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It has again been too long since my last blog, so I have lots to talk about. First of all, our baby was due in March, so in January I packed in 2 meets. The first one was the Dino Gym Old Time Strongman meet. This was my first meet back from my elbow surgery, and though things were not completely back to where I would have liked them, I needed to take the opportunity to compete. It went rather well. I became the first person in the organization to go over 900 pounds in the Anderson squat. I also had the highest total, but again came in second due to formula.
Then came the Zercher Classic at the infamous “Clark’s Gym” in Columbia, MO where I did battle with Hall of Famer Joe Garcia. A buddy of mine who competed here with me last year called it “The Zercher Death March”, and rightfully so with 13 lifts and over 28,000 pounds lifted (not counting warm-ups), you feel it when it is all over. I ended up with the highest total again, but even though I closed the gap on him from last year, I got second on formula.
Then in March, our son was born. We named him Everett Michael Todd, and he is a huge blessing to my family and me. Sleep is less, and I have to maneuver my training around him right now, but I am enjoying every minute of it. Phoebe is so proud to be a big sister.
We have been actively involved in preparing for the tenth annual Missouri’s Strongest Man: The Gus Lohman Memorial Challenge. The divisions are starting to fill up, with each class looking to be a tough battle. We do this contest in memory of my grandpa, and all proceeds go to Camp Quality, a camp for children with cancer. The last few years we have been privileged enough to be invited to perform a strongman show for the kids at the camp, and it was very rewarding to see some of the cool things that are made possible with the donations from events such as ours. We have raised over $27,000 over the years, and hope we can improve on that greatly this year. One great piece of news is that Time Warner Cable's Midwest Sports will be on hand to film and televise the contest. We are all very excited.
Training is going pretty well. I have hit some big numbers in my heavy lifts in the past few months. I hit an unofficial 1075 in the neck lift, which would have eclipsed my world record if done in a meet. The great thing is that there was plenty left in the tank. I am making strides in my deadlift, and think I will finally break the 700lb barrier this year. Even though my right elbow has a more limited range of motion, my pressing strength is back to where it was before the surgery.
Competition wise, I am not sure where I will compete next. I would like to find a powerlifting meet to hit sometime this fall. I would like to do some more all-round meets, and maybe shoot for an 1100lb neck lift. One way or the other, with the help of HMB, I know my recovery will be on key so I can train my hardest to achieve these goals.