Just two days after competing in the latest lifting meet at my home (High Performance Fitness), I naturally thought that I would have this whole week to recover and take it easy… I was wrong. The first day back, Mike suggests to me that I participate in the Deadlift for HopeKids event being hosted by Matt and Julia Ladewski on Saturday, 2-8-14. I’m always game for deadlifts and doing it for a charity just sweetens the deal, but I was still skeptical about pulling heavy again so soon after a meet. I asked Mike if I should go heavy or not and he said “the trainer in me says take it easy and let your body recover… but the competitor in me says go all out.” I sided with Competitor Mike and signed up with my opener at 330 lbs. Upon arriving at the meet I felt very awkward since there was only 3 people there that I kinda sorta knew. But with everyone being so incredibly nice and supportive, the atmosphere was really welcoming. Needless to say, I felt at home right away which was good since this would be my first time participating in a meet outside of HPF. My opener of 330 went up very rough and I began to worry that the meet from last week had taken a bigger toll on my body than I had previously thought. With some advice from Rob Luyando in mind and some SLAPS on the back from Mike, I went up for my second lift of 355 (my highest weight from last week’s meet). It came up easier than my 330! I ended up pulling 365 (10 lb PR) for my last attempt and could not be happier. Being in the first flight was awesome because for the rest of the meet I got to sit back, cheer, and watch some crazy weight get lifted. The overall experience was GREAT, very inspirational for me being a young lifter, and a great opportunity to see where all my hard work can get me. I am honored to have been a part of, and to have been able to contribute to such a great cause. Thank you to Matt and Julia for being great hosts. Also, special thanks to Mike Mireles for being a great coach and motivator; I could never be at the level I am at right now without him.