The first half of this trip has been incredible. I've learned so much from being around these elite athletes and top notch coaches. Our travel was less than ideal, our first and second nights were spent in an airport and in an airplane. We arrived with serious jet lag and yet these athletes made the best of their training early on in the trip to assure success.
Garage Strength's own, Hayley Reichardt competed the first day with another athlete from California, Chloe Tacata. Chloe posted a PR total and looked great for being on the international stage the first time. Hayley recovered well from our brutal travel. She made sure she slept at the right times and took proper supplementation to aid with sleep and recovery to hopefully get her in good enough mindset to medal. And that's exactly what she did.
Hayley went out, made her first two attempts and narrowly missed her third snatch on a press out. Heading into the clean and jerk portion of the competition, we were in a tight battle with the Turks and the Indians. Hayley hit her first clean and jerk, then missed her second attempt. As we sat in a holding pattern waiting for her third attempt, I told her she MUST hit her final lift to win the bronze medal. She looked as though she was going to throw up, and of course I myself felt as though I was going to black out and throw up as well!!! So what did she do? She went out and hit her third lift to become the FIRST American woman to ever medal at a youth world championship. The FIRST !!!
Of course I am incredibly proud of Hayley bringing home a medal. But the thing that makes me most happy is that after the competition, Hayley informed me that she didn't believe she could make the last clean and jerk. Part of me thinks she made it because I told her I KNEW she would make the lift, but in reality Hayley turned over the hardest leaf in all of athletics. She silenced her mind and let her body do the work. She conquered negative thoughts and crushed the weight! This is a life lesson she can hold with her, not just for the rest of her athletic career but also for the rest of her life.
We had a great travel day on Friday, site seeing the island of Penang and experiencing their culture by eating some of the best ethnic food in the world. Then came Saturday. Will Cohen competed well, Juliette Chang Fane had an incredible first international competition and finally there was CJ Cummings. The best male American lifter. CJ went out and broke some world records, won the World title and became the youngest and lightest American man to ever clean and jerk 182 kilos.
We have three days left of competition, I can't wait to continue to learn from these studs!!!