On March 1, 2018 I, Joe C., stepped on to the platform at the American Open Series 1 (AOS1) reaching a goal I never imagined possible. In case you’re not familiar, the American Open Series is a set of 3 amateur olympic weightlifting events at various times throughout the year. Compete at a local event, total high enough in your age/weight class – and you can go also! If you need any information the USA Weightlifting site has it all or ask me and I can point you.
It was an amazing experience with all of CFA supporting me! With that experience behind me, I needed to figure out what my next goal was.
I decided that since I’ve now competed at a local and national event, an international event seemed like the next step. Plus it will be very cool to wear a USA singlet.
My weightlifting total was now 147kg and the Pan American Masters required total was 150kg. I could do that! Coach Ben recommendation was to continue to get stronger, keep working on technique, but get stronger.
I set my sight on a local meet in July, qualify for Pan Am, and buy my new singlet. In my mind, I was already thinking about travel arrangements. Unfortunately in early July, the Masters committee changed the qualifying process:
You can now only qualify for international events at national events.
So that means, use a local event to qualify for a national event first. Then at the national event, qualify for an international event. Double the time and resources are now required. Oh and if that wasn’t enough of an obstacle, IWF (International Weightlifting Federation) changed the weight classes and the Masters committee changed (increased) the qualifying total for Pan Am. So after the dust settled, here’s the road to Pan Am Masters for me:
- Qualify for a National event (126kg/277#)
- Qualify for the Pan Am (158kg/347#)
Since the July 2018 local event wouldn’t count towards the Pan Am qualifier, I was going to use it for practice competing at my new weight class (I’ll now compete at 73kg vs previously 77kg) and just go for broke! That’s exactly what happened- I set a new snatch PR (70kg) but failed at all 3 clean/jerk attempts at 80kg….fall 7 times, get up 8 right?!….
Since July, I’ve used the last several months to keep getting stronger: Front squat hit 91kg (pause 3 seconds at bottom and hold for 10 seconds at top); Back squat is slowly increasing; Overhead stability work still in progress. Still trying to find the perfect mix of Crossfit class and working out on my own but I’m having fun with it all. Coach Dan has returned as the coach for Olympic Weightlifting on Thursday nights – I highly recommend it!
With a couple of personal setbacks, I have yet to plan my next local event…but thinking springtime! The 2019 Pan Am Masters is off the table but maybe 2020? I’ll be 50 years old this April, I’m still young, plenty of time 🙂