We had Maik Ferrante fighting in his second pro fight against Steve Moleski, and Rob Sullivan coming back from a knee injury fighting Myron Baker. Both fights went to a (split) decision with Ferrante coming out on top and Sullivan with an upsetting loss. I'm not a fight trainer nor an MMA commentator, so I won't comment on the details of the fight other than both of "my guys" looked good - the work they put in at Art & Strength obviously paid off as they were able to out muscle their opponents and not gas out.
Sullivan lost with a very controversial (e.g. questionable) decision but he made us proud in how graciously he accepted defeat. In his own words, "I lost last night. Regardless of what anyone says the judges said I lost. That's how the fight game works. Myron Baker showed up and he got the W. Looking back I have a million regrets about the fight (as I always do). My urgency was not what it should have been in the third, plain and simple. To come back from such a devastating year off and not do what I should have done burns me up. I have zero excuses. I lost."
Much respect to Rob and to Maik. Back to the grind and here's looking to the next one.
Our second year hosting this competition, this time I was head judge and Nick Mavronis competed along with Jeanine Upchurch, Laurie Bender, Jessica Cenidoza, April Doherty, Karen Anderson, Sara Cooper, Jon Arend, David Lambert, Craig Shoemaker, Rob Ferguson, Mark Stropshire, John Foelber, Ryan Zuver and Tom "the Bomb" Bruns. In total, there were 1115 competitors (last time I checked) at satellite locations all over the world.
The TSC is a fun competition that tests very different aspects of strength (absolute, relative and strength-endurance) and is very difficult to train for all 3 at the same time. Many of our team who competed last weekend also competed last fall, and 6 months isn't a lot of training time to develop the deadlift AND the pull up AND the 5 min kettlebell snatch. So if you PR'd in anything last weekend, be proud, because those lifts, the way they are contested, do not coincide with each other that well.
Results are posted at: http://www.strongfirst.com/tactical-strength-challenge/tsc-results-spring-2016/
We had Kelly Chandler and Colleen Wheat representing Art & Strength. It was Kelly's 2nd competition and Colleen's 5th. Events were 125lb log press for reps, 450lb yoke walk, truck pull, max axle deadlift and stone load. Both ladies set personal records, had fun and stayed healthy - and to me that's some of most important things when you decide to compete.
It's the journey that is important to us. Training provides us with life lessons such as hard work, discipline, focus and ability to be a self-starter. The competition itself is an opportunity to display our efforts. A deadline in our training, just another stepping stone in the process of becoming a better version of ourselves.
I've been thinking about competition in a different light lately as I have been having well-meaning friends encourage me to put my kids into various sports of their (the parents') liking. One of their quips is that it "builds character" but character is defined as "moral or ethical strength" and I don't think sport itself has the ability to do that. We all know plenty of athletes that lack character. Absolutely, competition is a proving ground for character, but strength (moral, ethical or otherwise) is built in training. It's in the mindset that you develop. Your motivation and perspective. This is where good coaching comes in. A good coach will help you keep your thoughts in check as much as your training. Consider something as simple as encouragement - "you can do it" - to help overcome self-doubt. Whatever feeds your thoughts will influence your actions. Think you can do it and you will; think you can't and you won't.
There are other deeper aspects of coaching that I'll save for another post. Let's just say that it matters greatly with who you surround yourself with. Your coach, your teammates, your training partners and your support system (i.e. family and friends); they all give feedback. That feedback should foster intrinsic motivation and a growth mindset. That feedback should have your best interest at heart. It's not just about winning or losing, but developing the person as a whole despite the outcome of the competition.