Sunday, May 30, 2010

Last Events Day

This was my last events training day before the big show next Saturday. I'll do a couple of light gym workouts between now and then. but, here is the last one that counts.

Axle continental and press
110 x 5
160 x 2
210 x 1
230 x miss (tried to get cutesy with it and goofed up)
230 x miss (tried to get fancy on this one and use some "technique")
230 x 1 (just did what works, good and easy)

225lb sled tire pull up my driveway x 50ft

wow, I forgot how much demand the pull puts on your achilles tendon, worked on staying low.

301 x 1
367 x 1
433 x 1
499 x 1 (yes, you heard me, between the mish mash of KG and Lb. plates I was using this is what the progression looked like. I had to use the calculator on my computer to figure this out.)

About the time I was going to the yoke and stones a monsoon came, so hard that I thought I should start building an ark. It blew into my carport and made everything wet. So I called it quits here, I may do stones and yoke tomorrow, I may not... who knows. What is done is done. I'm not going to gain any measurable strength between now and the contest. Oh well, I'd rather strongman poorly than not strongman at all.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Big Ole' Copperhead

I thought my one reader might want to see the huge copperhead my dad killed while weedeating some of his land up in Lamar Co., Alabama. He was about three feet long and I think dad plum near shot the head of the thing as he pulled his .22 Beretta from his pocket and emptied the clip. (I advise anyone and everyone, when in doubt, empty the clip) He was about three feet long and were it not for the weedeater he would have likely stepped on him.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The People Have Spoken

77% to 23%, I will be competing in Georgia's Strongest Man 2010.

Ironically, the state with the lowest percentage was Sweet Home Alabama, with only 55% of voters wanting me to compete, second was Georgia with 67%. I think my concerned Mother may have voted "No" multiple times from different computers.

Every other state with voters was at a full 100%.

No one one the West Coast voted because they apparently don't give a rip, and I can't say I blame them.

So there you go, it is what it is. So, I'll give it my all and do a full write up in two weeks. CHEERS!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

4 weeks ago tonight

...Allison, Rebekah, and I stepped off a plane in Atlanta and almost literally fell into the arms or our family and friends. I still do not have words for that moment... For those who supported us, my heart will forever be overflowing with gratitude. No matter the depths of senility my mind may take me years from now in my old age, I will never, never, never forget that night. It was the culmination of all that God wished to do in our adoption of Rebekah, and now He continues to work in her in ways we never imagined. There is a God in Heaven, Jesus is His Son, if your still an orphan, He wants to find you.

6 Weeks ago tonight, the somber, speechless, furrowed-brow little girl who we had set our affections on was ours for the very first time. That first day with us she ate enough for an adult while sitting in my lap at lunch. I'm certain we could have fed her rotten garbage and she would have ate every ounce she could, not knowing when her next meal would be. We put her down for a nap, and a few hours later, in the late afternoon when she awoke, she trembled from fear as Allison held her in her arms. Later that night, we managed to get her to sleep. Just like I knew I would, I laid in bed wondering what we were doing 5000 miles from home, and also wondering if we had what it took to survive this. Like any good man, I hid it the best I could, and tried to show stone like resolve while the storm raged inside. Husbands, be Jesus to your wife, a Bulwark, a Fortress never failing.

I remember when we went to have Rebekah's passport photos made. On the way, as we bounced along the road, the orphanage worker that accompanied us said through our translator - "In a month, you won't even recognize her..." She was exactly right...

Tonight, we got out as a family to run a few errands after I got off work. Rebekah bobbed her head and clapped her hands while we jammed to Shane and Shane in the car. She sang her little song about Gracie (the wonder hound) "Dogga - Dogga, -Dogga, Dogga, Dog!". She also talked alot in her own baby talk as she reviewed the events of her day, and often I would catch her smiling to herself as I kept an eye on her in the rear view mirror. After dinner we stopped off by the park. The Opelika High School jazz band was doing a little concert. Rebekah loves music, I have never seen a child dance as hard and freely as she danced tonight. She clapped vigorously at the end of every song, and pointed in amazement at every dog in sight. She loves the park, she loves her home. Finally, after daddy made up silly songs at bathtime, Allison rocked her while we read our Bible story. Whenever I finish reading she clasps her hands together, closes her eyes and smiles, reminding us to pray. I start it the same way almost every night. "Dear God, thank you for Rebekah..."

Sunday, May 16, 2010

You Decide 2010

Ok, I'm gonna be straight up. I've tried to play catch up with my training since arriving home from Russia, but needless to say, we've been a little busy getting the little one settled in.

Here is my predicament, I'm underweight by about 15lbs. of where I would like to be. I'm undertrained and (in my mind) weak as a kitten and likely to finish last given the talented strongman competitors that show up for such a well organized and popular contest.

So, I'm turning to you [both of my readers] to decide. I will do whatever the poll results tell me. If it is a no, Brad and Jimmy, I'll come set up the tent and help keep you guys out of the sun. If it is a yes, I'll fight lift, pull and push until I can go no further - and let the chips fall where they may.

Georgia's Strongest Man 2010 will be held in Douglasville, Georgia on June 5th.

Please, one vote per person - Polling will end Sunday May 23rd at 7pm.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fat Gripz

I have to just be honest, sometimes I fall victim to a flashy sales pitch, or gimmicky things that I think may be the long lost strength secret that will finally make me the greatest of all time. I like gadgets, little things that can be useful in training. Now, these things can also be a major distraction. I bought a Rolling Thunder, for instance, that I just knew I would use every workout and twice on Sundays. I don't think I've hooked that thing to a loading pin since 2009... I have so many other "fish to fry" before I need to worry about how much I can one hand deadlift on a spinning PVC handle. But, anyway, I digress...

The online shopping bug bit hard a week ago and I couldn't help but take advantage of some free shipping over at EliteFTS. So, I bought a set of monster mini's, some short bands (for deadlifting, more on that later), and... yes... some Fat Gripz.

Much like the zombies that Advocare makes out of professional athletes (and its customers... and its salesmen...), I have become a Fat Gripz non paid endorser.

I've used these for Dumbbell tricep extensions and curls over the last couple of days. I also got a chance to use them on the bench press. I love them. It increases the level of difficulty dramatically, and replicates the grip on a thick bar perfectly. The rubber felt a little mushy when I got to 250lbs. on the bench, but overall it is pretty sturdy. I plan to use them pretty much all the time, especially on dumbbell movements.

Hopefully that Thomas Inch replica at SWAT Gym will be coming off the ground soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

264.9 or Bust

Monday I weighed my self. The day after I got home from Russia I weighed 270, 12 days later this is where I'm at.

June 5th I would like to compete in Georgia's Strongest Man. The problem is I ain't got no business being a Super Heavy Weight. So, the diet began on Monday, I'm going to try and slim on down and compete in the 265lb. class. Which is still in the heavy weight class, but hopefully I'll be a little more "in my league" at the lighter weight class.

So I've trimmed the carbs, reduced the portions and (to an extent) upped the volume. Things are going well, I won't be at my strongest going in, but hopefully, I can be a little more competitive (assuming I make weight). This coming monday I'll show the scale again and we'll see where I'm at.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Resolution #4

Resolution #4 - I am resolved to sleep whenever the opportunity to do so is presented.

Allison and Rebekah (over Al's left shoulder) sleeping in the Madrid Airport

I was laying on the cold marble floors of the Madrid airport at 4am local time when this resolution popped into my mind. I had a small travel pillow, a flannel shirt as a blanket, and had put my boots back on just to keep my feet warm.

Allison and I had made a campsite in a small corner of the terminal next to the duty free liquor store. At the time it was a nice, quiet area. Allison lay next to me, and Rebekah was sound asleep on a makeshift pallet of airplane blankets and her super fluffy "blankie". We all three drifted off, when I awoke about an hour and a half later, the marble floor had literally drained all the body heat from me.

I got up and walked around just to get the blood flowing again, and then just stood watch over my girls for the rest of the time. I've never missed my bed like I missed it then.

Late that night when we arrived home, as I got in bed I literally could not believe how soft my own bed was. I even checked to see if someone had put one of those memory foam covers on it for us. I slept like a baby.

So, no, I will not be staying up late, and, yes I will be taking a nap...