Thanks, VS - it wouldn't have been so bad were it not for both being quite unexpected. Uncle of mine was just diagnosed with emphysema in early May (2 pack a day smoker for about 60 years), then there to multiple cancerous tumors all over his body just weeks later, no hope for recovery, it was just a matter of waiting for his time to come, which wasn't all that long afterward. My wife's cousin was a shock, only 45 years old, but heavy drinking over 20+ years caught up with him - he fell at home and hit his head, went into a coma (they couldn't operate for hours afterward because of his massively high .32 blood alcohol content), and they took him off life support a few short days later. Rough times all around, but that's life, sometimes it's great, sometimes it's a handful of shite.
Definitely hit those weighted pull-ups - they've been a great asset, even doing my sets technically as singles with 5 seconds rest between reps has built up a LOT more upper back strength. One of these damned days I'll finally get one with 100 lbs. strapped on, I think it's now more of a mental block than anything else, hopefully once I get 100 I'll rip through another few PRs soon afterward.
Wanted to train tonight as it was nice and cool outside, but something I had for dinner (cheeseless pizza from new place in town) just didn't settle right, gut has been churning for the past 5 hours, so had to skip lifting until tomorrow. Only consolation is that I got to have fun with front-row seats at the Milwaukee Battle at the Beach yesterday, great strongman comp and looking like it'll be a pro card qualifier next year (quite the honor for a contest that's only in its second year!) My wallet's a lot lighter after sponsoring extra cash for the winner in three different events, got a nasty case of sunburn, but a great time overall. Some pics of the day to share:
Power stairs were first event, 3 implements (425 lbs for two, 500 lbs. for the third), each had to be lifted up 5 oversized steps on the beachfront, everyone got through the 425s, but the 500 shut down about half the roster from completing the full event. Guy with the hat and sleeveless shirt is Sam McMahon, state chair for North American Stronman Society, retired former pro competitor, and all-around good guy who helps ANYONE who wants to get into strongman. My business partner Kirk is the bearded guy to the right of him, he's the one who runs our training facility. Guy doing the event is Eulice, one of our members who has been making great progress this past year. Grey haired ponytail guy with back to the camera is Jan (aka Swede), inspiration for those who want to be bull-strong as they reach the half century mark. I watched him deadlift 455 lbs. for 19 reps in a contest not long ago, some amazing strength for a guy who's a half century old
Block press was 2nd event, concrete blocks ranging from 205 to 265 lbs. had to be lifted from the sand to overhead. Nobody made the full run (two people came close), most were only able to get through 2-3 blocks before being shut down by how big and awkward they were. Apparently, when they use metal blocks or denser rock, it's not quite so tough (or so people were saying), those concrete slabs were freakin' BIG. Guy who is in the photo managed to win two events, so I handed him a pair of $100s for his work that day.
3rd event was the tombstone carry, 300+ lb. concrete slab carried for distance as far as you could take it around the course, best distance was one full lap and about 90% of the 2nd lap by one of the guys who trains at our facility, was something like 280 feet total distance carried (in sand, nonetheless)
4th event was keg toss, 30 lb. empty aluminum kegs thrown over 14 foot bar, fastest time wins. Most completed it, but some just couldn't get the technique down and only got a few kegs over to be counted for scoring.
Stones were final event, 6 stones weighing 275 lbs. through 380, if you made those you got the crack at the 405 lb. bonus stone, three people made it to the last one, only two were able to get it loaded. Shot here is of guy Jake Bodi (lightweight pro, he's now competing as a heavyweight despite most HWs being 40-100 lbs. heavier than he is!), one of the two to nail the last stone, but he was a few seconds slower than the massive 6'5", 350 lb. monster who trekked up from New Mexico to beat him out for a 2nd place finish
Finally, me holding two beers in one hand and handing out prize money (it seems the can of Guinness between myself and Sam is floating on its own, as there's a mystical 5th hand between us but nobody attached to it)