Follow by Email

Friday, July 24, 2015

Walk- FooFighters, Nationals, Einstein, and Nirvana


“Learning to Walk again,
I believe I have waited long enough
where do I begin
Learning to Talk again,
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin”

FooFighters, Walk



Who knew going to a FooFighters concert at the legendary Fenway park could be such a compelling experience.  I’ll get back to the Foo in a few paragraphs.

2015 USAW Nationals

Many of you have been inquiring about my elbow and if I will be competing at the 2015 USAW nationals.  Sure, I will, I mailed paper registration, so I should appear on the start list before the final entries.


Ok, JUST Kidding.  I just did that for the haters. Some people asked me out of genuine love and regard for my health if I would be at nationals-- Others asked me out of thinly veiled self-interest, secretly hoping would say “no” so it would give them a better shot at medaling.  Yeah, yeah, yeah, I work in the corporate world, I have a very good BS detector.

 I had a possibly career ending injury, at American Open, saving my second attempt snatch at 90kg (video is on my Instagram page @gwensisto). It’s healing miraculously, and I am thankful for that.  And, I need to appreciate my Wolverine like superpowers and not take for granted my ligaments, again.  I’m really beyond the point of going to Nationals just to win another medal, because I have a trunk full of those. I want my lifting to mean something, and I want to put my best work out there.  My mind is stronger than my body, so I will push myself, once again, when my elbow is where it needs to be.

Moving on
So, what do I do to console my grief, my loss, my pain over my injury---the grief of being number 1 on the American Open startlist only to end my competition after my second lift, to sit out the final Pan Am Games qualifiers, and, now, to sit out nationals.

Further, my coach, Ivan Rojas, spent the first half of July in Toronto as National Coach of Panama for the 2015 Pan Am Games.  I was happy that my Risto Sports Teammates Rocio and Ariel (see their photos and video on the @ristosports Instagram) would get to compete.  At the same time, I didn’t really want to be around longing for what could have been.  

 I guess I did the only thing I could do:
Go to Europe and console my grief in fois gras, speaking French, eating Steak saignante (that means bloody ;). 

 Journey through Europe

Lifting in Europe is interesting.  In America, you basically can email any crossfit or weightlifting club and ask to train there.  98% of the time, they will respond and offer you training times. Worst case scenario, they may charge you a drop-in fee. Most American gyms and crossfits do not charge a drop-in fee if you are a seasoned lifter, especially if you own your own gym, and are coming in to do your own workout and not to WOD. Part of  this is  simple professional courtesy –understanding that one day , they might have a lifter who may need to get in a session at your gym.

France is not at all like this. French culture is way more relationship based.  I have gotten lucky that I found one gym of powerlifting champions that responded and seems to appreciate having me stop by and train. Others seem to have the attitude that they don’t know me, personally, so no effort is made.  So, my hit rate on emailing crossfits in France is like 50% and maybe 60% for Switzerland.  In Germany, which is a bit more explicit culture like USA , my hit rate is 100%.  In France, there are many public gyms, often located underneath the community pool. Some are free , some aren’t,   and some of these gyms are Salle d’halterophilie or weightlifting gyms. Good luck getting in contact with the management unless you physically stop by , perchance, when they are training,  or if you know someone who knows someone that will put you in contact.  Still, when I do get to train at a gym in France, the people are awesome, and I appreciate it greatly.

 Journey through Switzerland..

When I go to France for work, I almost never have a free day or weekend to explore nearby countries.  This time it worked out, and I had a free weekend to fulfill my dream of re-creating “The Sound of Music” in the Swiss alps. And, of course, I worked in a training session.
I trained at CrossFit Helvetix in Basel Swtizerland. Though I drove there, it is right next to the train station . It’s a very nice space especially for being in a city, and the trainers exchanged shirts with me which is very cool.  They had Elieko bars which is a plus. More importantly, I really liked the people there.

I spent some time at the base of the biggest mountains in Switzerland, one being the Eiger.  At the base is Thunsee, this gorgeous mountain lake.  I have never seen water so aqua colored. It was sky blue with a hint of green – not like water in the Caribbean—it looked like something out of the Wizard of Oz.  There were mountains flanking all sides of the lake, some with steep slopes with chalets dotting their sides. It almost looked like villas on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea , other parts made me think of a Swedish Fjord.  

The landscape was gorgeous; the food was… ehhh…not so much.  Switzerland has 4 official languages, one of which is French. My French did me almost no good as I happened to be on the German side of Switzerland, so almost every sign was in German. The menus were all in German.  In many cases, I was better off speaking English than French in this part of Switzerland.  I went to an Italian restaurant, thinking as Italian is also an official Swiss language the Italian food must be good, right?  Well, the glaze on their Veal Saltimbocca came out like some heavy German sauce, and their risotto was tangy. It was weird.  The chocolates, Kaffee, and Kuchen were good though. I quickly figured out to only order German food or eat chocolate.  
Random cliff with swirling rock formations overlooking downtown Interlaken, Switzerland , Berner Oberlander 

The highlight of Switzerland was going to Bern and seeing the Einstein museum.  Einstein had written the theory of relativity in his apartment in downtown Bern while a patent clerk.  I also remember fondly playing SimCity on super Nintendo, with Bern being one of the city scenarios you could play.
Downtown Bern, Switzerland

Bern looks like a fairy tale town. The river is also a strangely perfect aqua blue, also looking very Wizard of Oz-ish.  Bern is also closer to the Berner Oberlander, where the Eiger and other giant Swiss mountains are, than say Zurich or Lucern.
Einstein , Einsteinhaus
Einstein's house, Bern, Switzerland


What I got out of seeing Einstein’s house:  For the most part, he was either an average or bad student and never felt like he fit in. He actually dropped out of his first school (equivalent of junior high?).  And, yes, he didn't always test well.

 He was only a great student when he really liked his school.  In college, he wouldn’t bother going to lectures that did not interest him, hurting his status at graduation, and that is probably why he ended-up as a patent clerk.  Additionally,  he was a loaner except for the couple friends he made through playing music and his wife, the only female student at his university.

 Still, he had great ideas and kept working on them, regardless of being affiliated with a university or not.  Because of the few friends he made through his love of playing the violin, he had help along the way of making connections with other great thinkers. Because of the humility of other great thinkers in academia, and their willingness to recognize Einstein’s talent, he eventually received positions at universities where he could fully dedicate himself to his interests.  Yes, he was very smart, and by working with other great minds, he was able to fully develop his ideas.  So,  persistence, talent, and finding your advocates leads to success., and often, its the people we least expect, who are the most talented.  Still, no one does it alone, not even an Einstein.
Back to France, Luxembourg
When I crossed the border back into to France, for a second I thought “ahh, I’m home”.   There is nothing like French food.  Even terrible food in France is still better than average food most anywhere else. The French have impeccable food standards.

I also was blessed to be in France for the 14th of July or Bastille Day.   Since everything was closed in the morning, I decided to visit Luxembourg, another country.  From where I was situated, the drive was about as far as driving from Risto Sports to Boston, like an hour. I drove while listening to FooFighters ‘ Sonic Highways album; I had my fill of French EDM by then. 
The center of Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Luxembourg was like a little Switzerland, except with most people speaking French. The signs were in French and German, and, instead of mountains, there were steep hills. Like Bern, Luxembourg seemed to be built on two sides of a ravine, no river though.  In Luxembourg, their French sounded almost like how Americans speak French, so much, that the people I talked to seemed to guess I was actually from France.

I returned to France that night as that is when people really start to wake-up on the 14th of July. One of my customers had recommended I go to a “bal de pompier” or fireman’s ball.  I was told it was a traditional French dance with traditional French music (ie the accordion) held in a firehouse or caserne. 

So, when I arrive to this firehouse, there is not an accordion to be seen.  I walk into to a bangin, loud club, blasting out EDM (electronic music)  - complete with a French DJ and strobe lights.  It was crazy.  The finale included a special performance by the muscle-bound firefighters themselves.  These great patriots performed a “Chippendales striptease” from the roof of the firehouse down to their underwear. Fortunately, it was only male firefighters.  In the audience was anyone, including children.  Ehh, its Europe, they still had close on so guess its PG rated.   I relayed the story to my French co-workers, and they were like “Ohh yeah, sometimes that happens. Usually in smaller towns though.”  Gotta love France.  video on @gwensisto instagram

Foo fighters
Like many things in life, I’m not sure how I wound-up at a FooFighter concert in Fenway Park, Boston, but I’m sure it was meant to be.  So,I happened to know a Rock photographer- actually through my engineering connections, of all places- that gave me a heads-up on the FooFighters tickets at Fenway 

 Dave Grohl seemed to make a point of having opening acts come from the local area, so night 1, two Boston bands, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Mission of Burma opened for the Foo.  Upon entering the venerable, magical, mystical Fenway Park,  the Mission of Burma filled the block with the rich sweetness of rock and roll.  They were followed by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones who killed it. Boston people love them, especially redsox fans, and especially Red Sox nation at Fenway. They ended with their biggest hit , “the impression that I get” , and people just went crazy for a song written about Boston, the RedSox, and Fenway Park.  They have super cute matching punk-ska-suits that really added a nice touch to their performance. The sound was a bit intereferance-y and static-y, probably because the stage was set-up for the FooFighers and not he opening acts…hey a few feet of where your amp/speakers are set will mess-up the acoustics, its engineering shit, so I should know.

 How good FooFighters actually are LIVE
FooFighters at Fenway Park, Boston July 18, 2015

The FooFighters accomplished an amazing feat being about 1000x’s better live than on their records, and I love their records.  They are hands down the best Rock show I have seen.
Dave Grohl exuded this charisma and intensity that you just don’t get from the FooFighters records.  He was so animated throughout the show, inspite of his leg being in a cast, and controlled the crowd of over 40,000.  It really is a phenomena that could only be observed and appreciated by attending a live show.  Further, Dave Grohl looked incredibly sexy as he wielded his guitar upon his FooFighter guitar throne.

They opened with the most up-tempo, hardest, and intense-ist version of “Everlong” I had ever heard.  Isn’t that awesome that they opened with probably their most famous song, and it really got the crowed going.  They basically played all their hits (except for long road to ruin and rope) and a few tracks off their new album, Sonic Highways.  

Their live renditions of their hits are just louder, harder, more rock and roll versions with extended guitar riffs  and  Dave Grohl throwing in plenty of rock and roll howls.  Again, I am so thrilled with how intense Dave Grohl was; his live self was such an inspiring surprise.  And, who knew Taylor Hawkins, the drummer could sing so well.   Aside from Dave and Taylor, there are 2 guitarists, a bassist, and a keyboardist; all were much less animated, though Pat Smear was interesting to watch.

They were cool enough to discuss at length their love for Queen. They play the open bars of “another one bites the dust”. Taylor Hawkins sang notes like Freddy Mercury to the crowd. They then played “Under Pressure”, with Taylor singing the Freddy Mercury part and Dave singing the David Bowie part.

The night was complete with Dave mentioning that someone “let out a Bababooey in the front row”, a fan’s homage to Grohl’s Howard Stern connections.  And, Dave’s nice guy deed of the night was reaching down and signing a girls cast.

The concert left me thinking that Dave Grohl is truly great at being a real rockstar , not just that bullshit term “rock star” that people throw around.  His performance inspired me, once again, to truly be great at something, to be great at the one thing or things that I'm meant to be great at.

Thank you, Dave Grohl.


Alas, Nirvana…

Still, I can’t help watching FooFighters and not think about Nirvana. Honestly, can anyone? It’s not a bad thing.  What would have happened if Kurt Cobain was still with us?  Would there be a FooFighters? Who knows. 

The music is so different, and both are great.  I feel like Nirvana really captured all the emotions I was feeling from middle school until the part of college. That pent-up angst and rage that accumulates when you either:  feel like you’re an outcast or a loaner or like you don’t belong or just feeling oppressed, misunderstood by others. And it was belted out by Kurt Cobain who was both charismatic and gorgeous, and he didn’t seem to know that, which only increases his beauty.

But, as I get more knowledge and wisdom I realize I can't make everyone happy and no one can oppress me because I own my emotions, so , now, when I hear Nirvana its more cathartic.  I feel sad at times thinking about how such beautiful music came , at times, from such a dark place. And underneath that rage there is introspection, empathy, and compassion.  Just watch, “Montage of Heck”**;  the documentary shows Kurts’ family having completely failed him, having failed at finding a way to nurture or to support someone bursting with creativity(that’s the impression that I get).  I only wonder if Kurt’s stomach ailments, that reportedly were assuaged by heroine, stem from stress of a really crappy childhood.   Like Franz Kafka said, “ we ought to read …books that wound and stab us”, Nirvana’s music does that to me.

 On the other hand, you have FooFighters which probably more closely matches how I feel now.  Most of the songs have a positive message, some are very uplifting like “Walk” , “Times Like These” ,and “Hero”.  When listening to them, you have to consider that the front man, Dave Grohl,  had supportive parents (just listen to his interviews on Howard Stern).  It is quite an interesting juxtaposition* of the two bodies of work of two very different bands, both being great in their own ways.

So, yeah, I’m ready to walk again. I believe I’ve waited long enough,
 to get back on the platform.


* I'm sure I could also draw-in an Einstein comparison to Cobain, but I thought it would be a bit much at this point in the article.
** it was a very sad film, especially as all the terrible parts are based on someone's real life.  

5 comments:

oakleyses said...

ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, prada outlet, nike air max, ray ban sunglasses, air max, louis vuitton, chanel handbags, nike air max, polo ralph lauren, christian louboutin outlet, nike roshe, polo ralph lauren outlet online, christian louboutin, louis vuitton, nike free, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, ugg boots, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, tory burch outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, ugg boots, uggs on sale, michael kors pas cher, tiffany and co, nike outlet, replica watches, louis vuitton outlet, jordan shoes, polo outlet, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin uk, ray ban sunglasses, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, sac longchamp pas cher, burberry pas cher, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp pas cher, christian louboutin shoes, louboutin pas cher, nike free run, jordan pas cher, longchamp outlet, tiffany jewelry

oakleyses said...

hollister uk, oakley pas cher, nike air max uk, nike air max uk, lululemon canada, nike tn, nike free uk, ralph lauren uk, michael kors, north face, replica handbags, sac vanessa bruno, north face uk, michael kors outlet online, coach outlet store online, hollister pas cher, vans pas cher, michael kors outlet, mulberry uk, nike blazer pas cher, uggs outlet, nike air force, converse pas cher, burberry outlet, abercrombie and fitch uk, ray ban uk, true religion outlet, true religion outlet, new balance, nike roshe run uk, ray ban pas cher, coach outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online, timberland pas cher, coach purses, nike air max, sac hermes, michael kors outlet, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet online, polo lacoste, true religion outlet, hogan outlet, michael kors, uggs outlet, true religion jeans, burberry handbags, michael kors outlet online

oakleyses said...

hollister, mont blanc pens, abercrombie and fitch, timberland boots, vans, longchamp uk, hollister, nike roshe run, jimmy choo outlet, valentino shoes, vans outlet, converse outlet, insanity workout, mcm handbags, babyliss, asics running shoes, nike air max, gucci, reebok outlet, celine handbags, ray ban, ralph lauren, hollister clothing, instyler, lululemon, mac cosmetics, lancel, ghd hair, wedding dresses, new balance shoes, iphone cases, nike trainers uk, hermes belt, nfl jerseys, chi flat iron, p90x workout, beats by dre, bottega veneta, converse, oakley, louboutin, nike air max, nike huaraches, baseball bats, north face outlet, ferragamo shoes, soccer jerseys, herve leger, north face outlet, soccer shoes

oakleyses said...

moncler, canada goose uk, canada goose, ugg uk, louis vuitton, canada goose jackets, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, canada goose, supra shoes, pandora uk, swarovski crystal, louis vuitton, hollister, juicy couture outlet, moncler, wedding dresses, canada goose outlet, ugg pas cher, moncler outlet, louis vuitton, pandora charms, karen millen uk, canada goose, pandora jewelry, swarovski, canada goose outlet, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, moncler, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, marc jacobs, canada goose outlet, doudoune moncler, coach outlet, replica watches, toms shoes, moncler uk, thomas sabo, ugg, links of london, moncler, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, moncler outlet, montre pas cher

Blogger said...

I have just downloaded iStripper, so I can have the best virtual strippers on my desktop.

Popular Posts

Lifting in Kazakhstan, Temirtau, Ilyin's former gym

Lifting in Kazakhstan, Temirtau, Ilyin's former gym
In Temirtau, Kazakhstan, I'm lifting in my Risto Sports Tank top, weightlifting shoes, and compression pants. Still, unable to do any overhead work from a ligament tear, I'm just rehabbing with pulls to retrain my muscles. Training next to me is the Youth and Junior team of Temirtau. Ilya Ilyin used to train in this facility as a junior. As well as a recent Junior World Champion, Maksim

Snatching 92kg at the Risto Olympia Cup

Snatching 92kg at the Risto Olympia Cup
This was the 2nd highest snatch in all of the USA for 2014 in official competition for women's 69kg weight class. The only athlete to snatch higher was Jenny Arthur with 98kg. Gwendolyn Sisto lifts for Risto Sports, the premier weightlifting company in the world. The Olympia Cup is held in conjunction with the Mr Olympia in Las Vegas, NV Join us in 2015! Gwen is lifting in all Risto Sports apparel and weightlifting shoes.

Oscar Figueroa,Olympic Silver Medalist, World medalist, approves of Risto's

Oscar Figueroa,Olympic Silver  Medalist, World medalist, approves of Risto's
Pictured at Salitre with Oscar Figueroa in center. We will be proudly be sponsoring Oscar with a pair of Risto shoes.

Carlos Andica training with Coach Ivan at Risto Sports

Carlos Andica training with Coach Ivan at Risto Sports

Built for the Platform - Risto Sports weightlifting shoes

Built for the Platform - Risto Sports weightlifting shoes
Russian boots, classic weightlifting shoes with modern shoe technology. Exquisite full leather upper, wood heel, rawhide forefoot, natural rubber outsole. One of a kind.

Risto Sports: Official Sponsor of USA Weightlifting

Risto Sports: Official Sponsor of USA Weightlifting
USAW national team member in Risto Singlet

Ivan in the Warm-up room with the Andica Brothers

Ivan in the Warm-up room with the Andica Brothers

Arnold, Carlos & Joni Andica in Front of Risto Sports banner

Arnold, Carlos & Joni Andica in Front of Risto Sports banner

Risto sport's Leidy Solis- PAN AM Champion 2009

Risto sport's Leidy Solis- PAN AM Champion 2009
Leidy in winning form, wearing her Risto weightlifting shoes. Congratulations Leidy!

Exceeding expectations - www.ristosports.com

Exceeding expectations - www.ristosports.com
Classic weightliftng shoe design with modern accents

In the Risto shoes

In the Risto shoes

Coach Jonny Pan AM champ

Coach Jonny Pan AM champ
Afternoon coach, doing pwr cleans while his lifters finish up

More wild custom shoes

More wild custom shoes
note pawprints

Abs

Abs
More on Facebook

Custom Weightlifting shoe

Custom Weightlifting shoe
Made to customer specifications, detailed embroidery

Custom Youth Sizes available!

Custom Youth Sizes available!
Little Gwen wears these for technique work in the gym. She also likes to match mommy and daddy in the gym. Lifting time is family time!

Bucharest Training Center

Bucharest Training Center
Ramanian Coach Doru, Ivan, Romanian Lifter Eiza

Nikolai Stoichkov- JR Bulgarian Lifter, son of Zdravco Stoichkov

Nikolai Stoichkov- JR Bulgarian Lifter, son of Zdravco Stoichkov
Training with a pair of Botev shoes. These shoes take a beating of 18000 to 20000 reps per year and heavy loads 90-100% - Also known as the Bulgarian system.

Custom Singlets too- Made to Order

Custom Singlets too- Made to Order

Future Champion- Tough lifters wear pink!

Future Champion- Tough lifters wear pink!
Gwendolyn Rojas getting ready to snatch 60kgs at 20kg bodyweight and 4 years old.

Stoichkov in Action

Stoichkov in Action
Coach Stoichkov adjusting my starting position.

Ivan giving training advice in Frankfurt Oder

Ivan giving training advice in Frankfurt Oder
Here Ivan, as a coach, is giving lifting advice to German Junior lifters at the Olympic Training Center in Frankfurt Oder, Germany. Yes, Ivan is fluent in German and is speaking German to the lifters.

Coach Ivan Rojas

Ivan Rojas is my coach and husband. Since training with Ivan, I have went down 3 weight classes while exceeding my prior best total (acheived while training by myself as a junior vs with proper training under Ivan).

During the 80's, Ivan trained extensively as a coach and lifter in former Eastern block countries as well as Cuba.


Working out with the Champs

Working out with the Champs
Gwen squatting wth Georgiev, Peschalov, and new lifter in background

Training in Bulgaria - Gwen and Coach Zdravco Stoichov

Training in Bulgaria - Gwen and Coach Zdravco Stoichov
Stoichov is coach of Peschalov, Georgiev, etc. Also of key interest: Similar to USA lifters missing out on their chance to medal at the 1980 Olympics , at the time of the boycotted '84 Olympic Games, Stoichkov outlifted the LA Games Gold Medalist at the Friendship Games/ Druzhba Games. The Druzhba Games were held in 1984 by Eastern bloc countries not participating in LA.

Ivan with Nikolai Gergov, Bulgarian Wrestling Champion

Ivan with Nikolai Gergov, Bulgarian Wrestling Champion
Ivan with the Greco wrestling world champ, Nikolai Gergov, after their workout. I still think its uncanny how elite athletes from multiple sports would just show up at Slavia for a workout (....and atleast one ask for lifting advice). Again, overall, Bulgarian athletes were humble or, rather, didn't "have an attitude" in the gym.

Gewichtheben - training at the German Olympic training center in Frankfurt am der Oder

Gewichtheben - training at the German Olympic training center in Frankfurt am der Oder
Me with the German Junior Team and Coach/German Olympian Lars Betker

Coach Burgener Shoe

Coach Burgener Shoe
Portion of all sales got to Charity. A perfect shoe for our CrossFit friends! A wonderfully patriotic, Americana themed shoe and T-shirt. GO USA!!!

Gwen posing with Peschalov

Gwen posing with Peschalov

Stoichkov during competitive years

Stoichkov during competitive years
Vintage photo of Stoichkov winning international Championship

Rumy, Bulgarian lifter

Rumy, Bulgarian lifter
Rumy,75kg lifter, stops by for a light workout in Slavia, Bulgaria

Botev stops by Slavia

Botev stops by Slavia
Gwen, Stefan Botev (multi-time Olympic Medalist and world champion), and Ivan

Gwen with Power Clean/slpit jerk with 80kg

Gwen with Power Clean/slpit jerk with 80kg
First workout in Slavia.

Size perspective for youtube video

Size perspective for youtube video
In Beijing, junior lifter

Ivan and Eric, the speedskater

Ivan and Eric, the speedskater
After a hard work out, Ivan and Eric go summertime cycling in Maine. Eric is a competitive Speedskater and a proud owner of weightlifting shoes. Ahhh ...nothing like summers in Maine!!

Stefan Georgiev

Stefan Georgiev
World and European Champion, 62kg. Rooting for him to medal in the 2008 Olympic Games!

Hanging out with Weighlifting heroes

Hanging out with Weighlifting heroes
Peschalov, Stoichov, self, and husband

Old Stuff - early Risto Weight lifting Shoes

Old Stuff - early Risto Weight lifting Shoes

Peschalov and Coach

Peschalov and Coach
Peschalov trained with Stoichkov leading up to his Gold medal win in 2000 Olympic Games

Training in Kennedy, Bogota

Training in Kennedy, Bogota

Euvgeni Popov, Stoichov, and Gwen

Euvgeni Popov, Stoichov, and Gwen
Popov - 1980's Bulgarian weightlifting team, also accomplished power lifter and strongman competitor.

Beijing - Gongti Area

Beijing - Gongti Area
Gwen lifting at second training location in Beijing near Workers Stadium, Gongti

Sylvia, Bulgarian Junior lifter, wearing Botev shoes

Sylvia, Bulgarian Junior lifter, wearing Botev shoes
Schoolage Champ, one of Stoichov's newer lifters. Sylvia also trains in Botev shoes. Her pair is also several years old and has lasted over 18K reps per year!

Romania - Training Center in Bucharest

Romania - Training Center in Bucharest
Me trining with Romanian lifters in Bucharest. Former USAW National Coach, Dragomir Ciroslan, had once lifted in this gym.

Wrestling World Champion (Greco) Nikolay Gergov working out in Slavia (BG), me in background

Wrestling World Champion (Greco) Nikolay Gergov working out in Slavia (BG), me in background
Nikolay Gergov is a Bulgarian Wrestling World Champion - Greco Roman 66kg category. Nikolai is already naemd to the 2008 Bulgarian Olympic Team. He is also competing at a meet at the Colorado Springs US OTC later this month (FEB 08). Anyhow, Nikolai just stops by for a workout in Slavia. He saw Ivan and I working out and asked Ivan for some technique coaching.

Gwen with Chinese coach of junior team at Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang (Beijing)

Gwen with Chinese coach of junior team at Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang (Beijing)
The coach pictured with me had won a gold medal in the snatch lifting against Karolina Lundhal (world champion) at the 1998 Worlds in Finland in 75Kg class.

Lifters in Bucharest

Lifters in Bucharest

Ivan with Coach Chiu, gongti area Beijing

Ivan with Coach Chiu, gongti area Beijing
After discussion of Chinese pull technique. Chiu is a former Junior World Champion.

Good Leather Smells good

Good Leather Smells good
Really, this was a Candid photo..."wow, this smells good", says Little Gwen

Ivan Lifting in China - 2006

Ivan Lifting in China - 2006
Chinese training center, Chao Yang Ti Yu Chang in Beijing, a JR team pictured in background

Choayang Ti Yu Chang - Ivan with chinese junior lifters

Choayang Ti Yu Chang - Ivan with chinese junior lifters

Abigail Guererro, Almerimar, Spain 2004

Abigail Guererro, Almerimar, Spain 2004
In forefront, Abigail , who has been on the Spanish National Team, with teammates in background.

Me with Blessed Udoh, in Spain (DEC 2004)

Me with Blessed Udoh, in Spain (DEC 2004)
Blessed won the silver medal in 48kg at the 2001 World Championships representing Nigeria. She also trained in Bulgaria for the 2004 Olympics. Sadly to report that she died in Nigeria, last year.

Gwen lifting at Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang - Beijing,

Gwen lifting at  Chaoyang Ti Yu Chang - Beijing,
In Beijing, Chinese Juniors in background. Great kids, good sense of humor, listened to their formal coaches

Spain- Ivan and Miguel Borrazas

Spain- Ivan and Miguel Borrazas
Our good friend Miguel has coached Spain's national team.

Training Bogota

Training Bogota

Ivan with Coach Ediberto Barbosa, fmr Col natl team

Ivan with Coach Ediberto Barbosa, fmr  Col natl team

Mock Competition in Bogota

Mock Competition in Bogota
Gwen out snatches the challenger

Rick Bucinell, breaking master world record in Risto's!

Rick Bucinell, breaking master world record in Risto's!

Ivan arm wrestling Peschalov

Ivan arm wrestling Peschalov
My husband "attempting" to arm wrestle Peschalov with his good arm. Ivan remarked "Wow, he's strong..he was really trying to arm wrestle me" ..no kidding ....ha ha ha

Belts, singlets, knee and wrist wraps. Custom styles available

Little Gwen doing workout with new lifters

Little Gwen doing workout with new lifters

Team USA with Risto donated gear at 2010 University World Championships

Team USA with Risto donated gear at 2010 University World Championships
Me lifting for Team USA. We won 15 medals, Ivan was Assistant Coach to Team USA. Risto Sports donated gear such as USA polos and t-shirts. Got to represent our country well!

Risto Sports,Order at:

http://www.ristosports.com/
info@ristosports.com

(207) 319-7607

Training, shoes, singlets, knee wraps, belts, straps
Eliot, ME

Tanya Morillas - 2004 in Spain

Tanya Morillas - 2004 in Spain
Training session at Almerimar. Subsequently, Tanya has been on Spanish national teams.

Dare Alabi , 77kg lifter (Nigeria)

Dare Alabi , 77kg lifter (Nigeria)
Nigerian lifter, Dare, lifting in Spain

warming up power cleans

warming up power cleans