Sunday, February 23, 2014

no title, just grief, and a snatch set

It's now 3:30 in the morning, Sunday, and I woke up about 1/2 hour ago.  As soon as my eyes opened I looked over at the clock, saw what time it was, started to remember what happened yesterday and immediately started tearing up. My eyes are like a dripping facet and my heart, my kettlebell heart, is broken.  I know it may sound a bit dramatic, but I'm known to be a bit dramatic (tears are coming down faster now).  I'm just going to stick with the facts from this point on....the facts about how I experienced yesterday's event.

I'm posting the video of my snatch set.  Mark has watched it but I have not, and to be honest I have not been able to look at it myself yet.  On one hand it doesn't matter, on the other hand...well, I'm not sure...oh yes, the facts....

I had my goal of 200 snatch reps for this competition for months now.  I did the training, and I was on track.  "200" reps, to me, was a number that had another agenda not connected with GS. It was the number that reflected my ability to complete the SFG snatch test, twice, once on each arm...and of course in the Sport it was a kick ass total!

My snatch set was scheduled for 2:00 in the afternoon.  I was slightly nervous, as one should be, but not about the number, I knew the number would be good, it was more about something crazy happening, like dropping the bell during the transfer, or maybe pushing my grip too far and losing the bell (although my grip is as strong as ever).  My strategy was to get in a zone.  The zone of relaxing, and simply pumping out the reps, 10 reps per 30 seconds and NO more.  I had "jumped out of the gate" too fast in the past, losing too much of my grip in the last 30 seconds on both R and L, and I didn't want to get greedy with reps, just 10 reps every 30 seconds and if I had any extra in the tank in the last minute I would go for it.

Set starts.  I started snatching exactly the same as I always do.  The only thing I hear is my breath.  The only thing I feel is rep after rep.  I look at the clock every 30 seconds or so just to check in.  At about 3 min I notice I complete my 60th rep exactly at a 30 sec mark....whoops, slightly behind, but just ever so slightly so I knew I had to speed up just a teeny tiny bit.  I hit 70 at 3.5 min.

I look at the clock in another 30 seconds.....the count had not changed, 70.  What?  The count had not changed.  What?  It could only be one thing.  I had not fixated, I had not stopped the bell at the top of the rep long enough to have those reps counted, it could not have been any other reason.  I was blindsided.  I had just lost 10 entire reps, TEN, and I had lost an entire 30 seconds, AND I hadn't changed how I was snatching, every rep felt like the rep before....I wasn't even tired and my grip was fine.

At this point knowing it was the only thing that could have been wrong I slowed down my reps. My memory gets blurry at this point.  Some reps were counted, but yet, again, some were not being given credit, and I could not tell the difference.  How did over 10 reps not be counted and no body told me?  How did rep after rep, after rep, after rep (x 10) not be counted and no body, maybe, clue me in?

At first I took complete responsibility and slowed down, but even after that point I kept losing reps and I simply started to feel beat.  Literally beat, like with a stick.  I don't know how many "counted reps I completed at 5 minutes, but it there was no way for me to make 100 so I needed to switch and hope that I could blast through and get 110 on my L....until I realized a couple of things.

I realized I had lost more than 10 reps, and I realized I had no idea what this judge was basing her counts on unless I held each rep extra long, and for a length of time completing 110 reps would be impossible.  AND who knew if any of those reps would count because at this point based on the clock I had no idea where I was and what was possible.  What I knew was impossible was achieving my goal of 200 and predicting this judge.

As I entered into my last minute (L), yes my grip started to weaken.  It was weak not because of the reps I had already completed, it had fatigued because of such a great disappointment and my feelings of disorientation.  As the last few reps wobbled into "fixation" I knew without a doubt that I better make damn sure that bell came to a dead stop, and I made sure it did, almost daring the judge not to count those last reps....and then I realized that I didn't care what she thought, and threw the bell down and gave up.

My heart was gone.  I just was not willing to leave it on the platform for her to judge any more.  I would have left it there, and proudly so, under any other conditions or circumstances.  But at this point how could I care anymore?  If I cared it would not have changed anything and I felt as if I would have been a bigger fool to gut out even one more uncounted rep.

There were no hugs, no congratulations, no answers, no joy, no nothing.  I walked straight out of the building with nothing to say...there was nothing to say.  I was consumed with grief.  A kind of grief that still, right now, at 4:00am the next morning makes me break down in tears.  I'm simply heart broken. It's the only way I can describe it.

Of course I've asked myself why this happened.  Trying to find comfort in some greater good.  Trying to remember that in some way this event will lead to something else I needed to do, or see, or remember, or experience, but God damn this was a hard way of getting to whatever that next point is or will be.  I'm too old to have my eyelids swollen up like pillows, and besides it hurts.

I'm not going to say anything else about this anymore. I'm not interested in trying to change the result the damage has been done and I have to move on.  Move onto where and what is really what's so heart breaking because I don't have a clue.  First I'd like to stop crying.  Yes, that will be my next move.  To stop crying.

The rules of the competition are that a lifter gets up to 2 "no counts", with warnings.  How I was let to go on for over 100 reps after more that 10 no counts is a mystery to me.  I should have been stopped and disqualified.  I may not have technically been disqualified, but the rules are the rules.  


fred from nashville said...

AND YOU CALL THAT A LOSS, TRACY? i watched that video, mesmerized. wow. what power. on and on and on and on. how it amazed me that someone can transform their life the way you have. and there you are. showing your stuff. oooooops a mere mortal. thank goodness. you are the best. always will be!
fred from nashville

Hanneke said...

Competition is awesome

Competition sucks real bad

Both these statements are true. And now you know it too. The thing is, this will make you better in the end.

I do feel for you right now, I know how devastating it can be. But you'll be ok, you'll be better.

And also. being menopausal makes everything that sucks, suck even more than ever. Just sayin'

I think you are great. I learn a lot from you.


Dave Miko said...

Trace, Firstly, I enjoyed watching you on the live-stream, I figured that 200 was your goal -- sorry that didn't happen ...

Did you get your 1st place medal?

Oddly enough, the OKC competition rules do not have a "3 no-count and done" rule; nor do they specify that "no-counts" be verbalized -- warnings for other things are specified, but not no-counts. "5 consecutive No-Counts" will terminate the set, (but not result in a DQ). DQ results from 3 warnings, or "unsportsmanlike like conduct".

FWIW :{(

Tracy Mangold said...

Tracy, because of YOU I am thinking about training for a competition next year. The closest one is Nebraska (if they hold them in the same spots each year). That is a little over 500 miles from me. I'm trying to work on Diana but she isn't having it. :P

Anyway, YOU are my inspiration. Watching you and how fluid you are in your moves - is a thing of beauty. Truly.

I will be seeking your advice as I venture into this area. I'm nervous as hell but excited at the same time. HUGs.

Penny Fabian said...

Your feelings are justified; however, don't beat yourself up for too long. That was pretty damn awesome! Be proud of what you DID accomplish! (more...way more..than most of us (or me anyway)). You'll be back and kick ass at your next competition. Chin up!

vicky said...

Hi Tracey I watched your video you look positive powerfull and perfect, I'm sorry for you that it didn't go the way you had planned and worked so hard in preparation for it, you did not deserve whatever non communication or clarification the judge failed on.
You are my inspiration it is down to you I love my kettlebells and train my swing every other day. I look forward to reading all your blog posts they motivate me and move me.
Have a good cry punch a few pillows then emerge stronger for it.
Vic x

Diana said...

I'm no expert and I don't know "exactly" what is judged during these my eye, I don't see anything different with the exception of where you can tell you're mind and emotions are taking over.
I do know, though.....that success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.
An entire body of water the size of the Pacific Ocean can't sink a ship unless it gets inside the ship. Similarly, all the negativity of this competition can't bring you down unless you allow it to get inside your head.

Move on!

Mark Reifkind said...


she had way more than 5 consecutive no counts.I was watching the stream and I thought the counter broke, as there were no increases after 70 for many many reps.
at all the other meets we've been at the judges would warn if there was a question about form or technique.Plus her coach should have coached her about what was going on