Besides training on the Ultimate Royal Court Challenge I worked on many other moves, especially lots of holds, because Matt’s a big fan of those and I figured we’d be doing some in the contest.

Of course, I also trained on the one move that had beat me last year. Holding the bottom position of a one arm pushup for 30 seconds. In training I did 45 seconds with my right and 30 with my left. It was a good thing for me to work on as it came up in the contest again.

I was well prepared. Truthfully I know I could have done more to prepare and I did have some weak points, but the time came. Especially after the previous day’s five different workouts I was not 100%. But neither would be any of the competitors.

One workout consisted of 500 Hindu Squats and 100 Hindu Pushups broken up into many sets. Whereas in the past that would have just about killed me and left me unable to walk the next couple of days I did it with some ease and minimal soreness.

I applied much of what I had learned, regarding visualization and deep breathing. I could see myself going through exercises (even though many I pictured we didn’t do). I saw myself shaking Matt’s hand and having pictures taken. I even knew what I was going to be wearing. Most importantly I knew how I would hold the trophy high above my head in the middle of the room after winning.

I was focused. This was my year.

The day stretched on but it finally came time to start. It was me and four other competitors. Once again Matt threw us a curveball. No one expected what we had to do, including a bunch of animal moves, like bear crawls, duck walks, and crab walks and much more.

But we just had to push through. My training paid off. There were some tough parts but I led the pack in most of the exercises. This was extra helpful because I had time to rest before the next exercise began.

Even when we came to something I had never done before, jumping rope backwards, I was able to get 50 off without a single miss. The further along we got, the more confident I became. The whole time just one goal. No giving up. I will win.

When it came down to two, I knew it was within my grasp. The final event happened to be a 10 minute bridge. While I had done that before, my competitor, Perry Berthelot, had never done more than three minutes. He tried hard but came down at four and a half.

Had we both completed that move I believe we would have gone on in pushups or squats. I was prepared to do more. But there was no need. I had won. My mental picture had come true.

I am the 2008 Combat Conditioning Athlete of the Year.

Combat Conditioning Trophy

The trophy for Combat Conditioning Athlete of the Year 2008

I write this article not to brag. I write this to show you what you can do when you really go after it.

All my visualization, having thinking about, and believing I could achieve the goal undoubtedly helped. But without the physical training to prepare I wouldn’t have stood a chance.

Dan Gable, one of the greatest wrestler’s and possibly the greatest coach of all time, who spoke at this seminar talked a lot about being prepared. About training harder than anyone else. I was and I did. Through my training I was able to complete all the exercises thrown at us even though I hadn’t done some of them in a long time, and one of them ever. That is what being an athlete is really about. Rising to the challenge.

Competition makes you train harder than you undoubtedly would yourself, even if it just comparing yourself to your friends efforts. Go out and compete in some form. Train harder than you think is possible.

I don’t think anyone wanted to win as much as I did. Because of the desire I had, I was willing to do what it took in my training to come out on top. That is the key.

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