It is some time since I’ve posted because this summer has been really busy. Both work and training have been full on. I even took my kettlebell on holiday with me! The kettlebell passed through check in relatively easily but the timer in my hand luggage caused quite a stir!
We decided that I would start with longcycle so that I only had to train one discipline with a heavier weight. I also saw this as an opportunity to improve my jerk technique. Training in earnest really started at the end of May, this work was much harder than I had been used to because I was so familiar with 8kg and 12kg. Fatigue became an issue I didn’t expect, I had to take care during classes and in Parkrun not to over do my workouts. I also noticed my legs now hurt more than my arms so I needed to strengthen my legs.
For me the summer is, surprisingly, not the best time to train. June is always wall to wall, 7 day working in my day job, meaning that I am exhausted in July. Then there is always my annual summer holiday in August, and this year my partner and I chose to go away for two weeks (my last two summers have been based around kettlebell events, he deserved a good break). The weekend after we returned from holiday I took part in a really challenging workshop with the Italian world champion Francesco Rigoli which took a week to recover from. This meant I didn’t really settle to a proper routine. However we were making good progress, up to 8 reps per minute before I went on holiday. My only ten minute test fell during my holiday, which meant I was relatively relaxed but had slowed down. To my relief I managed 9 mins 45secs, but only achieved around 50 reps.
Then it all went wrong, the workshop was excellent but tough and really knocked my confidence and then one of my potential competitors posted her very fast numbers. I knew I was going to find GSU London 2013 very hard. I decided to just do my best and look beyond this particular competition.
Mark Stroud and the Brighton team did us proud. The venue was great and organisation excellent. Teams came from England, Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and Russia. As the competition took place in the middle of an expensive gym in Canary Wharf we gained an audience beyond our friends and families. Hopefully the sport has gained a much higher profile from this. We were treated to some great sets from Anton, Aleksander and many great British athletes. I missed Natalia’s as I was on the platform at the same time. (I didn’t stand a chance!) All three Russian stars were lovely, approachable and willing to share advice.
My set was not great because I let nerves get the better of me, the women around me were very fast (and very young) and so I started too fast and ran out of steam between 6 and 7 minutes, with only 38 reps. As I was on platform One I also had difficulty seeing the time – something which could be changed on another occasion. Pacing is difficult if you can’t see the time. However I didn’t freeze, I resisted the temptation to run after my first few reps and I’ve faced the fear of losing which will help with nerves in the future.
All the other team members from Kettlebell Nottingham won medals in their categories. Our coach put in a great 24kg longcycle set, winning a well deserved silver and we may also have gained some much needed male members for our team. Great news for our team.
There is a famous quote, “failure is not about falling down, it is the not getting up again.” I’m old enough to have ‘fallen down’ many times and have pulled myself back up on countless occasions. My lovely partner was upset for me and suggested going back to 12kg so I can win medals and not find the training so tough. However I’m not really that type of person. So I’m back training with 16kg this week. We’re going for biathlon this time as I find snatch so much more enjoyable. My coach is taking apart my snatch technique, and improving it using the skills Francesco shared. I’ve even taken a kettlebell to Parkrun so I can fit in a re-patterning session before I run. I’m using Parkrun to get better at relaxation when moving and to develop a tougher, positive frame of mind. We’re also doing some good old fashioned weight training, filling in a gap in my knowledge and skills. Even better, I can get back into a regular training routine.
GSU are now offering a senior (over 50) division so I do have some hope of winning a medal at another competition – and we all need hope!