I know I have not written a post in a while. Just too busy training, working and upgrading our lovely Victorian semi.However I have a few days off from it all, relaxing by a pool so have decided to add a new post.
As I’m sure you’ve understood from the title, I’m still competing and making steady progress. Last summer I won three gold medals, two were age graded and not really fought for as I’m the only over 50 competing in GSU competitions in my weight class with 16kg. The third however was not age graded, a straight win (but with a lighter weight as this was a qualifier for the World championships). I also had the honour of competing in a relay alongside Abigail Johnson and Anna Plumridge, two of my heroines. We came third, we were up against some young amazons from Darlington and Ireland who just jerked faster than me!
My biggest achievement has been making rank one snatch – I’m very proud of this as there is no allowance for age and other athletes have found this a challenge too. This ranking also meant that I qualified to compete for England at the IUKL world championships in November.
Given my past history in sport, I am really excited about competing in Hamburg. I’ve even been strong enough to avoid alcohol and keep to my training schedule on holiday. I’ve decided to enter as a veteran, 12kg snatch, because I don’t feel able to give a strong enough performance with 16kg in the amateur class. This has meant stepping back a little but my coach has kept me training with the 16kg so I don’t lose strength or confidence. The competition is a few weeks away so my training involves a lot of snatch sprint work and some cardio and strength work. Care needs to be taken with snatch preparation because it’s easy to damage you hands. I have a few blisters today because we were trialing a new chalk method. Dealing with the mental challenge is equally important, I have no idea what the standard of competition will be like because they have merged weights in my class, so I am trying to be realistic about expectations – just competing and being there will be amazing!
There have also been opportunities to train with some of the best athletes in the world. As Kettlebell sport is a small sport you can train with world champions for a relatively small fee. I’ve group trained with Francesco Rigoli (Italian champion) and Denis Vasilev and had one to one training with Ivan Denisov. All of these sessions were great and I learnt a lot. Talking to Ivan was particularly good as his advice trained how I approach training not just how I move.If you get the opportunity, take it, you will gain something from every session.
My club hosted the British championships at the beginning of October. This was quite an experience, our team, our friends and our partners were fantastic and worked their socks off. We had a great day, everyone seemed to enjoy it and I improved my judging skills. You learn a lot by watching others!
I still gain enormous satisfaction from Kettlebell training, particularly after a good session where I’ve achieved more in terms of reps, weight or time. I would love to try for CMS, this means working with 20kg. Quite a challenge, but achievable if I take it in small steps. I have a good coach who carefully balances my load, he feels I can do it and I like having another challenge to work towards. Experience also begins to help as I know how my mind and body have reacted to moving out of my comfort zone previously. At the moment I’m roughly where I was with 16kg 18 months ago. I can snatch and jerk a few reps and can also complete a minute or so with 18kg. Time working with 12kg is not wasted as I’ve been continuing to work on skill and relaxation. There is also still work to be done with 16kg as I have not completed a 10 minute set yet. This project will keep me going, regardless of competitions of any type, for a few years I suspect, always good to have something to work towards.