you purchased and all the donations you threw in to make this trip financially possible for me. Without your help I would be in debt for a long time. All your help allowed me to live my dream and compete with the best in the world. Thanks to all of you.
All my friends and family all over the country who donated money or purchased shirts to help me pay for this trip. You were all in my thoughts before I got up on that platform. Thanks to all of you.
Judi and Rhonda, thanks for organizing and keeping our team together.
Momma. Thanks for helping me with my plane tickets! Thanks for all your support year after year.
My sponsors. Kettlebell Kings. Salem Hills Farms. Kettleguard. Thanks for the products and the financial support. Your help is greatly appreciated! I enjoyed working with all three of you to help promote your great products. Hopefully we can continue to support each other.
Thanks to my friends and local sponsors Tuft (Danielle McKim), Draught (Tim Dolan), Noel Lance, and Custom Shop Restaurant (Trey Wilson)! You are all dear friends and amazingly generous people!
Matt, Vincent, Ryan, and Jenn. Thanks so much to my crew for holding it down at Pride while I was gone! Without you we would be shut down for a week and we would have a lot of pissed off clients! Thanks for writing good workouts, and pushing our people and keeping them happy while we are gone.
Christina, Will, Anjela. Thanks for looking after April and Ellie for us! Sorry April was a bitch.
All of team USA! You rock!!! I love you all and we kicked ass! I am so happy to call all of you my friends and teammates. Great work everyone, cheers to an amazing year and cheers to 2016!!!
Now on to my story. Back in January I was training to make a run at CMS on the 28’s at Ice Chamber in San Francisco and I blew out a tendon in my right arm. Two weeks before the competition. I was devastated. I cried. I had three athletes to go coach but I could not compete. I couldn’t lift a kettlebell for a month and when I did a month later I had to spend weeks on the 12’s and 16’s. I finally competed again two months later on the 20’s and felt like I was coming back. I went to Russia and competed on 24’s again and was feeling better. I was very confident going to nationals but once I got there I had the worst set I’ve had in two years. I did not lift until almost 5pm and I was tired and had no energy. Somehow I still managed to get 2nd place and make it onto team USA. But I had to go up a weight class. While it may sound like fun to eat thousands of calories a day, it is not, I promise you, it is not fun, it is miserable. The extra weight has put a strain on my joints and my back and I will be happy to drop 10-15 pounds ASAP.
I have been training at 8-9rpm for the past two months but when I hit the platform I could only manage 8rpm for a few minutes and then dropped to 6rpm. I slammed out 9 reps the last minute but it was too late, I had been defeated. I took 5th place out of 12 guys with 69 reps. I put up a good, solid, quality set with zero no counts and great lockout, and I beat out 7 other guys. It was a good set but only good enough for 5th place. I was slow. Too slow. First place got 99, second got 88, third got 82 and fourth got 81. These are the numbers I should have hit but my slow movements were screwing up my breathing and my heart climbed up too high causing me to rest too much in rack between reps. The good part is my legs, grip, and most important my shoulders felt good during my set. My strength and cardio is there and my technique is solid but it is slow. The next year will be all about technique and speed.
Here is my set… Doug’s set from 2015 IUKL World Championships in Dublin Ireland
Taking 5th at my first worlds is not bad, and my 5th place still gave team USA 5 points to help us get 3rd place overall. But I need to be faster and next year I want to stand on that podium.
It is very hard to balance training, work and personal life. I am still learning and constantly struggling to get enough rest and sleep. Training at this level throughout the entire year takes a toll and I need to learn how to get more rest and still get in my training and run two or three business and train my athletes. I have gotten better at this in 2015 and I will doing even more in 2016, wearing more hats, so I will be enlisting more help in the business so I can rest more, all so I can train harder and smarter for 2016. Taking 5th place has not knocked me down at all, coming from my injury in January, and dealing with everything I deal with in life I say I did pretty good and I am motivated to do even better!
Going to Ireland was a great experience. The country is beautiful, the weather isn’t my cup of tea as I am use to a bit more sunshine, but we met some great Irish people, made new friends, ate good food, and saw and experienced some great culture and history in Ireland. I also got to watch the best athletes in the world compete and put some really impressive performances, I got to see them training and coaching, and all of that has made a big impact on me. This was a great journey I will never forget. I had a ton of support to make it happen and thanks to all those who helped me. Now it is back to training and improving for 2016 worlds in Kazakhstan!