"Hello?" I said around a mouth full of steak.
"Hey man... you on Facebook?"
"No I'm fucking eating man! Why what's up?"
"Just get on Facebook", he said, "and call me back."
I'm glad I decided against finishing my steak. Bill Lyndon, the man behind virtually all of Australia's strength sports including Aussie Power, had just posted that one of the top competitors in the Heavyweight division had had to forfeit his place in this year's Australia's Strongest Man. And Bill was giving that place to me, as first reserve.
My world exploded.
Of course I have accepted his offer, and I'm thrilled to be part of it all. I couldn't say no to an opportunity like this... even in these circumstances. I've got an MRI next Thursday morning, and hopefully that will yield some conclusive diagnosis and plan of action for my recovery. As of this moment, my abilities are severely lacking in any area relating to overhead press.
Below is the chart of benchmarks for Strongmen in the Opens (weights are in Kgs):
As you can see, my skills are all over the place. If I can walk the yoke without it screwing with my shoulder, I can now confidently say I fit in the A grade, at 400 kgs (or 882 lbs). But my Log clean-press hasn't had a chance to progress since 2nd round of national qualifiers, where I pressed 100 kgs for the first time with a full sized Log.
My deadlift is technically A grade now, as of last weekend's Am Nats, but I'm quietly confidant I'll pull 275 kgs (606 lbs) very very soon, so I'll be sitting between A and Elite level 1. Nice. And, finally, I'm right in between E1 and A grade with my Farmers walk as of last weekend... and I reckon I'll be Elite level 1 as of this weekend, when I walk 150 p/hand in the SMWA 2012 finals.
That's right; I've decided to compete. Haven't trained this week, just eating and resting. I'm not putting any pressure on myself to over-exert, and I will be bowing out of the Log event for certain (130 kgs for reps is well and truly out of the realms of possibility for right now... and likely for the next year to come!) I'm just in it for the fun, really. And to challenge my own personal records.
And to be stronger. That's pretty much it.
I will be entering the elite level of strength sports in this country, after about a year of training Strongman. With no real training or sporting background, no pedigree to speak of. This is something I'm still struggling to come to terms with.