Let's Get Tactical

By Chelsea Irvine

I’ve previously written for Girls on the Grid singing my praises for Innovative Strength and Conditioning (2703 5th Street) (Facebook), my newfound home-away-from-home.

Amy tactical pull upThese days, I see my gym family more than I see my actual family. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined getting up before the crack of dawn (I believe 4:30am in most people’s world is still “night” and not yet “morning”), yet there I am, three or four times every week. Gone are the endless afternoons spent seeing how many happy hour cocktails I can throw back… No, ladies and gentlemen, this gal is in bed by ten on most nights. If you need me, I’ll be waiting by my mailbox for that AARP card to arrive.

But, alas, my 5:00am workout crew has me actually excited to get up and going in the morning.

I love how my gym has not only brought me together with some great new friends, but created an environment where each of us pushes each other to train harder and surpass the goals we set for ourselves, and the goals we never could have imagined setting for ourselves.

Two of my favorite gym ninjas (you know you’re an addict when friends create nicknames for you) even completed their first triathlon a couple weeks ago. Months of added running, swimming and biking came full circle as they breezed past the finish line and crossed a biggie off their bucket lists. I couldn’t be more proud of these two crazy ladies (who are wasting no time figuring out what their next big goal will be).

As my high school nicknames of “Slow Mo” and “Speedy” would lead you to believe, running is not my bag, and even in my previous teenage career as a lifeguard, my swimming skills have proven to be lackluster at best.  So, when setting my next goal for myself, a tri didn’t really fit into the equation.

Enter: Midtown Strength and Conditioning’s  “Tactical Strength Challenge.”

About six months ago, pumped up by Tactical-training Facebook posts from my all-time gym motivator and all-around badass mentor (I’m looking at you, Amy Brown!), I was somehow convinced to try my hand at the Tactical Strength Challenge, hosted at Midtown Strength and Conditioning (2010 3rd Street) (Facebook).

photoSomehow, my coach thought I might actually have a chance against these crazy strong women and suggested that I try it out.  Obviously, there was not a thought in my mind that I would come close to placing in this contest, but another teammate of mine said if I’d do it, she’d do it, and the two of us took the challenge head on.  Of course, this event is one of those events it might be wise to specifically TRAIN for, but we grabbed the bull by the horns and signed up with a week’s notice.

She got third. I got tenth. But we both did it and it felt awesome.

This weekend I get a second chance. This time, with a little added training under my belt. Here goes nothing.

The Tactical Strength Challenge has a women’s and men’s novice, elite and open categories and involves three things:

  1. One deadlift (three tries, maximum weight of your choice, barbell on the ground, lifting straight up from the ground)
  2. Pull-ups (as many as you can do in one shot, no time limit)
  3. Five minutes of kettle bell snatches (one kettle bell, swinging it above your head as many times as you can in five minutes)

I know this might sound scary for some, but the environment that Midtown has created is so welcoming and supportive, you really feel like you’re in a room full of friends  The level of competition is high, but there will be men and women of all strength levels participating. Nobody will walk out of there feeling anything by pride in their efforts.  (Although I walked out of there SWEARING that I would try again and get more than my measly two pull-ups.)

There are three of us participating from ISC and we have had a blast training together over the last couple months, fighting through painful hands, sore muscles and tired bodies. And once again we’re aiming for amazing results.  And even if we don’t place or get our goal pull-ups, it will have been totally worth it. Because, what fun is life if you don’t ever act outside the box?

Come cheer us on this Saturday at 9:00am at Midtown Strength and Conditioning’s Tactical Strength Challenge, 3rd and T Streets in Midtown. A huge shout out to Tara and the whole crew at Midtown for putting together such a fabulous event.

See you Saturday!

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