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2010 September - United States Grip Championships - Barbe705


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GGC 2010

The night before the comp I had gone up to Jedd’s house to help with any last minute work that needed to be done. After everything was set we headed back to the B and B and ran into Andrew, Chris, and Zach. I have to say that all of us staying at the same place made for a much different atmosphere. It was really pleasant to have that extra time together to talk and catch up. The grip nerd gossip was thick. It’s also a nice break from my normal routine of getting up at 4am, drive 5 hours, compete, drive home.

On the morning of the comp it was chilly but not nearly as cold as predicted. The gym was warm from the dehumidifier running all night and the space was clean and organized. We all started poking around and warming up while we talked some more and got settled in. The grippers all felt like bricks regardless of what they calibrated at.

GRIPPERS: I had borrowed a 3.5 from Jedd a while ago to train on. I’ve been closing it off and on since then. I was hoping to get that and maybe a step or two higher. Not today! Like I said, they all felt like bricks and I had to back off after my first attempt was a miss. After dropping down I got a good close and then skipped over the one I missed. I got a 174 something. My final attempt was on the 3.5 I mentioned. Not even close. I couldn’t even get it set right and probably shouldn’t have tried it to save myself. Even still it was a 3-4# PR over what I did at the cgc. I still wish I had closed the 3.5

PINCH: We went thinnest to thickest width in the pinch. That means that Chris Rice went first. Watching Chris struggle put the fear of god into me. I’ve never been at a comp where Chris didn’t dominate the pinch. He was having trouble with weights that shouldn’t have even been his last warm up. I started planning just to get a mark. I still felt good since I had gotten 215 a couple of weeks ago and missed 220 by an inch or so. I figure to play it safe and I could get the 220 attempt, if not the lift. No way. I hit 190 and it felt okay. 200 felt rough but not awful. 213 broke the ground a couple of inches and that was it. I had another attempt at 213 with the same result. If I had gone first I think this would have gone very badly for me.

AXLE: The axle was killing my back and hips. I couldn’t seem to get warmed up even though it was the 3rd event and it was warm in the gym. I took at least twice as many warm ups as I normally would with a mixed grip. Eventually some of the knots seemed to work out but, I was still worried. After the WSH series leg 1 Chris and I had played around with axle to see where we were for GGC. We were both hitting 343. We played around quite a bit and couldn’t pull more than that to save our lives. On the day of the comp I tried using as much wrist flexion as I could. After reading Mobster’s article I was going to get away from my more neutral wrist position. Of course I decided to do this in a comp rather than practice. It worked. I got 323, 343, 353, 363. I think if I had planned differently I might have been able to get 373. So, I was very happy with that.

MEDLEY: Part of the medley was an anvil carry followed by a farmers walk. That part of the medley was outside. I’ll have to check the film to see what really happened, my wife missed the start, here’s what I remember. I was walking back to front chalking some things and trying to put together a plan. When I’m almost done Jedd tells me to hurry up it’s starting to rain. I assume I make some smartass comment. Then I notice the rain drops on the anvil. I toss the chalk on the table and start screaming at the m to start the clock. I was holding the anvil and leaning forward like I was getting ready for a sprint. Finally I got the beep and I was off. The anvil wasn’t bad at all. The farmers handles were heavy, thick and a very long distance. I know my farmers pick and start is slow but, I felt like I never got any speed at all with them. At the first station the blob felt dusty. I think it broke the ground, not much more. The rest of the items went easily except for the #3. Couldn’t get it.

The second station had an 8# front lever with coin. This lift has defeated me so many times. It did again today.(I will be training this weekly until I own it) There was a jug lift and a roller that went easily enough. I jogged over to the pinch station and took off my belt. The anvil by the heal is something I have never done before and really only made a passing effort. I believe Chris Rice is the only one who got it. The thick pinch and bar went up fast. I got the 50# DB by the end slowwwwwly. I managed the key pinch even though it felt waxy. Watching the video I see that after getting the key pinch I turned to Andrew with my moth wide open and pointed at him(neither he nor Jedd got the key pinch). Oh yeah, there was a bomb lift to knock over scale weights and a blob(37.5, ½ 75). The scale weights and blob went up.

The final section was v-bar and support. I think they were a 315# 1” and a 225# 2”. I got them both but, had to reset on the 2”. The Slater bell and the 150# thick handle weren’t to bad. I did stab myself in the groin with the thick handle though. The Rolling Thunder was just way to heavy for me at about 20# over my PR. At this point I was running out of time and really didn’t have anything left that I was even able to budge….except the #3. I think I had about 15 secs left. I walked over to it and just held it while I tried to catch my breath. At 5 secs remaining I started the close. Andrew called it closed with by shouting “yes!”. The buzzer went off somewhere between the “e” and “s” in yes. Then I wandered around and tried to breathe and drink water at the same time.

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