In this case I had some ambitious goals but I was aware that only perfection would carry them out. I wanted to get my hat in the ring as a possible Pan American athlete - a performance requiring multiple major PRs that still would have left me with an infinitesimal shot at making the team.
But, just like before the American Open a few months ago, my training had been hampered by an injury that prevented me from attempting anywhere near maximum weights. In fact, I have probably only tried to snatch more than 90% on four or five separate occasions since last September - and that includes the Arnold and the AO. "The easiest thing in the world to do is miss a snatch," Joe Hanson told me after I bombed at Americans, and this time around was only marginally better. Making a low-ball 90% opener at 118kg, my attempts at 125kg and 127kg were both plenty strong but ultimately technical errors made them failures.
On the other hand, while I had limited jerk practice, my cleans were improving significantly. With my heaviest opener yet I made 153kg with relative ease. My 160kg second attempt was not nearly so pretty, with an ugly clean that made my right forearm cramp up when I saved it. Somehow I gutted through the jerk, which I did manage to stabilize, but it took me a second to lock out my cramped arm and the lift was turned down. After that Leo let me go for a PR but he played it conservative and only gave me 162kg. Another ugly clean and another arm cramp, but I had come so far and I sure as hell wasn't going to give up, so I followed it with one of my gutsiest jerks ever. It wasn't a pretty lockout, but two out of three judges liked it enough to give me the personal record. 162kg beats my old 160kg all-time record and beats my "national meet" record of 157kg from Americans (a gold medal c&j!). No special placing for me at this meet, though, as 2x Olympian Chad Vaughn won the class, best overall lifter, and even attempted to beat his own American record 190kg clean and jerk. Two other 77's, Yukio Peter and Jhoni Andica, placed in the top five overall, and Mike Cerbus was 11th with a 296kg (136kg/160kg) total. I only made 19th. Full Open division results here.
If I want to make Pan Ams I need to be in the top two of my weight class - right now I am fourth - and I need to be in the top six overall based on our projected placings at Pan Ams. It's a little complicated, but since we're not sending a full team of eight and because of the way the rankings work it's likely I would need a 320kg total or better to make the team. So perhaps it's not in the cards this year.
But what is true is that I am healthy now. There is no injury forcing me to hold back on any lift. The goal is to keep it that way until Nationals, and in that time I will have a chance to lift some heavier weights and fix the relatively minor technical issues that were problems at these last two meets. I am already taking preventative steps to avert the injuries I may be most susceptible to, working together with Mike and Ellyn to design a pre-hab program that addresses the last latent effects of the other injuries and strengthens my weak areas.
Oh, and on a more embarrassing note, I actually had some trouble making weight. I may have actually put on some more lean muscle! But to those of you who were never wrestlers I say, no, I'm still not going up to 85kg.
For a much more amusing Arnold recap, read David Boffa's blogpost.