Alto’s Odyssey is the sequel to Alto’s Adventure, a great (and very chill) iOS game. The basic gameplay is the same but I think they’ve added enough new mechanics for it to feel fresh. I don’t generally get down with the endless runners, but this one does it for me. I’ve been playing a ton. It’s taken a lot of time from my other iOS obsessions, in fact.
I had a big weekend at the American Open Series 1 at The Arnold, in Columbus, OH. This was my 3rd weightlifting meet and it was successful again. I added 1kg to each of my lifts for a new meet total PR.
The weekend started badly on Friday when I got caught in a huge traffic jam. I was parked on the highway for over two hours. People were out walking their dogs. It was weird.
I stopped in Charleston, WV for the night at about 1am, caught some sleep, and then got back out on the road to Columbus at 8am on Saturday. My lift session wasn’t until Sunday at noon so there was plenty of time to rest and stretch.
The way the weight/age classes worked out I was one of two lifters, so all I had to do was complete at least one of each lift to get a medal. The other guy in my class was *way* stronger, so I was looking at the silver (which I got pretty easily).
That lift above was my final lift of the meet, a 101kg clean and jerk, and a PR. It was exciting.
The other best part of the weekend was spending time with my gym friends. The Weight Room is my home gym and the best place I can imagine for getting strong. Chris does a great job of preparing athletes to compete and I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him. Danny is the whole reason any of us go to The Arnold. He competes in Strongman and finished this weekend as the #9 amateur middleweight strongman in the world. The way he works in the gym is inspiring and I’m glad we’re pals. Wayne was my friendly nemesis for this meet. We had the same qualifying total so we were training like this was a head-to-head contest. I won, obvs., but he’s also 5 years older than me so he’ll probably mention that if he ever hears me bragging.
This was my first weightlifting meet and I’m willing to call it a success. I finished third in my age/weight bracket (earning a swanky bronze medal), I completed all six of my lifts successfully (with two new PRs), and I had a good time doing it. I will break it down GoW-style.
new PRs (164kg total)
Solid hangs with Joe and Cy and Swolenik
Getting coached up
A bronze medal that looks like it could be on a real podium somewhere
8am session start
Shirtless post-session cryotherapy (don’t ask)
To add a little color, I’ve been way, way overweight the last year or two. I’m mentally chalking it up to wanting mass for powerlifting, but really I just like not paying attention to what I eat and drink. I’m working to fix that now. It is def. work. I’m a big, big fan of “play”, and I *loooove* playing team sports. It was cool to hang with the team in my session and I’m double-especially looking forward to training with them over the next couple of months. Getting active input from a vested coach was really great. I trust Chris Lawyer to put me in a position to succeed. He does good work.
The negatives from the meet were minimal. Since I’m a new lifter with a relatively low projected total in my first meet, I was seeded in the first session. 8am Saturday start time means a 6-8am weigh-in window. I’m not the worst about getting up in the morning, but this was a bit much for a Saturday. Once we got to the lifting, I was more nervous than I expected. Chris was there with a “hey have a seat and lower your heartrate”; (which is just one example of how an experienced coach can make a big difference at a meet), and I chilled out.
My plan, and I realize that naming the plan dooms the plan, is to get on a weightlifting track through the rest of 2017. There should be 2-3 more meets on the calendar and I’d like to get close to 200kg with my total. I think I have room to grow to that number.
Thirteen years ago, I downloaded the appropriate .zip file, crawled through the installation documentation for Movable Type (version 2.64), and built my blog. It was the start of long holiday weekend and I was hiding from the heat.
It’s as much an Instagram repost destination these days as anything, but it’s been up and running for thirteen years. That’s not nothing. Thanks for reading.
That’s a video of me doing the keg carry/load at the Beer City Brawl, my second and most successful strongman contest. I finished second but it was competitively odd. There were only three people in my class. One was way stronger than me and one wasn’t even close to as strong as me, so I was in second place basically by just showing up. I still went at the events pretty hard and actually won the one in the video.
It took months of training to get my technique together to where I could do this stuff reasonably well. That keg carry/load (which, since I won the event will be the only thing I’m talking about) is where you have to pick up 4 total kegs and load them over a bar. The kegs weigh 170, 200, 225, and 254 pounds and have to be carried from 25′, 20′, 15′, and 10′, respectively. We didn’t have a 250-pound keg to train with so this was the first time I’d picked one up. It was heavy.
Strongman is pretty fun. The training can get to be kind of damaging. It’s cool to build that functional strength but it sometimes hurts to build that functional strength. Since I’m a card-carrying member of North American Strongman I’ll probably get another contest or two completed before my membership expires (August 2016).
Every year I say “I’m going to pay attention to baseball” and every year the Mets stink so I quit watching by mid-June. This year has been an exciting exception. It was a summer of trading text messages with my dad over game results and talking over box scores with Mets-loving pals. They have exceeded even the most outlandish expectations and are currently on the brink of losing the World Series. It would be really cool if they come back and win but it doesn’t really matter.
The ride from the All-Star break to now has been totally worth it. I forgot how much fun it was to have good things to say about the Mets after the 4th of July. Almost all of the stories around these Mets have been feel-good (which is also unprecedented). A giant 20-something Viking sharing the mound next to a 42-year-old professional “athlete”? The Wilmer Flores traded/not traded fiasco? The arrival of Yoenis Cespedes (for the rest of us)? Saint Daniel Murphy going on a Postseason home run tear to end all home run tears? Even the Harvey Innings Limit kerfuffle wasn’t enough to kill the good vibes.
I’d say that I’m excited for next year but the root of what made 2015 so great was the complete lack of expectations.
And just like that, I’m right back into my comfortable Mets-pessimist groove.