First and foremost, huge thanks to everyone who donated a couple dollars and ordered shirts to help me out on this trip, seriously without all of you this trip would not have happened. Big thanks to Lindsay and Vann and Sara and everyone else who helped out at the gym! Knowing the gym was running without me there was a huge relief that I didn’t have to worry about everything.
Now on to the trip! So many people have asked me about the trip and I was more than happy to talk about it, and I made a couple great videos, and then I got really sick, and now I am sick again and I am just getting around to doing a little writeup about the trip. Check out the video down at the bottom please!
That flight over to Korea was insanely long! 13 hours! That was rough. Once I got to Seoul, I settled in to the hotel and met up with other team USA athletes and we toured around the city, which was cheap and easy to do. Food was amazing, lots of noodles and yes BBQ. The BBQ places in Korea have a little grill in the middle of your table and they bring you some rice and noodles and veggies and a big plate of raw meat and you grill the meat yourself right there at the table it’s amazing, and cheap.
On Wednesday we had to weigh in, and after I got weighed in I was able to get in a few minutes under the bells and I was feeling really confident. My pace was solid and I felt strong and my cardio felt good. Overall my energy was good. I was competing on the second day, Friday. Opening day was Thursday and we got to watch some amazing athletes compete on biathlon. The night before I competed I didn’t get any sleep due to some noise in the hotel room, but when I woke up I wasn’t mad, I just told myself I was there to do a job, harden up, suck it up, and get the job done. Taking my emotions out of the day really helped, any nerves or anxiety I had fell away. This was the most calm and cool I had been for a world championships.
I was so focused on my set, I didn’t look at my competitor’s score next to me once, I didn’t look at the crowd or the cameras, I saw was my timer and my judge. I was focused on my breathing and my technique, my pace was dead on and I knew I was going to hit my goal. I faltered one rep with an extra breath in minute 4 and many times in the gym this would ruin me and I would say to myself “well you messed up, no way you’re hitting your goal now so just fall to a comfortable pace”…nope…not today! I told myself I could make up one extra rep at the end, so I got back on pace and kept telling myself “you’re doing it, you’re going to make 80” and I kept trucking along. The last minute I knew I had to makeup that one rep I lost in minute 4, I pounded out 9 reps the last minute even though my legs were done. I was so happy when I put the bells down. Not only did I make my goal of 80 but I got second place!
Winning second meant that I had to beat one of my friends form the Polish team, but that’s how it goes, off the platform we are all friends, we eat and drink and laugh and have fun and we even train together, but for ten minutes it is all about my goals and winning.
Another big accomplishment I have now made is being to 3 world championships and having zero no counts! A no count for those of you not in the kettlebell world, is when your judge determines you did not have control of the kettlebell or your form was not good and even though you put the weight overhead they say it didn’t look perfect and they don’t count the rep. The IUKL world championships is some of the strictest judging in the world, and this worlds was the strictest I had ever seen the IUKL be on lifters. Athletes were getting no counted for their toes moving during lockout and fixation (stopping the kettlebell overhead) had to be perfect. The head judges were yelling at the floor judges over the loudspeakers if they thought the floor judge was not being strict enough! And still, they counted every rep.
After my set I may have shed a tear of happiness! Haha! Hitting my goal was a big deal as it now puts me on track to move up to the professional weights. So on to 2018 and lifting with the big boys!
Here is my set and here is the promo video from the trip. Seriously thank you to my wife, my mom, and everyone who helped out at the gym. Thanks to my coach Igor Morozov. Thanks to everyone who supported me on this trip. Thanks to Kettlebell Kings for sponsoring our team shirts. Much love and respect to all!