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International travel can be brutal. This really comes into play when traveling half way around the globe. As predicted Team Jackal's travel involved lots of long lines, cramped seats, poor airline food, stale air, boredom, and no sleep. Upon arriving in Johannesburg we had a 2.5 hour shuttle bus ride in an old cramped van traveling on bumpy congested roads, driving the opposite way than we do in the good old USA. The travel was well worth the journey. The greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area is a sprawling Metropolis of 10.2 million people. Potchefstroom was a much more relaxed college town of 128,000. The meet venue was on the North-West University campus, and our residence hall was part of a new sports complex that was recently built and hosted athletes from the 2010 World Cup Soccer Tournament. It was surrounded by a large Cricket Field, Track and Field Complex, and Rugby Training Field. We had a very comfortable 5 day stay that included beautiful 80+ degree weather. There's nothing like warm weather for the aging joints.
The USAPL Men's team had a successful meet coming in 4th behind very strong, young teams from Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. Team Jackals had a lot of success. Jackals Gym member and Team USAPL Assistant Coach Gary Grahn worked his tail off all week working hard with USAPL Head Coach Rob Keller to maximize all of our performances. Nick Tylutki finished in 5th place despite injuring his back in warming up in the deadlift. He was very gutsy in continuing in the meet and made two obviously painfull pulls to secure his position. Jon Krogman was on fire and made his first 8 lifts, just missing his last deadlift to move from 5th to 4th. His 5th place finish was quite an accomplishment in his first Open IPF Worlds and we look forward to sending him off around the globe for many more years to come.
I had one of my better days on the platform. No, it was not the Gold Medal overall, but the Bronze Medal was very satisfying in what was probably the deepest field in IPF history. It took 1000 kg to secure 10th place. I made all 9 lifts, playing it fairly conservative in the squat (848) and the bench (589). Heading into the deadlift I was in 10th place, but I moved up quickly in the field with my 804 opener. I jumped my 2nd attempt to 848 which moved me into 2nd place going into the last round. The meet could not have worked out any better as I really wanted to have an attempt at a 400 kg+ (881) deadlift. Only two other men in IPF World Championship history have pulled over 400 kg. As I sat, I needed 887 to move into the Silver Medal position and 881 to move into the Bronze Medal position. After some discussion, I decided it was best to attempt 881 rather than go for the Silver. I was very happy to be in a position to Medal and fatigue was setting in. I got myself really worked up into an altered state of mind, and made a very tough pull which was received with 3 white lights. Considering the field, I was very satisfied to win Gold in the deadlift and Bronze overall.
Now that I am home, I am looking forward to some down time in my training. I have had a very busy year that included the GNC Pro Performance Arnold Classic Deadlift Championship, USAPL Masters Nationals, USAPL Open Nationals and the IPF Worlds in Potchefstroom. It is time to take a good 3 weeks off from training and spend some more time with the Family, and maybe get out and do some hunting with what remains of our Minnesota Fall hunting season. A rest is always good and I am sure that sometime during week 3 I will be fighting the urge to get back into the gym and start preparing for what comes in 2011.
Train hard, stay healthy, set your goals high, and don't forget to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list!