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2011 December - A Gripmas Carol - climber511


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Gripmas 2011 was a great contest. I had several last minute cancellations for various reasons so attendance was down from what I had expected – but the quality was still very high with lots of PRs set and a few World and/or Gripmas Carol records set. The battle between Andrew and Jedd in the Elite class was epic – back and forth with almost no difference after 4 events – all the marbles were on the table going into the HH and Andrew pulled it out with a great performance using 300# per hand.

In the Open Brent and Nick had a good battle with Brent edging him out in the end.

Josh Dale and I had our usual battle royal but Brent asked to compete in both the Open and Lt Wt classes and said he would do the heavier Medley. I’d never considered that being done and wasn’t real sure how to go about it but it seemed to work out fine and made the lightweight class a real battle between the three of us. Brent has gone from maybe 270# last year down to 204# bodyweight at weigh ins and he looked great – and if he lost much strength – it didn’t seem to show here. Brendan Gerber was really impressive – 18 years old and an 82.5K class world record pinch and handily won the HH for his class – Wow!

My Personal Gripmas Carol 2011.

Grippers in chokers set at parallel – My best ever was set last year with a 191.8# RGC rated close (a Super Elite). This year I tied that (exact same gripper) and came within a 16th of closing a 195+ SE gripper. So while not exactly progress – I am still squeaking out the smallest of gains it seems – even on an event I dislike. That’s closing in on an easy COC #4 in a choker. I know that doesn’t mean much to some but for me progress is progress – I’ll take it.

David Horne’s two hand Euro pinch. I had been having a terrible time in training before the contest but on the day I pulled things together somehow and pulled a very small PR with 232.6#. This is 105.51 kilos and I think will keep me in the top 20.

Double Sledge Hammer from a dead stop. I trained this hard before the contest and did as well in the contest as I had been doing in training – but others were simply stronger than I was. No excuses. I did 45# and a miss on 47.5#. This event – while in no way like what Slim did or does certainly gives you a perspective on the incredible strength levels Slim has with the sledges. The dead stop for a 5 count seemed to be the answer to making for a strict and fair judging method but it does cuts way way down on what can be done.

The Light Weight Medley was just a touch heavier all around this time than last year – and I had what was for me a terrific run. I got 23 out of 25 and ran out of time before trying the York Fatman Blob and 2-45s – neither of which I was likely to get this late in the contest anyway. I feel this was my best performance in the meet. This was the first time I had ever had different Medley weights between classes – which means a direct comparison is not possible as it usually is. I didn’t like doing it but the differences are becoming greater every year between the newer or smaller and the larger more veteran contestants and it did work out OK I think. I would have like to tried the harder Medleys though.

The Hercules Hold – I had done this event one time out at John Beaty’s BBB contest and did quite well on it. But maybe 30 seconds in I started to feel actual muscle fibers tearing in my left triceps (felt like down in next to the bone sort of) – very strange and it wasn’t worth the injury that was sure to happen. I figured it was some kind of fluke but then 2 others had exactly the same thing happen to them. Each side of the equipment was identical (I measured everything) – I (we all) have no idea what was going on. One second I felt in total control and like I could hold for a much longer time and then I had to just shut down and release. I have a very small spot of discoloration and bruising today but I think I am fine.

I want to give special Thanks to Sean Dockery and Tony (Doc’s young helper) for making everything possible. With them doing all the work everything ran as smooth as silk I thought. Sean is THE JUDGE for a grip competition – no doubt about it! Also Thank You to everyone there for jumping in and helping move things around – load - or whatever needed done at the time. Gripmas wouldn’t have been possible without the selfless attitudes of everyone each year. Thanks to all!

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