This blog post was written by Coach Jeff.
On January 28th and 29th, our Humble Beast Barbell Club (HBBC) competed at the 2017 Baltimore Open weightlifting meet at Athletic Asylum in Baltimore, MD. This competition epitomized our barbell club in many ways. It was a hesitant return to competing for some, a qualification for USA Weightlifting American Open regionals series for others, and for some, just another day at the office; a quick tune up before the “big show” (Nationals). No matter the lifter, the reason, or the experience, it was time to come together as friends, teammates, and family.
Stress and anxiety doesn’t discriminate; butterflies come in all shapes and sizes. Everyone copes with them differently. I will say this, from what I’ve noticed as a coach and as a lifter: Nerves may make people talk more or less to people before competition, but everyone loves the presence of support. I would like to start by thanking everyone who comes to these events to support the team! Secondly, I would like to thank my head coach in life, and wonderful wife, Lindsay, for stepping up and helping my dedicated and brilliant Assistant Coach, Colin O’Neill. You two were amazing and I speak from my heart and on behalf of the team when I say, THANK YOU!
Now for the re-cap of the meet...
Master 2 (M2) lifter, Matt Rothman, was the first to take the stage. For those of you wondering what that means, it means that yes, after 35 years of age, you can still be competitive in the sport of weightlifting. In fact, even more so with people your age and weight. Master one (M1) starts at 35 years of age and every 5-year window, you enter a new division. This was a big competition for Matt, as he needed to total 156kgs (343.2lbs) to qualify for the USAW American Open regionals series in Miami, FL (July 31st). This total would tie Matt’s current training total personal record (PR) and would top his best competition PR by a few kilos. Aside from all the Instagram heroes you see posting wonderful training lifts, it's a completely different story when you step onto the platform. At competition body weight, with three judges watching and validating your lift, and only 60 seconds to make the attempt, having only three attempts per the snatch. As the saying goes, "Pressure breaks pipes, BUT it also makes diamonds!" HBBC's very own WuTang fan Matt Rothman crushed his lifts and hit 71kgs in the Snatch and 90kgs in the Clean and Jerk, qualifying for USAW American Open regionals series!
Next up, Tiffany Klinger! She’s not just the pretty face you see at the front desk on Mondays and Wednesdays at Humble Beast CrossFit, she’s also a natural freak of nature. Tiffany had a rough 2016, with a few speed bumps and obstacles to overcome. Nonetheless, she set out to lift at the Baltimore Open and qualify for the USAW American Open regionals series to join the ranks of Matt Rothman and other HBBC members en route to M-I-Ayo! Tiffany stepped onto the platform with about 10 hours of cumulative training and not only managed to qualify for the USAW American Open regionals series, but she exceeded qualification total by 10kgs! Tiffany’s 2017 goal is to qualify for the 2017 USAW American Open Championship! Let’s all encourage her to “be about it!”
The third and final lifter for the Saturday session was Jessica Sandle. If you haven't had the luxury of meeting with this amazing human being, please do so! How would one do so you ask? Easy! Come to a 6am class and she will be the person finishing her 5am workout! Yup, she comes in at 5am! Jessica pushes herself weekly early in the morning by herself! She took the platform at the Baltimore Open as what I would refer to as a seasoned/veteran lifter. With a number of competitions and national titles under her belt, she went through her warm-ups and lifts with professionalism and precision. She increased BOTH her training and competition totals by significant margins! Jessica is currently preparing for her “big show” in Savannah, GA in March. She will be battle for a podium position finish at the National Masters Championship.
With an exhausting Saturday, full of emotion and excitement, it was time to do it all again on Sunday! This time, Humble Beast CrossFit’s very own head coach, Melissa Coroneos, was up! Her days are spent being a full-time mom to two wonderful pups, a part-time mom to let’s just say a few members of Humble Beast CrossFit, along with contributing more good community deeds than a moleskin notebook can track; Melissa still somehow finds time to train! With a 6am weigh-in and 8am lifting time, I don’t know how anyone could have done what she did, but that’s why she is MJ, because she constantly does the impossible! MJ had a great competition! She also qualified for the USAW American Open regionals series. Fun fact about MJ: She is what we call a squat jerker, and, usually, when she completes her first lift in the Clean and Jerk portion of the event, the WHOLE crowd usually “oohs and ahhs” as the squat jerk is not only absolutely beautiful (more so when completed by MJ), but it’s extremely difficult.
To sum up the significance of what this competition meant to me as a coach, a reflection of the ethos here at Humble Beast CrossFit, and what our barbell club is capable of, I was not there the whole weekend! The energy, amazingness, success, and wonderful display of support that happened without me needed to be present! All that being said, who’s coming to Miami with us?!