UPDATE: This post has been editing, please see my comment below for an explanation.
On Saturday I took a 200 mile round trip to the Lilleshall National Sports Centre near Telford to support 7 members of Crossfit Manchester who were competing in the BWLA British Masters Weight Lifting Championship Finals!
Who were these mighty giants of British Weightlifting? Mark Beck, my Crossfit coach is by most weightlifting measures a wee slip of a man, in fact I think he was probably the lightest male competitor there at about 65kg. One of the other competitors said to me incredulously:
“There’s not an ounce of fat on that man!”
What about the other 6 monster British weightlifters from Crossfit Manchester: all women. In fact at a stroke, Crossfit Manchester nearly doubled the number of women competing in the entire event. So much so that for the first time in living memory it seems, they had to split the women up into 2 lifting groups, something apparently previously unheard of.
Bare in mind that this is the British Masters Weight Lifting championships, which means that you have to be over 35 to compete. 5 of the 6 women are over 40, several of which are ordinary working wives and mothers, who have done no more weightlifting training than simply attend Crossfit for a year, since the doors opened in Manchester.
The most entertaining part of the day was to be found in conversation with other established weight lifting competitors, who were amazed at the 25 or so Crossfitters who had invaded their domain, and were keen to learn about where we were from and what Crossfit was. One question was:
“So do you do Power Lifting as well as Weight Lifting at Crossfit?”
His face was a picture when I replied: “Oh we’re not a weight lifting gym, we’re a fitness gym. Weightlifting, combined with gymnastics and circuit training, is just part of what we do to get Stronger, Fitter, and Faster!” 🙂
To be clear, I was not disrespecting the man, I have the utmost respect for these Masters athletes and the very strong and technically accomplished lifters there. Many Masters lifters continue to show true commitment and courage to compete despite suffering persistent injuries and even sometimes whilst recovering from serious operations. He had quite logically assumed that we were a dedicated weight lifting gym, after all, who else would be doing Olympic weightlifting to a standard that would allow entrants to the British Masters?
It is a testament to Crossfit’s efficacy that we were able to field 7 competitors in this very specialised event. As it happened, every one of our competitors was unopposed in their combination of age group and weight category, so Crossfit Manchester can now boast a massive 7 British Masters Weight Lifting Champions! And proud of them all I am.
I hope that by next year, my Golfer’s Elbow will have sorted itself out, and I’ll be able to compete myself. At my current weight, I’ll compete in the 85kg category and so need to lift 175kg combined across a Snatch and Clean & Jerk in a satellite competition in order to qualify for the finals. I would hope that a 75kg Snatch and a 100kg Clean & Jerk should be achievable within a year.