Yes, I train and practice a lot! But I don't train and practice this sport. I've handled a kettlebell millions of times and that obviously helped me even be in a position to participate, but there is one big huge difference between the way I train and practice and the rules of the sport. In Kettlebell Sport the events, the "test", the competition is done in one 10 minute long "set", either a snatch or a jerk (both are overhead skills), but you are only allowed to switch or change hands, right and left, one time! So, as soon as one side tires and you switch hands, that's it! You have to finish, if you can! And that my friends was my first and only goal...to finish the entire 10 minute set, 5 min R, 5 min L. Rep count was irrelevant!
I had never done this with a 12kg, ever before, although I have done something similar w/8kg and 10kg, but only a few times. I have been playing with strength endurance of my overhead skill for years now, including long work sets without switching hands, and I have always included pacing work in my training, so I knew how hard this skill was. But that's not all of it. To be able to train this way there are other techniques and skills involved, none of which I've ever practiced....ever! So maybe now you can imagine what kind of pressure (and pride) I was feeling, especially considering I had 10 days to practice, 3 of those days I was traveling and unable away from my own workouts and comp bell.
Mark and I left for Orange County Saturday early morning and the competition started at 11:00am. The day before I had decided that part on my visualization was to imagine the word "FUN" on a banner hung across whatever my mind was focused on. Whatever was going to happen was going to happen and having fun was what it was all about....that and lasting the 10 minutes! I was scheduled to compete in two events. The 5 minute "hardstyle" snatch test, of which I could choose any weight and use as many hand switches as I wanted to, and at the last minute (10 days earlier) I agreed to try my luck, and skill, at the single jerk for 10 minutes. Up until that morning I had only completed two 4 minutes sets and one 6 minute set.
Lucky me I had a lot of support and confidence fr0m many many new friends, two of which, Roland and Galina Denzel I had only met one other time, last year when they both came to swing with me in San Clemente. Galina has competed KB Sport for some time and was also scheduled to compete the single 10 min jerk. She was in the 9th flight (I think) while I was in the 14th.....again luck was on my side that I got to watch Galina test first!
Throughout the entire 10 minutes Galina smiled. It was obvious she was having fun and happy. Didn't anyone tell her how hard this was? Didn't anyone tell her that competition was about gutting it out, suffering through? Which it is, but I forgot that, if it does in fact come down to gutting it out and suffering through, that's my kind of fun!
While I watched Galina effortlessly perform her set it became more and more clear that all I needed to do was smile! Just smile! Literally lift the corners of my mouth and smile. Smile if and when it started to feel hard because if for some reason I couldn't finish, at least I could feel happy, and look happy about whatever it was I did finish. I am truly convinced that this last bit, this last lesson in attitude, was the key to the success I felt before, during, and after I stepped on and off that platform.
To be honest I really did not know if I could do it, luckily I remembered to start the set with a smile! (you'll see it as the clock read 10 seconds before the start in top video!). I didn't look at the clock until 2 min 40 sec, and it didn't feel that hard, at this point there was no doubt I was going to go the distance. Breathe and smile, breathe and smile, breathe and smile! Every time I forced a smile it made me fell like nothing could stop me. With every smile I felt a little laugher inside about the whole thing!