Athlete Journal: Chris Duffin, Entry 20 – The Microbes Win the Meet

The big meet day came and it wasn’t my torn adductor that took me out – it was a cold I came down with that morning that did me in. I still squatted over 700lbs, but my body just wasn’t having it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Welcome to the Athlete Journal of world champion powerlifter Chris Duffin. Follow Chris as he trains and competes in various events over the coming year. Chris’s journal will be posted every Tuesday. You can also read about Chris on his personal website

Athlete Journal, Entry 20: The Microbes Win the Meet

I spent the last week focused on my rehab work as well as making the last few tweaks to my diet to make weight (the 220lb weight class). My confidence was returning in my ability to step on the platform in a short period after my injury.

Thursday night I hit a couple hours in the sauna before bed. Friday morning I woke up to get the kids ready and stepped on the scale to find I didn’t need any additional time in the sauna. I noticed my nose was clogged up, which I thought was odd since I was dehydrated, but my wife had been sick all week. I weighed in for the competition at 219.8 and then spent the rest of the day focused on rehydrating, eating, and getting ready for the meet.

By that evening I was feeling pretty stuffy and congested. The morning of the meet I woke up and was definitely sick. Just packing my truck left me feeling exhausted and light headed. However, I moved on thinking that it was just a head cold and once I hit up some pre-workout stimulants I would forget about it.

I could feel my adductor on my squat warm ups. It was sore and tight, but was working and not shutting me down. It fell within the pain threshold for me to make the call to compete. I was PUMPED! Warm ups felt easy but I struggled with balance issues, even falling over backwards after my last warm up squat.

The competition then began and I was up for my first lift. After unracking my opener I received the squat command and began falling back on my heels. Since I had already received the squat command, which meant there was no reracking the bar, I needed to recover. I rolled the bar up my back and hunched over to get my balance back and not fall over. The weight went down and up really easy. I did get one red light for depth from a judge who was seated on the side of the adductor tear, as that hip was elevated. But it was a good lift.

My second attempt (of three total attempts) was 781lbs, which I had the same issues unracking and then losing my balance again in the hole. Mostly, I think, because I setup my stance a little too narrow. I advanced my third attempt to 804lbs, which was still 16lbs short of what I had hoped on doing. I made note to myself to correct my stance. I had a long wait after my knees were already wrapped up, due to some rack setup issues followed by a bar mislead, so my legs were getting a little numb. After dealing with the balance issues once again after the unrack I took the weight down. I hit the hole and maintained my balance with my stance corrected. I started the ascent and thought I had the lift but just didn’t quite clear the hole completely.

Although disappointed I decided to continue with the meet. I got through my opening bench but, with the cold taking more of a toll as I continued to try to lift, I realized I just wasn’t going to be able to complete the meet. I went home and slept for twelve hours, spent a few hours relaxing Sunday, and then went back to sleep for another sixteen hours. I have not slept this long and hard for years.

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