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2020 King Kong (Wyalusing, PA, USA venue) - Rivellese Report


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Hello friends.  First something general to say:  I have been on the Grip Board for about 3 years now, and I believe I have been to about 10 comps - enough that I am not actually counting anymore, but hopefully just the tip of the iceberg as to the rest of my life.  All have been positive experiences, and this one deserves a special place as the first one post-COVID.  Kudos for people of all different views about this to have come together and managed to complete a full, legit comp in a way that seemed pretty safe and still left nothing to be desired.  Was everyone fully masked up at all times?  No.  But were people unnecessarily close to those who they were not already with?  No.  Small event, decent space, intelligent socializing.  I did not even notice people butting heads, politely or otherwise, over their disagreements about how to do this.  It was probably more cordial and friendly a comp than usual, in fact, and that is saying quite a bit.

I'll offer my perspective on the events, since that's the perspective I got to see lol.

Flask:  I started around 74.something because my competition max and PR was about 82, so I figured that gave me room to pass that but a safe enough start to get on the board.  It went up pretty easily, so I skipped the 2.5 jump and did 79.something for my second.  Not too bad, and I know flask gets late early, but I sort of just let the next 2.5 go by without asking to do it for my 3rd attempt and got 84.something.  This felt hard, but not at my limit.  And 2.5 is not such a crazy jump because I had just jumped by 5s for the last two attempts.  So, I went for the 89.something ... and it was a close one, but I eked it out.  A 7 pound contest PR for my first event.  I did not expect this, because I have been having difficulty with my right thumb since February, after hurting it pinching at max for a Reddit challenge, and I have only been able to train flask for max attempts for about two months leading up to the comp.  And I was in the low 80s last training session.  I have a tendency to perform better at comps than I do in training, but this was an excellent surprise.

2.25 Crusher: I had never touched this implement before, as my buds and I trained on a 2.5.  I thought it would be safe to start around my max on 2.5, which lately has been 150-ish, so if I recall correctly, I entered at 148.something.  Since that went up easily enough, I did my second at 163-ish; I got it.  On attempt 3, 168 went up, the weights hit the cross bar, then the bar that was supposed to hit the crossbar hit the cross bar, and then ... I dropped it.  The lift itself was way good to that point, but the drop ended that attempt.  I was fairly sure I would get it on attempt 4, but I was just a bit weaker than on 3, and I just missed again.  I wasn't really expecting my second attempt to be my final.  Oh well.

Grab ball.  My biggest surprise, even more than flask.  I was maxing in the 120s in training, but I got 127 without crazy trouble in practice before the comp lifts, so I figured I would open at my "max."  It went up pretty easily.  I jumped to 135, and it really didn't feel max either.  So I went to 140 instead of 137.5, and that too went up, although it felt hard.  Grab ball gets heavy even faster than flask, I think, despite the heavier base weight, once you get near your max -- so I took the minimum jump from attempt three to four, and tried 142.something.  Got it.  Barely.  About a 15 pound PR for me.  Another very unexpected result.

My last event has been confounding me.  I pulled 160 on the little bighorn at Cupid's Nightmare last year, and had done 154 on it at my very first comp in 2018 when I had never even seen the implement before.  Yet I have not been able to budge even 140-ish lately in training.  I don't know what has happened, since I should by all rights be at least where I was before I did anything ever.  So I did a few warmups and found I was indeed getting in the 140s, and opened there.  I went up gradually and did my fourth attempt at 153, and I got it.  That was better than anything I had been making in training for the last few months, but still a bit short of where I have performed in comp before.  For kicks, I tried 158 at the end after my last attempt, not to count, and just missed (no cross bar but felt like a just miss).  I guess that's not terribly far off having just made 160 last year, and even the 153 was in fact better than I expected, but LBH is an area where I could probably use some improvement in my form.

At the end, I finished 66th of the 182 men and 225 competitors overall, 6th of 23 in the 83kg weight class, and 9th of 22 in the Masters (over 50) class with no weight differentiation.  This is a bit better than 2018, when I was 81st of a smaller number I think, and I believe 8th of 24 in my weight class (and I was two years younger).  More important than how I stacked up against others, though, is how I feel about my own performance for myself.  In that regard, I won big.  I got a contest and personal PR on three events (flask, 2.25 crusher, and grab ball), got on the board on two events I had never contested before (2.25 crusher and grab ball), missed my contest PR in my expected problem event by less than training suggested I would, and had an AWESOME time doing all of the above.

Besides the substance of the comp, as noted, it was just a good experience to be there competing with my NY area grip-sports friends Anton, Anthony, Tom, and Tim.  Times have not been so social lately, but I got to spend some quality time with friends  Thanks again also to Jedd, who has really gotten it down to a science in running these things and promoting the sport, and Tom and his wife, for making us the coolest team shirts that I am sure we will use again!

Stay safe and stay grippin,'

Vin

Edited by Vinnie
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AdamTGlass

Vinnie I enjoy your trip reports 👍👍

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Stephen Anderson
4 hours ago, Vinnie said:

Hello friends.  First something general to say:  I have been on the Grip Board for about 3 years now, and I believe I have been to about 10 comps - enough that I am not actually counting anymore, but hopefully just the tip of the iceberg as to the rest of my life.  All have been positive experiences, and this one deserves a special place as the first one post-COVID.  Kudos for people of all different views about this to have come together and managed to complete a full, legit comp in a way that seemed pretty safe and still left nothing to be desired.  Was everyone fully masked up at all times?  No.  But were people unnecessarily close to those who they were not already with?  No.  Small event, decent space, intelligent socializing.  I did not even notice people butting heads, politely or otherwise, over their disagreements about how to do this.  It was probably more cordial and friendly a comp than usual, in fact, and that is saying quite a bit.

I'll offer my perspective on the events, since that's the perspective I got to see lol.

Flask:  I started around 74.something because my competition max and PR was about 82, so I figured that gave me room to pass that but a safe enough start to get on the board.  It went up pretty easily, so I skipped the 2.5 jump and did 79.something for my second.  Not too bad, and I know flask gets late early, but I sort of just let the next 2.5 go by without asking to do it for my 3rd attempt and got 84.something.  This felt hard, but not at my limit.  And 2.5 is not such a crazy jump because I had just jumped by 5s for the last two attempts.  So, I went for the 89.something ... and it was a close one, but I eked it out.  A 7 pound contest PR for my first event.  I did not expect this, because I have been having difficulty with my right thumb since February, after hurting it pinching at max for a Reddit challenge, and I have only been able to train flask for max attempts for about two months leading up to the comp.  And I was in the low 80s last training session.  I have a tendency to perform better at comps than I do in training, but this was an excellent surprise.

2.25 Crusher: I had never touched this implement before, as my buds and I trained on a 2.5.  I thought it would be safe to start around my max on 2.5, which lately has been 150-ish, so if I recall correctly, I entered at 148.something.  Since that went up easily enough, I did my second at either 158-ish or 163-ish; can't recall which right now, but I got it, and thought I'd get 168 -- but on attempt 3, 168 went up, the weights hit the cross bar, then the right bar to hit the cross bar also hit the cross bar, and then ... I dropped it.  The lift itself was way good to that point, but the drop ended that attempt.  I was fairly sure I would get it on attempt 4, but I was just a bit weaker than on 3, and I just missed again.  So now I am actually waiting for the results to see whether I got 158 or 163, since I wasn't really expecting my second attempt to be my final.  Should find out soon!

Grab ball.  My biggest surprise, even more than flask.  I was maxing in the 120s in training, but I got 127 without crazy trouble in practice before the comp lift, so I figured I would open at my "max."  It went up pretty easily.  I jumped to 135, and it really didn't feel max either.  So I went to 140 instead of 137.5, and that too went up, although it felt hard.  Grab ball gets heavy even faster than flask, I think, despite the heavier base weight, once you get near your max -- so I took the minimum jump from attempt three to four, and tried 142.something.  Got it.  Barely.  About a 15 pound PR for me.  Another very unexpected result.

My last event has been confounding me.  I pulled 160 on the little bighorn at Cupid's Nightmare last year, and had done 154 on it at my very first comp in 2018 when I had never even seen the implement before.  Yet I have not been able to budge even 140-ish lately in training.  I don't know what has happened, since I should by all rights be at least where I was before I did anything ever.  So I did a few warmups and found I was indeed getting in the 140s, and opened there.  I went up gradually and did my fourth attempt at 153, and I got it.  Better than anything I had been making in training for the last few months, but still a bit short of where I have performed in comp before.  For kicks, I tried 158 at the end after my last attempt, not to count, and just missed (no cross bar but felt like a just miss).  I guess that's not terribly far off having just made 160 last year, and it was in fact better than I expected even to get 153, but there's an area I could probably use some improvement in my form as opposed to a strength issue.

I haven't seen the overall results yet, but I expect that, like 2018 when I last did King Kong, I will find myself comfortably in the middle range of the 83K class. Perhaps the top half of the class, like last time, but most certainly neither one of the best or worst at my weight.  I am also anticipating, this being my first time participating also as an over-50 "Master," that I will be in the middle of that group -- some big fellas in there whom I will never beat, but I think I am aging well and I am at the youngest end of the category, so I don't expect to be at the bottom of it, either.  More important than how I stacked up against others is how I feel about my own performance for myself.  In that regard, I won.  I got a contest and personal PR on three events (flask, 2.25 crusher, and grab ball), got on the board on two events I had never contested before (2.25 crusher and grab ball), missed my contest PR in my expected problem event by less than training suggested I would, and had an awesome time doing all of the above.

Besides the substance of the comp, as noted, it was just a good experience to be there competing with my NY area grip-sports friends Anton, Anthony, Tom, and Tim.  Times have not been so social lately, but I got to spend some quality time with friends  Thanks again also to Jedd, who has really gotten it down to a science in running these things and promoting the sport.

Stay safe and stay grippin,'

Vin

Great write up!

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Also another thanks to @Tom Flesher and his wife and her friend, who made our "New York YANKERS" team shirts -- these were fun, and I am sure we will be using them at future comps.

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19 minutes ago, liftyzig said:

It was a pleasure lifting with you Vinnie, great job and look forward to the next one!

 

- Clint

Yes, can't wait to compete again.  You kicked big ass in the 83kg class.  I might send you a chocolate cake a day or two before the next one.  Or maybe lose 20 pounds myself.

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