The competition is over and the sport camp has arrived. It is now back to being a student of kettle and not a competitor on the platform. I am truly humbled and awestruck being in the presence of such great lifters. My thoughts on the first day will be brief but they are important. I realize I have not yet taken the time to post about my performance on the weekend, mostly because I am still internalizing and analyzing, and trying to let go. A post will be forth coming soon. But for now I am excited to share the first day of sport camp from my new lifter eyes and experience.

The morning session we started with the great Ivan Denisov. As the Russian National team coach it really doesn’t get anymore prestigious than that…unless you also list his accomplishments in the sport but there isn’t enough room in this blog post for that. Ivan went over technique for the jerk – a lift he is the absolute world record holder in. Although it was informative to me it was not the most memorable part of his session. The most memorable part was being able to have him and Sergey Merkulin stand only inches away from me and provide me feedback on my lifting. To be able to stand inches away from Ivan and to be able to ask him any questions about lifting that I had. He is funny and kind and willing to share his expertise. O.k…I may have formed a kettle crush, it’s hard not to. His 6’4″ statuesque muscular frame, beautiful blue eyes…and that smile….sigh****

What I took away from Day 1 was really having a better understanding of what it means to be a lifter. I realized that I had trained so hard on my technique and minimizing energy leaks with my lifting but I had not considered my pre-competition preparation. I have learned that during competition I need to be much more passive and conservative with my energy. It was hard to do at this competition as I was seeing friends for the first time in a long time and it was hard not to expend energy to talk and visit with them. In the future I will be much more quiet and reserved and wait until after my lifting to engage with others. I didn’t realize the impact this large meet, and internet streaming, loud music, and my own expectations running rampant would have on me. I will definitely be investing in some quality headphones to block out all distractions and help me focus and ready myself. I will be much more stoic and reserved on the platform until the moment that I touch the bell. I will then unleash all of my energy only into quality lifting.

The second half of the day we spent discussing programming with the great Sergey Rachinskiy. He is also kind and generous with his gifts. I really enjoyed learning about the way that he organizes his lifting data (and his student’s data) and is definitely a system I am going to try in my next training cycle. During our lunch break we had a guest speaker – Igor Solodov, President of the Russian Federation of Kettlebell (Girevoy) Sport. He was able to help us better understand how kettlebell sport is organized in Russia and how we can continue to keep developing and raising awareness of this wonderful sport. Truly an amazing experience to sit and talk with him and ask questions.

Overall, I am really blown away by this event. It has only been 3 days and I feel like I have learned more than in the past 20 months I have been training this sport. I can’t wait for Day 2!!! Thank you Orange Kettlebell Club!!



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