TO GET the disappointing stuff out the way first, no I did not compete in Static Monsters, which does mean this year is more than likely a total bust as far as competing is concerned. I still intend to try some new 1RMs before the year is out. I just couldn't risk further injury on the day.
While I've waited out lumbar strains that, in the past, took a few days to subside and wouldn't interrupt my training for more than a week, this last one was different. It caused what Dan Macri suggested is 'neural guarding' - muscle knots that graduated up my spine, from lumbar to thoracic. I carried it through training over the next two months as it mostly seemed not to be too bad, and I honestly assumed it would dissipate in time. But a week out from the comp, it flared up again - in the thoracic - during log press, and took a bunch of my power in the clean.
My current work/life situation has not made things any easier. I am sleeping an average of not even four hours per night, so my recovery is for shit. This was really apparent on the fifteenth, when I was barely able to do two of the three sets of squats I had programmed without passing out. I scrapped the rest of the routine, did some extra cardio, and went home to try and sleep.
All in all I felt, on the day, that entering Static Monsters would be foolhardy, so I sat it out and assisted where required instead. Had a good chat with a bunch of people I'd not seen in some years, from some of the first trainees I coached at PTC to some of the strongest men and women in the state, one of whom was my first coach. By my figuring, there was a combined total of well over fifty years of experience in strength sports, in that one room, on that one day, in our little gym in West Perth.
Of course, the day belonged to Navarre Top, current Western Australia's Strongest Man and the owner of a shiny new 400 kilogram axle deadlift! I have had the experience of training alongside this Minotaur, who is only in his mid-twenties and has decades of national and international accolades in his future, if he remains this passionate and committed to the sport. He is a phenom in a funny hat.