PDA

View Full Version : The Cage 2011 - A Family Affair



smoothballer
03-08-11, 8:31 am
Friday
Since I live in Cleveland we decided to make the trip down early Friday morning and stay the rest of the weekend. So I got up early and my brother (freighttraindan) and buddy (jackietreehorn) loaded up the car and headed down 71 towards C-bus. We learned from our previous mistakes and booked a hotel within walking distance. We also packed our meals and used the microwave in the box instead of eating the expensive crap they sell around the expo. So when we got to the city we dropped our car off at the hotel and walked to the Convention center. We had our tickets in hand and snagged our wristbands. We saw this massive line to get into the Expo so we decided to walk around and see if there were any more lines to get in. When we got almost to the main entrance we saw Danny who was standing by himself, cooler in hand, waiting to get in so he could Intern for the day. He invited us to hop the line and join him. We shot the shit until they opened the doors. We headed right over to the Cage and snagged our LE Cage shirt, got our VIP pass, and entered the box. People started coming over to me immediately and saying what’s up, bro hugs, and fist pounds all around. The camaraderie was just as I remembered it. It didn’t matter if it was a pro, an intern, or just another FORVM VIP, everyone was like a family. I waited for the earlybirds to die down for their Cage shirts and went back to the booth and bought my Rage, a couple shirts, and the sick black hat. We did a little walking around and headed back to see some crazy deadlifting by Bobby Fields. We made our way into the actual Cage for Rage’s HRT seminar. He asked my bro to demonstrate some curls and asked if I could show the bench with the accelerometer. It had been about 6 months since I have done any HRT. I forgot about the glorious pain that is the hellcentric reps…LOL. It was great to see the science of it as rev8ball showed and explained the results of the accelerometer. The Animal vs. Gaspari event was an awesome site to see for a great cause. All these monsters repping out the bodyweights was sweet, which in Wycked’s case was 330 for 30 reps…Wow. I gotta say I loved my seat for the event as the hot BB.com judge parked herself right in front of me and Little Z for awhile. The seminars for Friday really set the standard for the weekend. Vinny’s dedication really opened my eyes and put things into perspective and Kolb’s bench was truly impressive. We headed back to the hotel, got changed, slammed a Rage sample and hit up Metro. I hit back and traps that night and loved the atmosphere. I walked in and was asking to sign in and Vinny promptly told me “You are with Animal so you aren’t paying”. Family… It was great to lift with everyone and it was an electric atmosphere with 4 photoshoots going on, it being 900 degrees in there, and all the heavy weight being thrown around. Day 1 in the books.

Saturday
We got up early again and headed over to the Convention Center. Our hotel room didn’t have a microwave like we planned on it having so we weren’t about to eat cold pre-made eggs so per Danny’s recommendation we hit up the food court where we found this Greek Gyro House that would make us 12 egg white omelets with chicken. It was so damn good. My wife made the trip down late Friday night so we headed right back to the Cage to get her VIP pass and her LE Cage shirt. I introduced her to everyone and we mingled around for awhile in the box. I made her try the new Black Cherry Atomic 7 that I raved about the night before. She also loved it and we can’t wait for it to be released. The Expo was crazy busy and we only ventured out for short durations all day and came back to the safe haven of the Cage. The seminars and the events of Day 2 definitely didn’t disappoint. It was an amazing site to watch Stan “The Rhino” Efferding warm-up with massive weights on incline barbell then pick up those massive 200 lbs DB’s and put up 7 solid reps. The Rage In The Cage event was so very special. I had chills up and down my spine during the moment of silence for Nick Winters. I saw guys around me tearing up; it was a moment I will never forget. As G and Vinny talked about this being a family really struck home with me as this time last year I felt like I became part of it. It really shows what kind of company Universal/Animal is by giving back and handing out a can of Rage to each and every member. That doesn’t happen anywhere else…anywhere. I had a great seat for the Pros vs Bros Deadlift event and it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. Everyone pulled some awesome numbers. We spent the rest of the day in and out of the Cage enjoying the seminars and learned a ton about squatting from Sam Byrd. We headed back to the hotel to grab some grub, rest up, slam some Rage, and head to the National ABC. I had the honor of working out with Rage as we hit Shoulders and Biceps. I got some incredibly valuable tips on form that hit me instantly with a huge pump. The energy of the gym was something I have ever only seen once before…at last year’s event. You could not have a bad lift that night with everyone pushing eachother, Ghost yelling that could be heard from across the gym, and pros giving tips and advice to all. “Cab’s Here” was called out by Enforcer and everyone lined up for the pic in their new ABC T-Shirts. Shot the shit for a little while with everyone and Day 2 was wrapped up.

Sunday
My wife and buddy signed up for the Pump and Run (Bench your BW or % for girls and get 30 sec off the 5K time for every rep). My wife did amazing running her fasted time since high school (22 min, 10 sec) and throwing up a PR on the bench (95 x 4). I was damn proud of her. When the event finished we headed right back into the Expo and to the Cage. We came in the middle of Skiba’s seminar and was so glad we got to see the impressive lifting. The squatting of Hoss and Bobby was something that could only be seen in an environment like the Cage…amazing to say the least. We moved on to the inner Cage on got a front row seat for Evan’s seminar. I cannot say enough about Evan talking to everyone for 1.5 hours after what I can only begin to assume has been an exhausting weekend for him, but that didn’t stop him one bit. I took away so much from this and trusting in myself and listening to my body started right then for me. We stuck around a little while longer, snapped a few pics, and said our goodbyes. It was so sad to leave everyone but I knew it would be only a matter of time til we saw each other again. Arnold Classic Cage 2011 in the books.

Overall
Like I said before Animal is a family and this was apparent from the moment I saw the first brother. I finally put some faces to the screennames I talk to on a regular basis, shot shit and got advice from the pros, and know I made some long term friends…only in the Cage does this happen. Nowhere else will you find this kind of environment. I can guarantee that. I started to write call-outs to everyone I talked to or saw, but realized that the list was getting as long as this whole recap. I would like to thank all the Corporate for putting on such an awesome event. Everyone that worked the booth over the weekend really busted their ass to make it great. Til next year…

Shukin
03-08-11, 9:25 am
Very nice Post Doctor.

Phil800101
03-08-11, 11:46 am
Great write up bro! Awesome to see ya again.

Powerswitch
03-09-11, 4:02 pm
What an awesome write up bro!!! You hit the nail on the head with Animal being like family...My wife and I feel the same way and felt right at home in the cage...Thank you for the great recollection of such an unforgetable event...God bless...Bobby