For those of you who haven’t seen the banner hanging up inside Trident, Andrea is a champion.
She won the women’s masters weightlifting championship on Friday, March 8th, She competed in the 40-45 age group at the 58 kg weight class.
Next time you see her, tell her congrats and give her a big hug or high five.
“Set Goals- Work Hard”
If you’ve never been to a weightlifting event, you would have been in the same boat as us… the energy and excitement (on the platform that is) was infectious and nerve racking to say the least. It’s like being on a roller coaster of adrenaline and quaaludes every 22 seconds; athletes lathered in chalk and singlets jockey for position on the warm up platforms side by side, anxiously waiting their turn to be called upstairs to the main stage for three attempts at the Snatch and Clean & Jerk.
My main job was watching the leader board, which tells the athlete how much time they have before they are expected to be on the platform and “go get some.” The problem lies in the numbers, each competitor picks a weight with which they want to start and then they get two opportunities to change weight for the opener and remaining two lifts. Since weight never comes off the bar, as each competitor adjusts their weights the leader board changes rapidly, and at any given moment you may have between 1-16 minutes to be, as we say, “100% physical and 100% mental.”
Warm up. Sit down. Warm up. Sit down. Wait! You’re up next! Sprint up the stairs, chalk up and lift. One attempt – no mistakes, unless of course you want to psych your opponents out and up your weights at the last moment and make them go first, which is exactly what Andrea did. I love psychological warfare.
As the reigning champion watched Andrea warm up, like a bad poker player her face betrayed her emotions, “damn who the hell is this chick. ” As Andrea’s warm up weight got closer to the current champions opener her face started to change. Andrea’s coach, Cara Heads-Slaughter, tells her to put more weight on the warm up bar (80% of Andreas 1rm) trying to calm her nerves, promote confidence, and psychologically destroy the current champ. As Andrea moves the bar flawlessly (as we have all seen), the champs face changes. Nervous, her coach and her confer and up the anti, raising their opening weights.
The champ is on the warm up platform and cleans… and we all cringe. She is way on her toes, knees too far forward, chest out of position and way out in the frontal plane, (don’t forget we are CrossFit coaches), but damn she is kinda strong. I see her wince and know she is worried. Andrea, you’re up on the main platform! The bar is loaded to 60kg and BOOM!! ”Wow that was fast I thought,” now the current champ goes, boom (small boom) and to make a long story short it’s now the last lift for both of the girls in the 40-45 year-old 58KG class.
I never knew how the games of weight was played but there is a whole lot of math going on in Cara’s head. Calculating body weight, 1 rep maxes, and adrenaline, she determines we are winning by 1kg, but Andrea has to declare her next weight first, which gives her opponent the opportunity to up her weights and win the whole enchilada. We attempt to declare 66Kg, but we (see: I) don’t get the declaration into the judges on time and the bar is loaded to 65Kg. After the confusion is settled Andrea has 20 seconds to get the bar off the ground or it’s counted as a miss.
Andrea graciously steps up to the bar (well, hectically/graciously) with time ticking off the clock like a time bomb in my head… and cleans the weight. BOOM!! Put it in the books baby! The bar went up so fast it looks like it barely weighs 30Kg, but if you’ve never seen Andrea mad, it ain’t pleasant, cause apparently I’m a moron and didn’t announce the declaration on time. I’m pretty sure I’m also responsible for the black plague and sinking of the Titanic because if the reigning champ cleans 65KG successfully, Andrea loses. I’m not saying that driving her home for four hours without a gold medal because of a clerical error is going to be romantic, “but Lucy, you got some ‘splainin to do!”
Needless to say it was a pleasant drive, we mostly talked about how as adults, we forget to set goals and we forget that we need to continue to strive for new challenges. My wife set a huge goal for herself, worked hard at it, and saw it come to fruition. I couldn’t be more proud.
I love you Andrea.
Special Shout out to Laura Simms, Rick Bucinell and yours truly