See it to believe it

Wrapping up an awesome weekend in the Twin Cities, posting from MSP Airport. As I mentioned in my previous post, thanks to my brother I was able to train in the state-of-the-art U of M athletes’ weight room on Friday and again this morning before heading to the airport. That opportunity in itself was really cool, but it doesn’t compare to my training on Saturday.

Fortunately, I have a mentor who takes incredible care of me. When I mentioned to Rob that I would be in Minnesota over this weekend, he contacted Nick Tylutki to find out if we could train together. For those who are not familiar with the powerlifting phenom, Nick made the world team at the age of 19 (hopefully I get all this correct, I’m writing from memory) and then several times after that. This was when powerlifting was primarily (or all) geared. I read somewhere that at one point, he had a geared total over 2000-lbs (best squat + best bench + best deadlift = total) at a bodyweight of 100-kg/220-lbs. Unreal. In recent years, Raw Powerlifting (that’s what I do – just knee sleeves, wrist wraps, and a belt) became its own recognized sport and many formerly geared lifters switched over, including Nick. As a 2-time Raw National Champion, he qualified for Worlds in Russia this year and South Africa for 2014. In the past few months, I’ve trained with some seriously strong men.. There’s something about seeing it in person, informally, that gives you an entirely different appreciation. Prior to this weekend, I had a rough idea of Nick’s strength, but watching him load the bar with over 500 pounds and then do multiple reps was incredible:

Similar to all the other strong people I have had the opportunity to lift with, I can’t really wrap my mind around it until it is right in front of me. I made a joke the other day about how  I don’t do much besides lift when I train with these guys, and it remains true. 45-pound plates get tossed around like they are plastic toys no matter if you’re in Alaska or Minnesota. And if any of you guys are reading this, wishing I WOULD help more, just tell me 🙂

I’m on my way back to Alaska feeling inspired and so very fortunate. I can’t thank my support system enough. Everyone I have met thus far on my journey has helped fuel my fire.

Five days until AFX and I can hardly wait!!


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