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My first Highland Games

Thursday, August 09, 2012

I competed in my first Highland Games last weekend in Spokane, WA. I managed to not hurt myself or anyone else, I didn't scratch on any events, I improved on my form and lengths. I picked the caber 3 times... didn't turn it, but I did pick it. Seven events, 7 PR's!!

I was trying to think of the high point of the weekend. There are too many to count! But I have to bring up the farmers walk. Women had two 75 lb weights, men had 2x150s and the goal is to pick them up and walk as far as possible. It was an optional event so I figured I'd sign up, see how every one else did it and maybe I'd go, maybe I'd cancel.

Random draw, my name is called first.


Sudden panic attack. Got a few wonderful hints from some friends, head up, shoulders back, soft knees and whatever you do, keep moving!!

So I walk up to the line.
Grab one weight in each hand.
Quick heave.
Don't even lift them an inch.

Deep breath.
Can't just walk away.
Stand up and start walking, 10 feet, 20 ft, 50 feet.
I can hear the crowd, athletes and onlookers, cheering and clapping.
Holy cow I'm gonna make the corner!!

I turn at 100 feet and that's when I REALLY heard everyone cheering me on, felt all of the other athletes yelling and willing me forward. I can pick out the familiar voices Ray and Andy, with whom I train. Angela, Karyn and the other women that I am competing against. The crowd full of supporters all cheering for me.

150 feet, 175.
Crap these things are getting heavy.
200 feet coming up.
C'mon Gretch make it around the corner.

At 217 feet, 150 lbs, my fingers just gave out and I dropped the weights.
Once again, cheering and applause. I turned and bowed, smiled and waved.
Most amazing feeling EVER!! I couldn't do anything but laugh at that point...
And collapse, I did that too! Walked over to the tent and just laid down for a moment in the cool grass.

My arms were shaking for about 20 minutes later. Pats on the back, handshakes and more hugs than I could count. A couple of jello shots and a shot of whiskey later, I cheered on my opponents who promptly kicked my... behind and walked 300-400 feet.

Didn't matter, I did it!! I conquered my fears, stepped on the field and tried something new.

Gotta tell you how much I love my new Highland Family!! emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Highland Games sound pretty BADASS. I was a shot putter and discus thrower for over 8 years and I miss it sometimes. Keep up the training! You can do it! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2014 days ago
    Now this was inspiring! You have every reason to be proud of yourself! Women are so much more beautiful when they're strong! Kudos to you!
    2091 days ago
    What a great story! Way to go!!
    2112 days ago
    How cool is that!!! Great job. What a time. Exercise, outside, cool grass and shooters and whiskey!
    2112 days ago
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