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KRC

2017 July - SJ4 - Kevin Collen

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KRC

What an amazing experience this was.  I realize now that I haven't been to a grip comp in FIVE years, and I will do what I can prevent a gap between events of that size from opening up again. 

I knew going in that the red cert was going to be early in the morning Saturday.  My main concern with this was rest.  I knew I had the strength to do this, but in the past, if I had broken, poor quality, or minimal sleep, my bending would suffer immensely.  So, I left Boston at 7am Friday morning to get there as early as possible in order to get a nap in or at least early bedtime.  I got there about 1pm, so 6 hours.  I thought that was a lot of driving - until I talked to some of the guys on Saturday.  I think Allen H. did 19 HOURS... with two kids and a DVD player that broke mid-trip.  And then he drove right back Sunday!  Incredible.  Anyway, I needed food, so went to Moe's Southwest which my GPS said was like 2 miles away.  It wasn't.  I got all turned around and after looking for a gas station to stock up on bottled water and snacks for comp day, it was 3pm by time I got back to the hotel room.  Once I finished eating, nap was out of the question, so I did what I could to get to bed early.  I didn't end up falling asleep until about 1am.  

I woke up at 6am to do my best to really be "awake" for the cert, as I've never really bent before 4 or 5pm, except for a handful of times over two years.  I went to Wawa, slammed a 24oz coffee - I only drink decaf usually - and headed back to weigh in and get ready.  At first things were fine, but once I saw the group gather and the clocked ticked closer to 9am, I sort of panicked.  I'd never bent in front of anyone, let alone 50+ gripsters.  All I could think of was that one red I couldn't even kink a few weeks back.  Every other bar I destroyed in around 10 seconds and had been for what seems like 6-8 weeks, but that one bar was lingering and I was positive I was going to unload during cert time and nothing would happen.  That one bar, big crowd, no sleep... I was getting nervous.  

Soon after, the coffee kicked in and I was pacing around the space, and eventually found a tiny corner outside the comp room to warm up in.  During this time, several people came up to me and offered encouragement, for which I cannot thank them enough. I was still super jittery, but I truly appreciated the sentiment.  Anthony C, Josh H, Anton T, and many others that I had and had not "met" (virtually) before all stopped by to offer encouragement.  Eventually it was time to go.  Just after 9am, Nate handed me the three bars, and we didn't have a table to wrap them on with my pony clamps.  Never done that before, either.  Without time or the ability to dwell on that, I just squat down and wrapped the bar with my heel on the end of the wrap.  I was so pumped I couldn't even see straight, let alone worry about what was happening with my wrap.  Once I was wrapped, I took the bands off and there was no turning back. People started cheering and shouting which really helped.  Nevertheless, given that I was simultaneously petrified and ready to kill someone, I couldn't look up to make eye contact with anyone.  I had the bar in my hands, and was ready.  

I did my little "hitching" routine where I sort of pop the bar under my chin four times before starting the kink, and then hit it.  The bar/pad slipped a little bit on the first hit, but I corrected and gave it absolutely everything I had.  The bar melted instantly.  That moment was something I'll never forget. I haven't seen video of the bend but I suspect it was under 10s.  For all you benders out there, there is nothing like attempting a PR or big cert with a room full of like minded people screaming you on.  Infinite thanks to Nate for being the judge, fitting in time for me during a very busy day with a lot of moving parts, and for perpetual encouragement here and elsewhere leading up to my cert. 

After that, I tried a 7" golden hex which didn't go well.  I got it past 90, maybe to 4", but time ran out.  Not my worst attempt on this bar, but definitely on the bottom end, and it took a lot out of me. Oh well.  Thanks to Andrew P and the others in that area for watching and giving encouragement.  

Then the day really started.  I hadn't trained grip seriously in years (I was here for the cert and bending comp), so had absolutely zero expectations.  It was tough getting through everything as I couldn't really see the platforms to watch other competitors, so I just checked the monitor every 20 minutes or so to see where they were, and did my attempts.  I think I did 113 gripper (failed 121 by just a bit), 66 on 1HP (was good for more, had chalk/grip issues), and about 109 or so on the crusher, I don't really remember. 

By time the crusher was up, I was pretty much out of gas.  Poor sleep, little food, and the red cert + gold hex attempt had wiped me out pretty good.  Thankfully we went to Nate's and filled up on great food and took advantage of their great hospitality.  

I passed on the medley, my neck, back, and knees were completely shot at this point (~7pm).  Eventually it was time for the bending comp, at about 9:30pm.  The highlight of the day for me was watching Andrew Dube completely dominate like 6-8 pieces of 9/32 CRS inside 3 minutes REVERSE.  Let me tell you, doing anything at that point was an accomplishment. I did one bastard in about 15 or so seconds, and got locked up on a second one, then bent about 4 pieces of 9/32 DO, and my arms were complete Jello.  Watching Andrew rip through those bars was unbelievable.  I also see that he bent the 3/4" HRS braced in about a minute or less with minimal/no pads.  Very impressive.  I had a good chat with Andrew too; I expect big things from him. 

I was so beat and out of it, regrettably I drove back to the hotel at about 10pm or so, and missed a bunch more bending stuff and god knows what else, lol.  I wished I'd had more in me, but I was totally and utterly cooked. I don't know how the guys that stayed around, not to mention Nate, did it. 

The theme of the day for me was great conversation with great people.  Bending is a pretty solitary pursuit and being able to talk at the length I did with so many people was truly priceless to me. I spoke a lot to the people above as well as Bill and Neal from near Worcester (who I will be contacting shortly about holding a bending comp), Chez, Delmar, all of those who I'd never met before but despite that walked up to me and gave congrats on the cert, and many, many others who I'm unintentionally leaving out.  

Nate you are the man, that rocked, thank you a million.  As I type this I'm still brutally sore in my glutes, upper back, and triceps. Hope everyone is recovering and that we get to hook up again soon. 

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Donc101

Great job man!  Good write up!

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Lucasraymond

Pleasure meeting you and congrats on the red nail cert!!

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KRC
6 minutes ago, Lucasraymond said:

Pleasure meeting you and congrats on the red nail cert!!

Likewise and thanks!  Congrats to you too, and goodluck in Syracuse!

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anwnate

Sweet write up!  I love how you described your Cert in such intimate detail.  It really puts the reader in that moment!

Thanks for coming.  It was an honor to be your ref...but even a chair would have realized you owned that nail from the start.

Congrats man!

 

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KRC
27 minutes ago, anwnate said:

Sweet write up!  I love how you described your Cert in such intimate detail.  It really puts the reader in that moment!

Thanks for coming.  It was an honor to be your ref...but even a chair would have realized you owned that nail from the start.

Congrats man!

 

Thank you sir, for everything!  Good times.  

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Jose Cabrera

That was a really good read! Congratulations on your cert, and i timed you btw, it was 7 seconds from the first hit. Completely dominated.

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Chez

Congrats again Kevin. you completely melted that red nail. It was pleasure finally meeting you. Thanks for the towel by the way :blush

Edited by Chez
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MCrushetta

Congrats!!!!!!!!

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Anton.Torrella

Great write up Kevin and great meeting you - congrats again for murdering that red nail in front of the largest cert crowd I've ever heard of and then beating on that golden hexabastard - very impressive - definitely let me know if you and the other MA guys plan out a bending comp in the future, I'd love to join in

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Andrew Dube
5 hours ago, KRC said:

I passed on the medley, my neck, back, and knees were completely shot at this point (~7pm).  Eventually it was time for the bending comp, at about 9:30pm.  The highlight of the day for me was watching Andrew Dube completely dominate like 6-8 pieces of 9/32 CRS inside 3 minutes REVERSE.  Let me tell you, doing anything at that point was an accomplishment. I did one bastard in about 15 or so seconds, and got locked up on a second one, then bent about 4 pieces of 9/32 DO, and my arms were complete Jello.  Watching Andrew rip through those bars was unbelievable.  I also see that he bent the 3/4" HRS braced in about a minute or less with minimal/no pads.  Very impressive.  I had a good chat with Andrew too; I expect big things from him.

You sir are too kind, thank you! The weekend has renewed my interest in braced bending so I plan to deliver on those expectations!

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KRC
1 hour ago, Jose Cabrera said:

That was a really good read! Congratulations on your cert, and i timed you btw, it was 7 seconds from the first hit. Completely dominated.

Boom!! Thanks for thing that and for the congrats.  Great meeting you. 

1 hour ago, Chez said:

Congrats again Kevin. you completely melted that red nail. It was pleasure finally meeting you. Thanks for the towel by the way :blush

Ha, of course brother.  Great to meet you too.  

1 hour ago, MCrushetta said:

Congrats!!!!!!!!

Thanks Maria, nice talking with you!

1 hour ago, Anton.Torrella said:

Great write up Kevin and great meeting you - congrats again for murdering that red nail in front of the largest cert crowd I've ever heard of and then beating on that golden hexabastard - very impressive - definitely let me know if you and the other MA guys plan out a bending comp in the future, I'd love to join in

TY!  I will absolutely keep you in the loop. You'll have a lot of work ahead of you to keep your spot on the bending throne!

43 minutes ago, Andrew Dube said:

You sir are too kind, thank you! The weekend has renewed my interest in braced bending so I plan to deliver on those expectations!

Awesome, looking forward to seeing it!

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Anton.Torrella

Hah glad to hear it! Spot on the bending throne - I'm just keeping it warm for you! Lookin forward til next time man

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KapMan

You murdered that red cert dude.. i was out of my league bendin with you mutants. 

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Buccos1

Great write-up!

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bencrush

Great job on the red cert, Kevin!!!  Not too shabby at the contest too buddy! :D

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Geralt

Sorry for the late reply man, your cert was very impressive. Thanks for lending me your lacrosse ball man,  it really helped me get a crazy pump in lower arms down during the comp. 

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