Friday night, Christine, Zach, Diane, Matt and myself all drove into Sacramento. Despite being in separate cars, we all arrive at the hotel at the same time. Sacramento is cheap. Two beds and a pull out sofa bed for $100 a night. On a Saturday. Awesome!
I woke up Saturday morning, stepped on the scale and weighed 170.6 lbs. Reminder: I was supposed to weigh in at or below 165 lbs by 2pm. I decided I wasn't even going to try that. Five and a half pounds is just too much for a local meet.
So as a 75+kg lifter, I would have to lift 166kg to qualify for the American Open. I was prepared to do 156kg as a 75kg lifter. Di and I decided we'd go for it anyway.
Sacramento is freaking hot. And a high school is a friggin' sauna when there is no air conditioner turned on.
At weigh ins I put down 60kg and 90 kg for my openers. Those were the numbers we'd use if I was going for the 156 total. As I warmed up the snatch, my "curtsy snatch", I decided to open at 63kg, which was my planned second attempt.
63kg went fine. I asked for 66kg. Diane made double sure since I hadn't gone over 65kg in practice since my shoulder hurt at that weight. I said that if it hurt, I'd forfeit my third snatch, banking on adrenaline to help me pop the weight higher than I normally do. Sure enough, weight flew up and no pain.
I'm sure it helped that I was sweating balls from the heat and there was no chance of my shoulder cooling down.
I called for 69kg next, deciding that it all felt so good and I was already in "uncharted territory" so I might as well give myself as much breathing room as I can in the clean and jerk to qualify. 69kg went up without a hitch as well.
Pardon the quality, the video was taken on a phone and then texted to me. I can only do so much magic.
Next up, clean and jerks.
A snatch of 69kg means I needed a clean and jerk of 97kg. I've done that, so I'd just need to keep my wits about me (it was getting really late in the day) and be smart with my warm ups. We decided to shoot for 92kg, 95 kg, 97kg.
During warm ups, my jerks felt great, but the weights felt heavy in my hands. That's the problem with large heats, your adrenaline spikes for the snatches, then your energy drops off. Now you have to warm up your clean and jerks while struggling from an adrenaline crash. I had to just keep reminding myself that it doesn't matter how my arms feel, this is all about my legs.
92kg went up just fine. 95kg, however, well, let's just say that I haven't competed in a while. In competition, there is a 30 sec warning buzzer to let the athlete know how much time is left to start the lift. If you stop the timer during the 30 second buzzer, it makes a double buzzer sound that is similar to the missed lift buzzer. Basically, I start my 95kg clean on the buzzer, the guy stops the timer at the buzzer, and I catch the clean thinking I've been called on a technical foul and just let it go. Oops.
I should know better. But it's been a long time. My thoughts were in a million different directions when that sound went through my head.
I still needed to make 97 kg and I had a two minute clock. We decided to go for it, so Di went to make the incremental jumps to give a little extra time to rest. 97kg went up easily, with some bobbles during the jerk recovery. That's it! I qualified!
I was the last clean and jerk of the evening, around 9:15pm. I hadn't cared to followed what anyone else had lifted. I knew a girl opened in the snatch bigger than I had finished, so I assumed I was in second in the end. Turns out, my 97kg clean and jerk put me in first! Cherry on top, I must say!
It all turned out far better and more dramatic than I expected the day to be. I'll be riding this high probably through at least Monday. Then, back to the grind.