Overkill Gear is who I’m going with; I’m out of the APF Perfect Storm meet and an update!

I wish I would have updated more, but I’ve kept putting it off. I get in phases where I get so busy; I always push off writing, especially if other things are going on, I can justify putting off a book or an article. It’s just how my brain works, so here we go. I will do better going forward!

My plan this year going back to Feb 2020 or maybe even back in 2019, was to do Bert and Mindy’s Gene R memorial meet Oct 3 in Knoxville, TN. And then on a whim during a training day after it the subject came up, I suggested we all jump into the APF July 25 Perfect Storm meet since it was local. Some people dragged their feet and got locked out. But the plan was to take a few attempts and treat it like a training day so the younger guys could get some experience on the platform. It didn’t quite plan out, but a few of us got registered.

With the twins and being sick some, it has been a blur the last three months. Some things I can’t remember at all, honestly and get May and June confused. But, I love that I can spend so much time at home with our babies, so even with all the craziness going on, I’m still happy and thankful that our babies are healthy and safe. Both of Ria and my work is busy, and we are grateful. When COVID hit, so many people contacted me about coaching, I guess they had been waiting for the right time to take some time off to get right, and forced time is sometimes the best time with the gyms being closed. More downtime, along with me starting the Livestream every Wed 1 pm Q&A sessions, I got hammered with consults and such. Again, very thankful.

I came down with shingles (first time) around the time of the last article (May), and I fought that for a little bit (it put me down for a bit) and probably came back too early in training from being enthusiastic for the Perfect Storm meet. The end of July was enough time to at least get my squat ready, either way. I figured since I was changing into OK gear, I would give the squat a test drive. And anything else beyond that with the dead and bench is a bonus. I was going to take my time with the other lifts, especially with the strained pec back in April.

The prep went pretty well, and last week I hit an all-time Gym PR squat of 1160. I love my Overkill Ultimate 3ply squat suit. I also love my other OK gear, but I have not yet dialed it in 100%, But come Monday and Wednesday (2 weeks ago), I had zero gas in my tank, like toast. I’ve done enough meet preps to know that something was off, and it wasn’t just me overtraining or common meet prep fatigue. I was feeling extra crazy and mentally crushed. So if that wasn’t enough, my bench tanked too on Wednesday, and finally, I realized it – something was wrong. I HOPED I was sick and figured it was probably COVID.  I say hope because I know I didn’t forget how to pull, or bench. But it felt like someone took my supercharger belt off and didn’t tell me. We are so twisted – ‘I hope.’ Better than losing my strength for a random reason, that way, more terrifying than being sick.

I’m not really around people that much, so once I fell flat, I caved and went and got tested for the sake of those close to me and to let the guys in the gym know –and I was Positive. But, by the time I got my test back, and after sleeping for three days, & resting, I was back up and running pretty much standard, probably 6.5-7/10. Plus, other than symptoms that I typically get during a heavy dose training cycle: mild nausea, sniffles, runny nose, eyes burning and fatigue (I got exposed to some terrible mold 12 years ago at a meet hotel and have had at times bad allergy issues since); so this was not in any way a red flag that I was sick. But then my taste and smell went, so I figured I was doomed.

My wife has tested negative, and so has my mother in law; and as of the time writing this, no other people have popped positive that I’ve been around. Babies are healthy and beautiful. Once I was down for those days, regardless of a positive test, or not, I knew doing the meet would not be the right choice. Now with a positive test and being in quarantine the last week, I’m going to watch the event from my living room.

This sucks, but I feel it’s the best due to the timing being close, and the optic of the situation. People are there to lift, and I don’t want to be a distraction, even if my symptoms have left for ten days. I could have lied and said something other, but that’s not me. I would love more than just about anything to be there this weekend for and with my team and to see friends, as it’s only an hour from my house; But since it’s just within the two weeks of me quarantining and I’m still fatigued, I told Tommye, I’d be staying home. I also question how being on my feet all day yelling, coaching, and getting wound up would treat me, as I’m still fatigued, and I’m working my way back to regular days with my walks, etc. I’d say I’m about 7.5-8/10 (if ten is normal). But, I get fatigued very quickly, and my breathing still isn’t quite right, so I’m taking it easy until at least the end of the month and will be chilling. No training, but my diet has been on point, so when I pick back up in August, I will be in a great spot.

The truth is, I probably had this over a month ago, but being healthy helped me push it off, and it not hurt me like it has hurt other people.  I think that if I wasn’t lifting heavy, I might not have known at all that I was sick, but I know my strength well, and where my body needs to be at specific markers, so I had the indicators speaking to me, and something was indeed off. I’m very very lucky I didn’t get hurt and tear something off bad. Especially during the 1160 squat.

To close: I’m not a zealot either way. I’m not for the masks, as it’s ONLY for compliance and CYA. But, I also don’t have a problem with it to an extent, except the bullshit mandates by the Gov’t – they lost me a long time ago about health. They are not in any way here to protect you or keep you healthy, nor should they be. So, I’m hesitant to listen to anything concerning health. It starts with masks, then eventually, history tells us it goes to being forced to board trains.  I don’t know what to think about this virus other there’s a ton of misleading info out there, especially about Florida; we are getting kicked around by the media. We have blown up with cases, but we have made testing much more available. We also have a ton of conflicting info about the positives and false positives, here. Lastly, nobody (less than 1%) is dying from this in Florida, NYC is now laughing at us, but they put all their unhealthy older adults together, and thousands died.

IMO, the virus is unavoidable (unless you stay home forever), and we should not slow down and wait it out because it’s not going anywhere. However, if you are sick, you should probably chill for a bit, and those who are unhealthy/ more susceptible should probably lay low and stay home if they are concerned. But for the rest of us, I wouldn’t have changed anything. I’m going to live my life, train, and not walk in fear but remain vigilant. My life has changed a lot, and my sleep has been down and stress has been up, so I have to accept these bumps in the road and do my best to control what I can.

Huge thank you to Firebrand Infusions, Spud Inc, Jax Nutrition, Overkill Strength, and Vox Medical for all of your help. Moving on to Oct 3!

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Brian Carroll

Brian is a world-class powerlifter with over two decades of elite and pro-level powerlifting under his belt. Coming back from a devastating back injury in 2012 that broke multiple bones and that most experts said he would never recover from, he has returned to the pinnacle of world-class lifting (while 100% pain and symptom-free) and is now dedicated to helping others avoid the same mistakes that he made in the past through private and group coaching in Jacksonville, FL. Brian’s impressive recovery has given him the opportunity to teach and deliver talks to physical therapists, chiropractors, medical doctors, professional strength & conditioning coaches and experts from all facets of sport, on how to avoid injury, while building anti-fragile strength and resilience in athletes.
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