As mentioned in my last post, I spent all of last week on a heavy dose of antibiotics in an attempt battle off the “Barracks Plague:” an amalgamation of various bacterial infections that resulted in me expelling copious amounts of nasty detritus through various mediums.
With that all wrapped up, I was able to approach my training with a renewed vigor and another attempt at attaining my ultimate goal: Arnold 2015. I’ve been looking to qualify for and compete in the Arnold since I started the Springfield College Powerlifting team back in 2006/7, but have been constantly hampered in my progress, more often than not a consequence of my own doing (see: injuries, poor scheduling, etc.). My last full powerlifting meet was in December 2009 where I squeaked by with a 1249 total (~416lb average across the three lifts). A respectable amount that would have been my ticket to the big show, but needless to say, I found a way to mess this up, as I had missed the deadline for an at-large bid to compete by a month.
Following this miss, I managed to initiate a cascade of events that have since had me sidelined. Rupturing my plantar fascia while performing a back flip (never a good idea) the following month, I found myself in an immobilizer for the next couple of months, severely limiting my training. I managed to then slip a few discs in my low back as a consequence of my foolhardy attempt to return to training at the same intensity as before my injury. Two cortisone shots to the back and a year later, the problem had only been further exacerbated as I refused to cease the training (“degenerative disc disease” a.k.a. bad back). Walking around campus like a dysfunctional quasimodo and incapable of putting on my own socks, the decision was made to finally have the discectomy to alleviate the nearly intolerable pain. Believing the recovery would be only a few weeks in duration, I was dumbfounded when I was still incapable of sitting down on the toilet without severe sciatic pain for the next 6 months.
I was finally catching a break with the recovery when enter: doctoral qualifying exams and my first job (VMI). Now, I’m never one to make excuses for missing training to study for tests (or for that matter do work!), but when you’ve invested the last 6 years of your life and copious amounts of money to completing something, training takes a back seat. While I still haven’t fully wrapped up the testing (my oral defense is scheduled for 11/5) and work is a constant investment of both time and energy, I have been able to put in a bit more training time on a relatively consistent basis, which is exactly what the doctor ordered. Assuming no more major “speed bumps” are encountered, I like to think that this is the perfect opportunity for me to finish what I started nearly 7 years ago.
For the first time in a long time I’ve laid out a 6-8 month training plan with hopes of not just hitting a qualifying total, but exceeding my last official total by at least 100lbs. I’m no longer just looking to qualify for the Arnold, but instead want to become a force to be reckoned with.
I’d be remiss to not attribute some of this drive to the recent successes of some of my former athletes and training partners. To Robert Kearney, Matthew LaCroix, Dr. Patrick Davidson, and Zachary Hadge, you guys continue to motivate me to exceed my potential. Continue doing what you’re doing.