Let me start off by saying what a fantastic weekend of lifting - I am ecstatic with my perfomance. Escpecially my squat. Let me start from the beginning.......
Up early Friday morning for a 7 am flight to Brisbane. Checked my weight at home before I left was looking good to make my weight class. Met up with Sharon at the airport and we went up to the Qantas lounge to drink foul coffee and wait for the flight. Arrived in Brizzy about 9am. Collected our luggage and Shaz picked up the hire car. Off to the Mecure for the weigh in.
Checked in and straight up to room 313. 66.74 !! Nailed it!! Off the scales and into the chocolate - mmmm Haighs Latte Truffle! Next on the list - brunch. Walked over bridge and along the river, past the man-made beach and thru to some cafe's where we enjoyed some bacon 'n' eggs and couple of decent latte's. Finally feeling alive again, we set of for Brisbance central to check out the shops. Shazza's other venture is importing Diamonds - so we called in to a few of the jewelery shops, inlcuding Tiffany's, and looked over some very precious and expensive stones.
As we came out of one of the shopping malls, who should Shaz spot? None other than the legend herself, Taylor Young. Now here is great female powerlifter and bodybuilder holding many Australian records and body buildings much coverted Miss Universe title.... With her was Susan Stewart who has just competed earlier this year in the figure division and cleaned up. Shaz and Taylor had a chance to catch up while driving them out to the airport (doing the taxi run - picked up Steven Brown and Maria Barba for the return trip!) - unfortunately Taylor and Susan weren't staying for the powerlifting comp but Taylor wished me luck and since I would be competing in her weight dvision I reassured her that her records would still be standing! LOL Watchout for Susan in future tho' - she's competing again in a couple of months and is bound to take the comp by storm!
Brisbane dies at night! Wanted to get a good old fashioned pub meal for dinner but no where were they serving more than finger food! Managed to get into a restaurant and have some dinner and meet Frank and Teresa Manning, Teresa is little powerhouse - weighing under 50kg's she's one of the girls to beat - lifting more than double her bodyweight!! While Shaz knows them quite well, Frank and I had some deja vu thing happening - we both knew each other by face but could not place where from..... In any case, a really lovely couple who I'll definately be keeping in touch with. Who else could we possibly run into now.... the recently married Barry and Tegan Murray (nee Colliver) another very strong girls under 50kg. These litte girls are not to be messed with!!
Down in the function rooms before the competition started I was very fortunate to meet the gorgeous Andrea Izard, yet another of our very sucessful female bodybuilders from the past. Her husband was referreeing at the comp today. Such a lovely lady, we chatted on the way to get our latte's and it was like I'd known her forever.
The day started early with the bench press comp at 9am - just a few competitors and the bench meister hunk Ange Galati taking the honors and breaking his own world record bench press!
Then the fun begins - The Senior Nationals. There are 7 women competing. First up squatting and my first attempt was set at 110kg which I did easy, second attempt at 115kg a little harder but still a clean lift. Asked Shaz to put in my final attempt at 120kg. As I start to get myself ready for my thrid and final attempt I hear them annound "load the bar to 125kg for Vicki O'Brien" What the.... ??? Shaz just looks at me and says 'Just go and lift the fucking thing" I gotta tell you - her absolute confidence in me.... the right amount of encouragement along with the "just do it" attitude is what got me over the line. Now remember my last 2 attempts at 120kg in the gym both ended with me not coming back up - at least not on my own. So you 'll understand that I was ecstatic to get up again under the 125kg on the bar.
I love this sport! Got chatting with Teresa and Frank again, offering me advice and support - making sure I was resting between attempts. What with Shazza telling to to sit down and then Teresa backing her up - what could I do? LOL
Next discipline is bench. Decided in the warmup against wearing the shirt - a little concerned that my lack of experience with a bench shirt I could mess up the lift all together, so lifted 'raw'. Opened with 70kg - easy! Second attempt 75kg - also went up well. Third attempt at 80kg - arghhh almost - I could feel it but it wasnt meant to be. Maria on the other hand was able to press up an impressive 80 kg - well this is her pet lift and she's a very strong bencher! Well done Maria!
Finally on to deadlift and starting to tire - not so much from the lifts but just the overall pressure from the day. On with the magic gold deadlift jiffies - LOL and managed a 130kg deadlift as did Maria - a very strong finish. Frank observed that I was lifting with my back and not engaging my legs enough and suggested that I give box squats a try in my training - this is what I mean by the comeraderie in this sport - where competitors and partners are offering advice because they want to see you succeed!!
At the end of the day it was the light weight girls that took the honors as I had expected with their awesome more than double bodyweight lifts. Congratulations to Teresa and Tegan!!. When I get hold of the results sheets I can tell you what some of the other girls were lifting by comparison, but I was definately in the ball park with my lifts and still have a lot more to come!! Wait 'til I master that bench shirt - there'll be no stopping me..
Today I've booked in for a remedial massage and will probably get back into the gym tomorrow evening. Conditioning work is on the agenda and so I'll drop back the weights and start working higher reps and sets. Concentrating on my bench press in particular - probably stay reasonably heavy on this as I have the Bench press comp coming up next in September. Always a goal.....
Thanks to everyone for their support and love over the past few weeks - hope you'll stay with me on the journey and watch me grow over the next 12 months.