Thursday, June 6, 2013

USA Weightlifting Level 1 Certification At The Olympic Training Center In Colorado Springs, CO

There is no way I can put into words the full experience of this past weekend at The Olympic Training Center. It was a whirlwind of information, food, inspiring athletes, lifts to perfect and impress others with, and new friends. AND FOOD. Lots of FOOD.

I'll start with my arrival; Thursday night I drove over to the OTC from my In-laws house to check in to the dorms and begin my weekend as an athlete. Yes, I was there to gain more training as a coach but selfishly, I just wanted the fantasy of training for the Olympics. Thankfully, I was thrust into athlete life upon hitting the dorm. Four white walls and three beds per room...with no potty. I found out I would be sharing with two other women and that left me a little anxious. I don't share well with others.
I was the first to arrive and I made myself at home putting my stuff on the best bed and arranging things on the chest of drawers in a most anal retentive way.
Here I am prepping to sleep with two strange women. 

Since I didn't have class until the morning, I headed over to the athlete center to figure out how food worked and to start my review of the course materials. Since I had a certification only days prior, I had not had much chance to look at the curriculum. 
The food at the OTC is your standard government issue food pyramid stuff. Lots of grains and dairy, but I was able to create a pretty tasty paleo meal from the salad bar and meat station. Everyone say YAY for asparagus and funny smelling pee!
They had cherry tomatoes. I love cherry tomatoes.
I was a little intimidated about eating with the athletes and maybe they would judge my choices. I stayed super clean. Then I noticed all of the Paraolympic basketball team guzzling soft serve ice cream.  Athletes do not eat clean. Most are just REALLY LUCKY!
The athlete center was beautiful and awe inspiring. And loud. sports were on every one of the 10 TVs in the area and almost everyone was engaged in some event or another. Athletes...

After dinner I went back to the dorm to look at Facebook for hours and stretch my hamstrings. Inverted wall stretches loosened me up for bedtime. By 11pm, my roommates still had not shown. I had hopes of getting lucky and having a room alone.
At 11:45pm I heard a rustling at the door and knew my luck had run out. I DID have roommates after all. Boo!! 
A quick meet and greet and we all turned in for the night. Awkward... 

It was a long night in the dorms my friends. Athletes must have more than the backpack full I brought along because my one pillow and faulty air conditioner did not supply me with comfort. By daybreak i was questioning the whole "ON Campus" thing. 

Class started at 8am so I booked it over to be first in line at the cafe. I like food a lot and I was hoping for eggs and bacon.
Powdered eggs were on the menu. Bleh...oh well, I ate them and the turkey bacon on my own and people watched the other coaches arriving to breakfast. I also noticed the fantastic spinach omelets they were carrying!! WTF?! 
How did I miss omelets with real eggs? Apparently, there was a grill station. Fail.

As 8am wandered around I got up to work my way to the classroom. I decided to follow the tall people. they are easy to keep in my line of sight. 
No one really knew where to go, but thankfully we did find the right place a few minutes after 8. 

Unlike the CrossFit Olympic Certification program with Mike Burgener, there was a lot of class time with this course. We spent about an hour in class with Coach Conroy (head of USAW drop) then it was time to do some practical with the no-weight bars.

I have to say, If I had not trained with coach B, I would have been lost. It was apparent, many of the others in my course had not had formal training in the Snatch and Clean and Jerk. The resident athletes in the course helped tweak a few of my little things and I practiced while some instruction went on with the less experienced athlete/coaches. I used some of the time to train my eye to the things I had been missing in my own lifts...and people watch some more.

THEN, it was time to see the big dogs in action. 
Im beginning to notice that Olympic lifting is for the small people. I don't think one athlete in the gym was over 5'7...very different from Crossfit. Jared Fleming was in the house front squatting 241k. girls half my height were snatching 95k.
Short arms and legs make it easier to lift so, sucks to be yours truly! Pulling weight three more feet takes skill too!

After the athletes, it was our turn.

Stop looking at my buttwink...

Snatch work was on deck first and I teamed up with a perfect match with a girl who carried a lacrosse ball in her backpack (soulmate!)

Querivin (Q) and I made fast friends and I was so happy to see her a bad ass! She had NEVER snatched before and was throwing weight up like she owned it! My kind of girl. we spent the rest of the day eating and taking videos of our crappy snatch receiving. Best evening I have had in a long time.

We may or may not have broken into the Boxing gym to find a pull up bar. Q is just learning about CrossFit and works in a Globo Gym. She Wods on her own and needed a little cleaning up in the kipping technique. 
I felt like a teenager out late on a Friday night...naughty, naughty.

Q and I also made fast friends with CrossFit Finrir from Lakeland, FL. 
solid  group of folks with a decent amount of sarcasm and humor to keep me entertained. I decided they would be my secret alliance.
If I was ever on the Island, this group would carry me to the million dollars people. Anitra, Olly, Jamie, and Q were the fast friends I was missing at my last cert.
Decent form too. You can tell Olly the owner of Crossfit Finrir cares  about correct instruction.

They were nice enough to take a few pics of me too!

But could not help but HAM IT UP

In between lifting and destroying the classroom. We ate. 
I had soda.
I had Ice Cream. 
I had a muffin.
No wonder athletes eat like crap...I WAS HUNGRY!

To wrap things up, I will say, I loved the people here at the OTC. I made amazing connections and am so inspired. I also have some great plans for programming and a clearer path with my coaching and what I want to do with it. 
Is it the best cert? NO. It was a little disorganized. We had to work around the athletes schedules. The course had not been taught in 5 years. There was a lot of class time and I hoped for more programming and teaching cues BUT, I was honored to be a part of it.
I had a once in a lifetime experience as an Olympic athlete/coach. I wonder what amazing things are in store for my future now that I have these experiences and people in my life. It was the best weekend I have had in a long time. I feel like I found a piece of me I was missing. I laughed a lot. I learned a lot. It was something worth doing. 

Next porn and Colorado Wods.

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