Granite Games Recap:
What a weekend.
It was a great pleasure to watch all of you compete at the Granite Games this past weekend. The competition brought in some serious talent at all levels and our athletes proved that they not only belonged but were among the best there. It would be impossible to cover every single accomplishment from the weekend, but before we get to business, I think I ought to take a moment to share some highlights.
Kristin and Jenny fought back from 40th place, finishing 29th overall in their division in their first ever competition together. I haven’t spoken with them directly, but it sounds like the training they put in on strict ring dips paid off when they found out their rings were set to an uncomfortably low height, making kipping particularly difficult. In a similar show of perseverance for some newer athletes, Andee and Meredith battled their way from 38th place to 17th including a 2nd place finish on event five.
Thom finished 15th overall in a stacked Master’s division, just a few points out of making the final event. Thom took 5th on the run and repped Union Fitness with the teams only first place finish of the weekend on the snatch event. It should also be noted that Thom beat both Nick and Claude of Union Alpha on the 5K run (sorry to say it, boys, but I give credit where credit is due).
I’m pretty sure I saw Jessica smile when she hit a ten pound PR on her snatch. Rumors of the smile have circulated the globe at this point, and it appears the the glimmering of happiness from such an unexpected place has caused militias, paramilitary units and terrorists around the world to reconsider their positions on violence and hatred and lay down their weapons.
I’m certain that Addison is disappointed with his overall placing but it was awesome watching him exceed expectations on the Deadly Ropes workout, snatch up to 245 lbs. in about two minutes of floor time and hang with some of the best in world. Addison’s disappointment is a testament to his intensity as an athlete. He’s not interested in anything but winning and I love that about him. I have no doubt that he’ll be ready for the Open and for Regionals.
Like Addison, I know Paul is disappointed in his final placing. But the reality is, Paul had a few small errors throughout the weekend that cost him a lot of points. Take a few of those errors away and you would have seen him about fifteen or twenty spots higher in the rankings. Paul will polish those weaknesses off over the next couple months and be ready to go in the Open. Despite the disappointment, we should note that Paul snatched 245 lbs. after missing it twice. Anybody who’s been in competition and missed a weight like that knows it’s very difficult to regroup in that situation. He did and was within 10 lbs. of a lifetime PR.
Team Union Bravo, learned a thing or two about teamwork during the 5K run when their strongest runner, Andrew, realizing his futility as a speed daemon, opted to hang back with slightly slower teammate Jake, motivating him to a PR 5K. Lest we forget the third male on the team, Dave, ran his fastest 5K time as well. It was nothing short of inspiring and motivating watching Abby fight through her HSPU’s despite her own doubts, and Kayla rip muscle-up after muscle-up during Clean and Muscle helping Bravo achieve a PR on the event compared to training.
Team Union Alpha finished 6th overall in the Community Team division, a score which reflects their consistency above anything else. Mary, Darcy, Nick, Ryan, Alison and Claude were incredible teammates. They never broke down and got negative, they never lost their heads. They weren’t always the fastest or strongest athletes on the floor but demonstrated the ability to perform in every single workout including that horrible concoction of front squatting and bar holding in the finale.
M’Kelle! Where do we start with M’Kelle? Snatched 180 lbs., a lifetime PR and finished just a few points short of the top twelve. Of those top twelve, an easy seven were Games athletes, four of which are podium finishers, one of which was the 2013 Games winner. If M’kelle is anything, she is humble. You’d never know that she was as talented as she is based on what she says, but there’s no doubt in anybody’s mind that she’s the real deal now, based on what she did.
Where do we go from here?
Our next big test is November 7-9 in Iowa. It will be a very different competition, I assure you. By my count, we have 52 days to prepare.
Our focuses will revolve around:
1) Translating some of our volume training into some improved absolute strength. Expect a short sequence of high(er) volume work for about two weeks followed by a good deal of doubles and singles as we get closer to competition.
2) Expanding our stamina/capacity with some fundamental gymnastics movements – we’re still not good enough on the rings, or the pull-up bar to be competitive. EMOMs are exceptionally effective for this type of training as are single round workouts/chippers.
3) Grit. We’ve never been a gritty group. Not physically and certainly not mentally. Regionals from this year and the team finale at the Granite Games was demonstration of that, once again. We have to be tougher in uncomfortable situations. I’m talking backward bear crawls up a hill. I’m talking log carrying. I’m talking sleds. I’m talking strongman movements. On the mental side we need to remember that athletes are athletes. They’re not programmers, judges, organizers, coaches. Atheltes don’t have to like the workload, the layout of the floor, the organization of the workout, the rule changes, they just have to deal with them and compete. Putting any energy into complaining about what you have to do is a waste of that energy and a drain on teammates.
I’m so very proud of you all for the time you’ve put in already and for the performance you all put on this weekend in St. Cloud. Before signing off I’ll ask that all of you who are interested in meeting with me to discuss your training goals and plans for this next cycle to email me at email@example.com to set up a short appointment.
Training resumes tomorrow.