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My long journey to Russia has paid great dividends, as I was able to win the gold medal in the 120+ Kg Class at the inaugural 2013 IPF Classic World Championships in Suzdal, Russia. I have always tried to be an athlete that keeps his emotions in check during times of success or following disappointing performances, but it is hard for me to hide my excitement when discussing how much this victory means to me. To start with I have been very supportive of the RAW movement for several years. In recent years, I envisioned that the day would come when enough people would be so dissatisfied with the advances in supportive gear that the IPF would go back to its roots and sanction a RAW World Championship. At age 47 I have been on a long journey competing around the Globe. Not only do I feel very fortunate to have been able to compete in the first IPF RAW World Championship, but winning against athletes that are 15-20 years younger is such an added bonus. I had to fight through a lot of injuries this time… including a chronic glute/hamstring injury and then straining a pectoral muscle two days before the trip. I was not able to lift at full strength, but I implemented a conservative game plan and was able to make all 9 of my attempts for the victory. I have now competed in 15 IPF World Championships. My Gold Medal in Suzdal marked the 6th time that I have won, but this may have been the most satisfying one yet.
All three of the junior lifters that I coach at Jackals Gym performed very well despite the long journey to Suzdal. Flying across the Atlantic Ocean is tough enough, but upon arrival in Moscow the 3-4 hour bus ride, that was advertised, turned into a 6 hour gauntlet of mental toughness. The four of us from the gym were crammed into a large van, with a non-functioning air conditioning system, along with 10 others traveling through heavy traffic on very poor roads. I have never been happier to finally arrive at the hotel. Sam Derynck was first to lift… the very next morning in the 74KG Class. He turned in a perfect 9/9 performance to place 4th. Tony Schwebach also lifted very well in the 105KG Class making his first 7 lifts, before his grip failed in the deadlift, to place 5th. Big Luke Klein was close to winning but fell a little short and placed 2nd in the 120+ class. All 3 of these guys have a great future in the sport.
After taking some time off to rest up I will get back to the gym and start training for the next big event. Having the opportunity to compete in strength athletics for the past 25 years has been a great ride. I am looking forward to more opportunities in the future
Train smart, stay healthy, set your goals high, and don't forget to add GNC Pro Performance HMB to your supplement list! Good luck in meeting your strength and fitness goals!!!