This year was a hot one! 97 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. By noon there were few places to hide from the sun... but hey, it's a strongman contest, what do you expect?!
I just happened to reread a contest write up I did a few years ago. I'm going to spare the specific event drama and just say it was another insanely heavy contest put on by Graham Bartholomew. 820lb yoke walk, 330 an arm farmers walk and 750+lb tire flip to name a few. Yeah. Heavy. A typical Maryland show.
However, this year was special as I was to present an award to Graham and his wife Lorraine for all the hard work they do putting on these shows. It's not just the contests but the after-parties, the training sessions, the coaching (Graham is the closest thing I've ever seen to a "strongman coach"), the friendship and for never being allowed to leave without a gatorade and something to eat. We wanted to recognize Graham and Lorraine for the good peoples that they are. A single email generated over $200 of immediate response and the donation request was only for $10 or $20 to a handful of people. People either caught wind of it or those that received the email felt compelled to forward to others. We got so much more than we asked for, we upgraded the awards (shown below) and bought $100 worth of gift card.
We embarrassed him good and plenty :)~ If anyone has pictures of the actual "awards ceremony" please forward them to me.
As for the actual contest, I felt good going into it. I hadn't been training for it (more on that later) but I was where I needed to be mentally and physically. I weighed in lighter than normal at 245lb and put up a consistent performance with the last two contests I did (the Mid Atlantic in March and last years Maryland) so I was happy with the results. I placed 4th to three guys that were/are legitimately stronger than me. Simple as that.
As for my training, I think I have to come to terms with that I'm not as interested in competitive strongman as I once was. Don't get me wrong, it's still a lot of fun and I'll probably still do contests here and there but its hard to make time to train events. Event days involve going to someones house (often times Graham's or Camp Hill, PA - both an hour or more away) and spending several hours with a crew training events... it's great, but when it comes down to playing with the boys or playing with a baby girl who calls me "daddy", the little one is going to get more of my attention. (she hasn't actually said "daddy" yet, it's more like "bob-bob").
The other thing is, I've kinda got my eyes set on a different prize when it comes to my training. But that's another story for another day.