Written by Donovan Ford
The last few weeks there has been a lot on my mind, mainly about this year’s National Championships. Training has been going pretty well for the most part. I have gotten my snatch up to 145kg and my Jerk is at 175kg. The clean doesn’t really matter too much. I have cleaned 216kg so that isn’t really a factor.
The shocking thing is that I’m still just 6 months post-operation. After several conversations with my surgeon, we came to the decision that regardless of how my shoulder is feeling, it is too soon to compete on it. It’s a disappointment, but it’s for the best.
I still occasionally have minor set backs with my shoulder, and the last thing I need is to fight for a weight in competition and injure myself again. I still plan on attending the Nationals and supporting friends and family. University Nationals is probably the next competition for me. I’m just going to put my head down and keep healing and training for a few more months.
If the field of competitors doesn’t change much, there might be an outside chance I can make the world team this year, which would take a lot of pressure off me for the new Olympic qualifying rules.
My current training has been going pretty decent. I had a close miss at 150kg in the snatch, which was really frustrating to miss. I just didn’t have enough shoulder strength to hold it up. It was mostly likely from fatigue. I had been struggling in my jerk again for a few weeks because of some muscle imbalances in my scapula but after changing up my rehab exercises I fixed that problem and started making a little progress again.
On the down side, I got sick this week and had to sit out of practice for 4 days, so I missed 6 training sessions, which makes me feel really behind. My coach isn’t really happy about me missing training but there’s nothing I can do when I have a fever of 103. Hopefully I can still get a few sessions in this week so I don’t lose too many of my gains.
On the positive side of things, I probably needed the rest so maybe I will come back more energized in training. This week of training was going to be a tough one also. I had lots of doubles in the snatch at 130kg, which is hard for me in my current condition. I also had a monster squat workout with a wave of doubles at 220kg and 240kg in the front squat.
So it looks to me like I dodged a bullet in a way. I will just make it up next week when I am fully recovered from being sick.
Donovan Ford has been a member of USA Weightlifting’s resident athlete program at the Olympic Training Center, located in Colorado Springs, Colorado since 2009. Donovan is currently being coached by 1972 Olympic Champion Zygmunt Smalcerz. Donovan has 8 years of national and international lifting experience. His titles include 2012 American Open Champion, snatch silver medalist, and bronze medalist in the clean and jerk and total at the 2013 Pan American Championships. Donovan was also a member of the 2013 World Team, for the World Championships held in Wroclaw, Poland. Donovan’s 170kg snatch and 201kg clean and jerk make him a competitor to watch for the 2016 Olympic Games.