Not a lot has been going on since my last post about my return from Washington on the train. I’ve been doing a lot of lifting as usual. Things have been up and down with lifting. I seem to have a recurring issue with my left quad but, as of late, it has been good and I think I’ve found a way to get it to loosen up. That being said, I thought I’d found a way (very aggressive static stretching, which normally isn’t recommended) as of a few weeks ago but that stopped working so I am trying new methods. Either way, I managed to tie a squat PR today and I was close to setting a new one so I’m relatively happy with my progress as of late. I hope it continues in this direction as I will set a number of PRs in the next few months if I can keep this up. As I stated in my birthday post, I want a 400lb squat so I still have some progress that needs to be made.
Also, in relatively exciting news, I am departing for London in just under 8 days as of the writing of this post! I’m really excited about it. Really really excited. I am going to nine Olympic weightlifting sessions and I have good seats to all of them. It should be incredible. Olympic weightlifting might not look all that interesting to an outsider but it’s absolute riveting sport when you know what’s going on. There is a ton of strategy, gameplay and so on in the sport. All of the athletes will perform two different types of lifts (Snatch, Clean & Jerk) and they get three attempts at each lift with the weights of their choosing. It doesn’t matter if they make them all or miss them all — they get three attempts. Whoever has the highest combined lifts (with their best lift in each one counting) wins the medals. It’s that simple. The total time on stage for all six lifts is well under 5 minutes and the total time actually spent performing the lifts is sub 1 minute. Lots of these lifters have been training since they were 10 or maybe even before. Even if they picked up the sport later in life, 95%+ of them have dedicated almost every day of the last five years to training themselves for the London Olympic Games. That much training condensed down into one minute of make-or-break sporting theater is riveting. In weightlifting, the Olympics are everything. Even winning the World Championship is pretty secondary although it is a big deal. In weightlifting, there are Olympic medals and then there are all other medals. These are the ones that matter and they don’t come around that often. Unlike in swimming where you can win 5 or 10 medals in a single Games, in weightlifting, there are 45 medals available total. For men (8 weight classes) and women (7 weight classes) across all 15 weight classes. Medals in weightlifting are RARE. People dream about them for years and years and everyone remembers the Olympic champions. Being right there for that sort of drama is going to be incredible. So, yea, I’m pumped.
Moving on. Like everyone else I am quite saddened by the Aurora shooting but it really doesn’t make me second guess going to see a movie. I need to rant a little based on all of the people that I’ve seen writing articles about how movie theaters are unsafe and how they are going to wait to watch movies in their homes and so on. I think crazy people are going to do crazy things and you can’t predict when and where they’ll be. In fact, a lot of people think going to London for the Olympics is crazy. It definitely is not the smartest thing that I can do if I want to avoid crazy people. But living life scared is stupid. We’re all going to die it’s just a matter of when. While I theoretically have a lot of time left, there are no guarantees. So I have no reservations about going to see The Dark Knight Rises and I think that anyone who is worried about it really needs to re-evaluate their priorities in life. Actually, speaking of the Aurora shooting, I was in that very complex in June 2011 when I flew into Denver for Nick Van Newkirk’s wedding reception in Oshkosh Nebraska. I didn’t go see a movie but I drove around the town center looking for a place to work. I ended up settling on going to a Panera Bread nearby but it is kind of spooky to have been there about a year before the shooting. I feel terrible for all of the victims, their families and their friends.
Lastly, today Brent Beckley got sentenced to 14 months in prison for his role in the payment processing at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet. He pleaded guilty last December. I actually met Brent a number of times when I was living in Costa Rica and I have to say that I liked the guy a lot. I usually like to think that I can sniff out when someone is possibly not genuine. Brent didn’t indicate the slightest bit of scummy or dishonest thought processes. I know that he worked around the UIGEA but frankly I don’t really blame him for that. The online gaming industry has a stunning number of people who come off as quite shady, scummy, etc. In fact, I would say that a large % of the people that I met in online gaming would fall into that group. And among the people who actually run poker sites not named PokerStars, the number is much higher than in the rest of the online gaming world. But, even at AP/UB, there were a few legit nice guys and I actually believe Brent to be one of those guys. Of course, I can’t know how much Brent knew about the cheating scandals and so on so I can’t say that he was guilt-free in those cases. But I would actually be surprised if he in the slightest bit condoned any of what happened in those cases. Either way, I’m glad that he has some closure in the case and can get on with his life once the prison sentence is served. I’m also glad to know that he can live in the US again.