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Gripmas Write Up

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climber511

The Last Gripmas Carol

 

Not sure where to start really.  It started out where it was just going to be a sort of Listmas Carol.  No contest – no Arm Lifting – no Medley.  I wanted it to run it short and simple and then have a long session of visiting and feats of strength.  Hopefully a few people would arrange some certs through Iron Mind and the various companies who did those.  But no – I had to go and shoot for the moon.  I added this – then that – and so on until pretty much there wasn’t anything left to add.  As it turned out I think I tried for too much.

I knew (or at least hoped) Gripmas would attract more people than my garage gym would hold – which added a whole new level of complexity to things.  Living in Crooksville only gave me one choice which was Underground Athletics Gym here in town, a really nice facility that just opened last year.  Thankfully they were fully on board – Jamie and Brittney Brannon were wonderful hosts.  I agonized over moving everything down but in the end it turned out to be nothing – several of the Gripmas guys showed up – Jamie and several HS football players showed up – one of my climbing buddies was there – moving was a non-issue.  In years past Teresa and I had cooked breakfast for everyone but that wasn’t going to work this year so I arranged with Peaches place (the only restaurant in town) - for a catered breakfast and supper for competitors and workers – wives etc. I thought the meals were really good even though we had to order more supper as we went through in like staving wolves.

I had visited the gym several times and measured the floor etc working on where to put everything - which fell apart as soon as the doors opened and people showed up with bags, coats, more equipment etc.  Every plan looks good until you get hit in the face LOL.  At this point I realized my “plan” was out the window.  Thank god for Katie Leitheiser – who must have been born with some “organizing” gene.  She asked me if she could “take over” and being pretty much overwhelmed I said yes.  So please say Thank You next time you see her.  People started arriving, weigh ins and breakfast went down smoothly and it was time for certs and then grippers.  We had a Red nail cert by Gary Stuart which blew my mind – not one but 3 Reds destroyed in one minute – insane!  Brian Hunsacker did an IM #3 cert which looked like a toy gripper in his hand.  The Don Cummins was up for a David Horne cert (2 David Horn 6” nails pre wrapped (a whole table top covered with them) – bend as many as possible in 2 minutes) – he blew through 15 and then I started I getting ready to catch him if he went down – his breathing got pretty hard by then.  But all was well and he fought for 2 more before time ran out – a total of 17 – WOW!

We started Grippers then – 20 mm block set on the NAGS gripper set of calibrated grippers.  Going two at a time really speed things up – grippers went nice and smooth – with my injured hand making me do even worse than I would normally have done.  I got 125# and missed 130#.  Not to make light of the injury but I wouldn’t have done much better anyway.

Next up was the David Horne two hand pinch.  We had three stations – one for warm ups and then one set for each width – seemed to be a good system except not allowing at least a couple warmups on the competition set ups hurt people with their choices I think – I know it did me.  My 2 HP training leading up to the comp had been horrible – with a top out of only 190 – then the last week jumped to 210 just one time – so I set that as my goal weight.  It just so happened I ended up on Jedd’s Euro setup – and it felt amazing to me.  Goal coming in was 210#.  I don’t remember my exact attempts but I ended up with around 217# for my fourth attempt – and it felt like nothing at all.  So I ask for an extra attempt – and then another (one nice thing about being the meet director hehe) – ended up pulling 232# (didn’t count of course) – only 3# off my all-time best ever – and at 70 years old – big smile!  The pinch also ran smooth with one seeming hiccup in weight I failed to address – my fault.

Next up is the Iron Mind Axle – a 2” barbell that had to be deadlifted – held to a down signal – then lowered.  Once again a warmup station – and two comp setups.  My goal coming in was 325# - a weight I had gotten up in training but wasn’t able to hold – so my comp goal was 325#.  Ended up with somewhere around 336# so quite happy here as well.  This was lower than the big boys even started lifting at !  We had a bunch of darn strong guys here!

The Axle results counted towards the Arm Lifting part of that comp so they had one down.  Those interested went over to do their other Arm Lifting competition pieces.  I was glad we could include this in Gripmas – there is a rift between NAGS and Arm Lifting that I would like to see mended somehow – maybe this would help?

While this was going on some of us were setting up the Medley.  I went first and got 30 points – Aaron got 31 and Andrew Durniant got 29.  I beat Andrew in a Medley!  After my Hercules hold at BBB one time maybe the high point of my Grip career.  Not everyone chose to do the Medley – lots of people started doing feats – bending horseshoes etc etc.  About that time the food came and a pack of wolves couldn’t have hit it any harder – I had to order more pizza and wings before a mutiny broke out.

Not much went on after this so we started handing out awards – of which there were many – thanks to the tremendous generosity of all the competitors bringing items to add to the mix!  I want to give Jedder a big Thank You as he gave me back his first place cash award – he’s one hell of a friend and such a positive to the sport of Grip.  Seemed people were winding down and ready to leave but many stayed to help take all my equipment back up to my gym at home.  A couple thousand pounds of muscle and a couple trucks made mighty short work of it.  We all said good byes and all of a sudden Tee and I were on our own with sons Sean and Josh – the quiet was deafening!  Once inside - a drink and several glasses of water – a bath and a bed.

Slept in the next day – pancakes and eggs – then out to the gym to start putting things back in their proper place.  Six or so hours for Teresa and I and it was pretty much back to normal.  And The Last Gripmas Carol was done – a very bitter sweet day!

 

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Tom Flesher
14 minutes ago, climber511 said:

The Last Gripmas Carol

 

Not sure where to start really.  It started out where it was just going to be a sort of Listmas Carol.  No contest – no Arm Lifting – no Medley.  I wanted it to run it short and simple and then have a long session of visiting and feats of strength.  Hopefully a few people would arrange some certs through Iron Mind and the various companies who did those.  But no – I had to go and shoot for the moon.  I added this – then that – and so on until pretty much there wasn’t anything left to add.  As it turned out I think I tried for too much.

Chris, thank you for organizing this event. I'm grateful we had a traditional contest around which the feats were organized, and (like you) I'm very thankful for the excellent organization that Katie Leitheiser did. She knows how to run a contest!

("All you guys get mad, and I got sick of watching you get mad when it was your own fault, so....")

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climber511

Some extra stuff

 

Before the contest Jedd gave Teresa and I a beautiful plaque for what we have done for the Grip community – sorry if I got a little teary eyed there guys – didn’t want to ruin my tough guy image (like I had one to start with).

            A little later we received another beautiful plaque – a milled out “A Gripmas Carol 2003 – 2018”  done in steel – both will hang in a place of honor.

            As the contest was winding down Chris Andrede stood up and announced that the name The Gripmas Carol was not ending but that he was going to carry it on – except at his place!  Lots of cheering and clapping!  He and I had been in discussions about the move beforehand.  I’m thrilled.

 

            Aaron came down early Friday and we had a great visit – got to know him a whole lot better – one smart fellow with more innovative grip toys in the oven than anyone I’ve heard of!  Can’t wait until they are done.  Gave me a key ring gripper also – thanks buddy!  He also helped move everything down to the gym – thanks again!

            Met tons of new people and saw old friends again.  This is what Tee and I are going to miss – the people.  Tee and I look at all of you as our “kids” as you all are that age to us. We Love all of you!

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KapMan

Really really wish I could of made it. Thank you for providing your services to the community, contributing here on the board and starting a tradition that continues for decades to come. You rock dude!

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Donc101

A really great time Chris! I am so happy I got to come the last 2 years. So many nice and fun people in grip. I am also happy I finally have one of your shirts. It’s a really cool design. 

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Vinnie

Chris -- I just met you and I don't know you well, but I have heard of you since the day I discovered grip a year or so ago.  Now I am lucky to have met you and attended your last comp as promoter.  You created a backbone for the sport that Tank will surely continue.  It is great to see people keep doing things you started.  It is happening because it was a worthwhile thing to do when you did it, and will continue to be so into the future.  Good luck with what's next, and I hope to see you in attendance at future comps, or at least to hear of your climbing exploits.  You told me you still had some climbing goals to meet, and I know you will meet them.  Thanks again.

Cheers,

Vinnie 

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climber511

I do want to apologize to the vendors who came - things got disorganized and I'm sorry you didn't get the time and exposure I wanted you to all have.

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climber511
30 minutes ago, Vinnie said:

Chris -- I just met you and I don't know you well, but I have heard of you since the day I discovered grip a year or so ago.  Now I am lucky to have met you and attended your last comp as promoter.  You created a backbone for the sport that Tank will surely continue.  It is great to see people keep doing things you started.  It is happening because it was a worthwhile thing to do when you did it, and will continue to be so into the future.  Good luck with what's next, and I hope to see you in attendance at future comps, or at least to hear of your climbing exploits.  You told me you still had some climbing goals to meet, and I know you will meet them.  Thanks again.

Cheers,

Vinnie 

It was great to meet you buddy - you'll hear from me from time to time I'm sure.

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Joseph Sullivan

Chris, Thank you so much for a wonderful event! You and your lovely wife were welcoming and warm. Very glad I was able to come after all. Great job and what a strong man you are for any age! 

Joe

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ClayEdgin

Thanks for all you do for the sport Chris! Your contests have been a constant source of inspiration and focus for a lot of people.

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Lucasraymond
On 12/10/2018 at 3:54 PM, climber511 said:

I do want to apologize to the vendors who came - things got disorganized and I'm sorry you didn't get the time and exposure I wanted you to all have.

Us vendors being there wasn't the main aspect of Gripmas and I certainly wouldnt want it to be at all. Fun times with good people and gripping lots of stuff. 

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Andrew P
On 12/10/2018 at 3:54 PM, climber511 said:

I do want to apologize to the vendors who came - things got disorganized and I'm sorry you didn't get the time and exposure I wanted you to all have.

Chris coming down and helping make the last Gripmas a success and hanging out with friends was my only goal. Thank you for everything. :)

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climber511
4 hours ago, Andrew P said:

Chris coming down and helping make the last Gripmas a success and hanging out with friends was my only goal. Thank you for everything. :)

 

4 hours ago, Andrew P said:

Chris coming down and helping make the last Gripmas a success and hanging out with friends was my only goal. Thank you for everything. :)

Thanks to you and Katie it was possible to even pull it off - you and many others were the reason it worked out.  No way I could have competed without the help of so many wonderful people.  And by the way I ended up with an Ivanko 1 1/4# plate - yours?

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Andrew P
15 hours ago, climber511 said:

 

Thanks to you and Katie it was possible to even pull it off - you and many others were the reason it worked out.  No way I could have competed without the help of so many wonderful people.  And by the way I ended up with an Ivanko 1 1/4# plate - yours?

Yep that's mine. That was for the Dube Cube that didn't even end up pulling out. 😊

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climber511
29 minutes ago, Andrew P said:

Yep that's mine. That was for the Dube Cube that didn't even end up pulling out. 😊

PM me the address to send it to please.

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climber511
On 12/20/2018 at 3:35 PM, climber511 said:

PM me the address to send it to please.

Still waiting on an address to send that plate to @Andrew Pantke!

 

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