United States Strongman Nationals 2016 is a day shy of two weeks out… and I don’t feel anywhere near as ready as I had wanted to. I feel and know I am much stronger than last year, but the competition is three times the size it was last year. I’ve refused to let myself think of it…because when I do, it starts to freak me out. But if you’re not nervous about a competition there is definitely something wrong with you, Nationals and 340… yes THREE HUNDRED FORTY competitors… Well, that’s not different, that’s… hell I’m not even sure what that is.
The final three weeks in a training cycle seem to be the toughest mental game. I’m ready for the break from training, I’m fighting to not become sidetracked with my diet and I have to scroll quickly through social media to avoid seeing other people’s ‘highlights.’
Which, on that thought; I’ve done some looking back and in the past almost two years I have not taken much if any time away from training. In the last year and a half, I have pretty much gone from competition to competition. Focusing on nothing but hitting the programmed weights and suddenly it’s summer time 2016.
Wait…WHAT?!? Summer 2016 already?!?!
In conversation with several of my fellow female strongman athletes, I’ve decided it’s time to start crossing off a few things on my bucket list. First and foremost to not spend the entire summer training for another competition and letting the few short months of summer in Michigan pass me by, again.
Last year my Valkyrie sister Brandi took some time off and headed out with her “man-friend” (I freakin LOVE that term) to Montana for some amazing camping. I cannot even begin to describe how jealous I am. That is something I have always wanted to do but just kept saying, someday. Well. Enough with this someday shit.
Most of the want-to-dos on my bucket list consist of things that make me nervous or very uncomfortable… Which they should, right? No skydiving is not one. I was a paratrooper, I got paid to do that shit and at much shorter altitudes. However, I decided to start with something small…or so I thought.
A little project. Replacing the licenses plate bracket on my Jeep because it’s been busted, well lets just say a while now. Doing any kind of work to my own vehicle is pretty far outside my comfort zone. I know how to change the wiper blades, check fluid levels, add oil if needed and put gas in it…that’s about it. But I figured just how hard can changing a licenses plate bracket be? I mean enough Jeep owners have done it, or relocated it… So follow the directions and be good.
Just the bracket itself in the box.
Ok. Hellooooo YouTube instructional videos.
First video, was decent, but of course the Jeep looks utterly spotless and straight off the assembly line. Mine? Mine is almost ten years old and what the fuck is that and how the hell do I find it?? Three videos, a diagram, an adobe file of instructions and I now know I have six bolts I have to remove to pull off the rear bumper to gain access to these two tiny stupid screws that hold on the broken licenses plate bracket. This took several hours a good amount of WD40, a few cuss words and some good old country music. Eventually the bumper was off, or enough to have access to the screws and then quickly I was able to replace the plate and start the process of putting everything back together. In what would be considered by seasoned Jeepers as an asinine amount of time. My rookie ass was feeling pretty damn proud of the “little” project I had decided to start with.
My neighbor came over right as I was finishing and said if he would of seen me sooner, he would have come over and helped. As much as I appreciated this gesture, in truth I’m glad I didn’t have any help. It forced me to focus and make the job happen without someone taking over -which knowing myself, I might have let him with how frustrated I was at certain points.
He did however offer to help on any new projects, which I told him I would gladly take him up on… I have a couple that I am not sure I have the right tools or know-how to get them done. We spent a good considerable amount of time standing in my backyard discussing modifications and him giving me his advise (which is very welcomed, and if you saw his Jeep you wouldn’t argue either).
This later got me talking to my girlfriends about a few short things I want to do… I want to travel. I want to go camping. I want to actually take my Jeep off-roading -something that has not happened yet, I know, I know. Shut it. I want to take my Jeep off-roading and camping. I want to start doing the things we all see on Instagram and look at wishfully, daydreaming from our cubicles and computer screens. At 37 it’s time to stop daydreaming and start putting a plan together. It’s time to start having these pictures in my phone and not because I saved them from some random website to remind me of what I want to go…but because I was there, because I took the picture.
This by no means, means I am walking away from strongman; I love it too much. I just need to have something besides work and training consuming my life. Especially in the very few short summer months we have in Michigan.
Wednesday is June 1st, if I am lucky I might make it to the end of September without the doors going back on my Jeep because it’s too cold. By November the weather here just turns shitty and unless you are into winter sports (which I am not) you’re pretty much stuck indoors until maybe April but probably May of the following year. So basically, you have 3 good warm to hot months and two months of iffy weather, this year we got lucky and it warmed up considerably in May.
Tomorrow, I’m going to the beach.