"When everything feels like an uphill struggle, just think of the view from the top." - Anonymous
After my return home from a disastrous 2010 NAS Nationals in Reno, I made this saying my marching orders for the coming year. The experience I gained by competing at Nats was invaluable. I realized I was physically too small to compete on the national level with the heavyweight division. Badly overtrained and exhausted on every level, I decided that my problem with my placing at Nats (dead last) was due to NOT ENOUGH hard work. I attempted the RX Muscle DL challenge at my gym in Mountain Home, 185 lbs for reps, and did 20 reps. Also got the first exertion headache of my life. Realizing that more hard work was not the answer, I took two weeks off from all lifting to re-evaluate, and decide how I was to approach my training and competitions in the coming year.
Building upon the training programs I used since 2008, I trained myself for the duration of 2011. Using the 5/3/1 program, plyo training, and speed training, training at altitude, taking time off from a full-time job, and training at a great gym in Colorado Springs with all the best equipment, I was able to reach my goals. I came into this year's Master's Nats rested, injury-free, and ready on every level to tackle the events.
Starting a new career as a personal trainer, I don't have very much, if any, spending money for travel this year. I committed to getting stronger this year, so I wasn't light enough to compete as a middleweight at NAS Nationals, and couldn't afford to fly to Mississippi, anyway. By the generosity of a couple of individuals, I was able to compete at the first ever NAS Women's Master's Nationals in Kingwood, Texas. Mike Love could not attend, so he donated his entry fee to me, and Ashley Wirt let me sleep at her house over the weekend. Without the kindness of these people, I never would have been able to compete. My heartfelt thanks go out to both of them.
The Women's Open field was to be myself, Shanna Thompson, and Mary Jacobson. Shanna had medical issues that did not allow her to make the trip, but Mary and I had a great time, and put on the best show we could at Kingwood Harley Davidson, November 19. Mary is 57 years old, and quite a woman! She has been competing in strongwoman for a long time, and I have a ton of respect for her. Her positive attitude and can-do approach are inspirational and refreshing.
First event was the 'Old Man Strength Medley.' We were faced with a 300 lb yoke, a 135 lb stone carry, and 120 lb Farmers, each for 30 ft. I hadn't trained any of the events to any degree before the contest, so my MO was to start fast and be speedy. This event went well, I completed it in around 30 seconds. Mary had to use the entire 60 seconds, so I won this event.
Second event was the keg toss. The keg toss bar apparatus got stuck at 12 feet, so we tried to huck 4, 25 lb kegs, and one 30 lb keg up and over the bar. The ground was wet and a little muddy, neither of us could get any of the kegs over the bar. Oh well, we said, on to the next...
Third event was the Push/Pull Medley, 60 time limit, clean and press a 90 lb axle, 245 oly bar DL, 160 lb log press, 130 lb Farmer's. There was a misunderstanding on the base weight of the log, so the 110-120 lb log turned into a 150-160 lb log. I completed the axle press and DL faster than Mary, so I won this event.
Truck Pull, 50 ft, 60 second time limit, mostly flat ground, rope assist. We pulled a 38,800 lb truck with added air to the tires. The men pulled the same truck with less air in the tires. I took this event in 31.51 seconds. Mary came in at around 47 seconds. By my math, I had won the contest after the truck pull.
Stone Load Over 42 inch Bar, 135 lb stone. As my role model Jill Mills put it, "...for like 500 reps." Mary and I both used Spider Tacky, donated for the event, and deemed it good in the warm, humid weather. She racked up around 7 stone reps, so I did 9 reps with 15 seconds left, and called it good. Mary is a fierce competitor, and gave it her all in every event. I can easily see how I could have lost this contest to her if I hadn't been properly prepared mentally and physically. She is a dynamo.
Winning a national championship at anything is a dream come true, let alone being the first NAS Master's Women's National Champ. This division is important because we can show other women who are nearing 40, or older, that you can keep competing in strongwoman as long as you have the drive, and stay healthy. I know next year the events will be heavier, and I hope we have several competitors fighting it out in an effort to take my title. The point of doing this contest was to help establish the master's division for women, though I am very thankful and blessed to have even been able to compete. The guest list at this contest was incredible - Bill Kazmeier, Jill Mills, Travis Ortmeyer, Ryan Bracewell, Brad Dunn, it was a great experience to meet this people and have a moment to talk with them. I challenge you to find another person as nice and considerate as Bill Kazmeier, what a guy! To those who know me, it's no secret that I am a huge admirer of Jill Mills, and it was one of the finest moments of my life to be awarded the trophy by her. I couldn't have scripted a better outcome for this event in my wildest dreams.
Thanks are in order to a lot of people for my success this year. First of all, to RR, Amma, and KVW for taking me in as a newcomer and showing me the ropes. Also, for being a good example of how we should act and conduct oneself amongst other competitors. It means a lot to me to consider all as my peers, as accomplished as you all are. Thanks also to Jay H. and Genesis Gym in Nampa, Idaho, Mr Amma for helping me with my diet and training, Higa Monster for being nice to me and being a good bro even when I wasn't nobody, Matt B. for hooking me up with some supps when I was broke, all my brothers and sisters at Ada County for believing in me when I was ready to f'n quit this sport, and TID for taking me in and showing me the way with training and supplement advice. You guys and gals are the best. Plan for next year is to lose 40 lbs, regain my strength, compete as a middleweight at the 2012 NAS Nationals, and defend my title as the Women's Masters National Champion!
Last edited by MightyMouse719; 11-25-2011 at 01:57 PM.
Great Write up! I will say I am sooooo excited about you coming to Nationals as a middleweight. Together we can do this weight loss stuff .
And i am so very proud and happy that you did well and won the competition and title .
Big things are in store for you in 2012. With drive and the right mindset we can achieve anything we want.
One question ..........should we just save funds for bail now ?
great write up MM. im so proud of you to have improved so much and done it with such a great attitude! the coming year is going to be outstanding for you!
Great job mm! Awesome right up also
Good post MM and congrats. I'd say yes on the bail RR, everyone needs enough to pay the bond lol
Woooo! Nothing but love for you! Right on!
MM, you are truly blessed as we are for knowing you and being able to watch and be encouraged by you and your efforts. You are a woman for other to look up to with great class, dedication and ferocious strength! To be able to let go a little in life and allow others to help is not an easy thing to do, much credit for the way you've done that and for those who've helped you selflessly. The story was the icing on the cake, thanks so much for sharing it with us and congratulations again for an amazing accomplishment that I'm sure will be followed with more amazing lifts and victories!!!
Great post MM! I am so excited for you, and look forward to watching this next year unfold, seems like only good things are in the forecast
Definitely have to get a copy of that for your wall!
7+ months late but that is probably one of the most inspiring articles that I have read in a long time. There is a saying that my Grandparents use to say to me growing up. It fits very well here for you. It goes,"Don't give up before the miracle happens." I think it is a perfect fit. You did not let the loss take you out of competing altogether and you became a national champion a year later after a serious blow to your pride after working so hard then losing. You knew what you had to do to change it and you did it and came out the best and I am sure you can not be more proud of yourself and that drive to succeed and achieve your goals and defend your tit;e has been multiplied times 10. Congratulations on everything MM you worked hard for it your earned it and you deserve ever bit of it. Now you need to get a shirt that says,"YOU BETTER RECOGNIZE" LOL Goodluck at the NAS Nationals. Respectfully .Wake