When teamwork really does make the dream work

I recently had the pleasure of competing in and winning the Australian Strongman Alliance Victorian qualifier at CB Fitness in Ballarat. The best part was getting to do it alongside 10 of my team mates. We were so proud and excited to have 11 members representing Valeo Movement Academy. That many competitors is rare from a big gym, let alone a small town gym. One that I’ve been lucky enough to be coaching and training at for the past 6 months. The guys from Valeo Movement Academy have taken me in as one of their own. Not only has this tree change from the city to Wangaratta reinspired my love of coaching and reignited my spark for training and competing but there is something about the people and the place that have given me a feeling of “home”.

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I absolutely loved being back on the comp floor, its where I come alive, and coaching beginners in Strongman is what makes my soul happy. Combine the two and it’s a recipe for an awesome day, but it was also a total new beast for me to conquer. When I invest in people, I invest hard, so managing my energy for my own nerves, events and recovery, and sharing it with 10 other people was a whole new challenge. One that I learned a lot from. Like maybe don’t cry (with happiness of course) 3 times before you’ve even done your first deadlift! Thankfully there was 3 of us coaching our crew, and with our different energies, styles and personalities we made the dream team. No bias here!! Working and training with Rahn and Billy with their combined wealth of knowledge as both competitors and coaches has helped me grow so much as a coach and injected so much fire and fun back into my training.

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I had been planning to go up a weight category for this comp for a challenge the 3 of us coaches set for ourselves, but unfortunately no heavyweight women signed up, (even though the percentage of women outweighed that of the men for the first time in a comp in our sport that I’m aware of.Which is just epic for women in strength!!) so I jumped in my regular U82.5 category. Massive thanks to my nutritionist, Jess Sharpe from Sharpe Training and Nutrition for being so flexible and supportive with our last-minute changes in plans. She is helping me absolutely nail my strength growth and weight management.

I was happy enough with my overall performance for the day, learning a lot. This is the most important aspect for me to grow as an athlete. I had 2 firsts, in both the farmers carry – 20m with a turn around at 10m, 67.5kg per hand, no drops; and the overhead medley – 55kg log press followed by as many 30kg keg presses in the remainder of 1 minute; an equal 2nd in the deadlift with some incredible numbers pulled by super strong women; and a 3rd in the Hercules hold, which was heaps of fun and a brand new event for most of us.

Such a memorable comp day for me that was definitely made by the people involved, our gyms huge involvement, catching up with old friends, meeting new friends and all the experiences shared. A special shout out to Kay and her amazing crew of helpers who ran such a great comp day. To top it all off we ended up with Valeons on the podium in every category that we had a member entered in;7 out of 11 on the podium was an unreal way to finish. With 3 in their 1st Strongman comp, a couple in their 2nd, this result was so impressive, along with many PB’s and very close to podium finishes.

What’s next for Batmanda you ask?! Well I’m absolutely pumped to go throw some heavy rocks around at the Victorian Log, Deadlift and Stone Champs at Iron Revolution Gym on 7th Jul. World records may be getting set by my Stone loving team mate, Rahn, so watch this space or get on down to the strongest gym in the Nth West for a look! Following that will be pending my recruit course start date for the CFA as I’ve just achieved a huge life goal and been accepted into academy! Crazy I know, interests outside of the gym! But I’ll definitely be seeing yall on the comp floor in the very near future. I’ll just be better at putting fires out by then! Happy Lifting!

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