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The 2010 Arnold Classic was one of the best experiences of my entire life. As is typical in most valuable experiences in life it is the people that made the Arnold Classic an unforgettable experience. I would like to thank all the members from Team HMB that were at the event: Shawn Baier (a better friend than Shawn would be hard to find), Brad Gillingham (maybe the most selfless person on the planet!), Molly Nelson, Catherine Chiarelli, Eric Todd, and Bryce Holmes. Team HMB supported me the whole way, even despite the unfavorable result at the contest. It was a blast working the HMB booth all weekend with such great people. I would also like to thank Jay from Optimum Nutrition – ON has great quality products and even better people involved with their organization. Jay actually hooked me up with some ABB Speed Stack to get me up for the competition, which helped a bunch.
I knew going into the competition that it was unlikely that I would perform all that well, considering the back injury and lack of training that resulted from it. I have actually finally gotten an official evaluation on the low back injury – I have a torn right erector and torn thoracolumbar fascia on my right side.
All the lifters that I warmed up with and hung out with treated me unbelievably and are great people. A big thank you goes to the following people for making my first GNC IPF Pro Deadlift a great experience: Brad Gillingham, Pat McGettigan, Nick Tyluki, and Jon Krogman. I would also like to the thank Robert Keller, Johnny Graham, and Rick Fowler for putting on such a great event each year at the Arnold Classic.
As for the actual competition, I had initially planned on opening at 744 before the injury, but knocked my opener down to 722. I wanted to still pull heavy enough to set up a pretty heavy second lift that would result in a decent Wilkes score. Stepping out onto the main stage of the Arnold Classic with a great crowd was a rush in itself. The opener of 722 went up pretty strong, but I knew I did not have much more in me with the shape my back was in. I called for 755, hoping to be able to grind it out and end up with a decent Wilkes score. It was a very difficult pull. The moment the bar got to the locked out position, two big calluses ripped in my right hand and the bar fell to the floor. My 2010 Arnold competition was over. Congratulations to Brad Gillingham and Roger Herring for their performances in the GNC Pro Deadlift.
God willing, I will be back next year to compete in the GNC Pro Deadlift and with a healthy body! The first step is getting my back healed. The next step is qualifying. The important thing to remember about this year’s event is that God used it to teach me a tremendous amount, and I am thankful for this.