About Texas Women's Highland Games
To increase awareness and involvement of women in the sport of the Highland Games. Promoting a fun, active, family friendly and competitive sport by providing information and resources to all those interested in joining us in our continuing adventures!
Please see our FAQ page for all those burning questions you have about how you participate, what to do, who to talk to and where to go!
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
This week the strength training begins in earnest. In an effort to get it kicked off right, I took the opportunity to indulge my curiosity about the power factor. For the few folks that don't know what this little gizmo is, it is a tool to measure the speed at which you move the implement. The trick is to move it at a meter per second. This may not sound particularly fast, until you try it. Gave this a go on pulls and pushes and discovered numerous flaws, both with my perceptions and my lifting form. Getting those corrected was serving one of humble pie. Thanks Duncan! Not sure if it was generosity or his sadistic side that prompted Duncs to loan me this toy until I get the feel of proper speed, but it is set up in the garage awaiting tonight's lifts. Weee!
The whip cream on that particular serving of humble pie: attempting to learn to do pull-ups. Having never done a single dead-hang pull-up in my life, this was more than a touch hilarious. (yet another exercise that is not aided by my laughing at my failures) Still haven't managed it, hooray for being bottom heavy, but now have the tools I need to get there. Bonus: lots of my pulling has been done with my back of late, and it shows.
Second serving of tasty humility came last night when the Doctore prescribed some large sets to max for squats. To say this is below expectations would be a WILD (like lions on the savannah, wild) understatement. I am ganna call this fuel for the fire and just get down to it from here on out. The amount of clanging, banging and swearing did prompt a minor rearrangement of gear in the gym, so future sessions should be a bit more down to business and less tripping over my own feet. Time to meet the coach's goals and mine.
The carmel drizzle on this piece of mortification munchies: an hour of barre work and partner stretching at the dance studio, followed by thirty minutes of floor work (leaps, jumps, turns, spins, tucks ...) Evil dance instructor remains the Queen of all things Surprisingly and Subtly Painful. Today I am singing her praises, as I am not presently a single block of ache.
Much to be done before next season.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
With all the kindness of a typical 400lb gorilla, several of my training partners informed me that I needed a break. It may have been implied that if I didn't take one they might just have to give me one, though the choice was mine on which arm. Thus, there was a deload. That particular word remains something of a mystery to me, since it seems to imply something different to everyone. My take? A pause in all training for a brief period.
Day to day I changed my mind on how I felt about it. Started my "Deload" on Saturday the 17th. It was odd trying to find out what to do with all my time, until my body decided for me. Sleep was the answer, lots of sleep and right now, if you please. Falling asleep at the merest mention of a soft surface was a new experience that lasted for the first 3-4 days. Between sleep and naps (one particularly memorable unplanned nap in the tub) I was clocking about 10-11 hours of sleep a day. Clearly the gorillas had been right, and I needed some rest.
What else was I to do with all this spare time once the narcolepsy passed? Oh, let's see if I still like trashy food. Pizza? Nope. Enchiladas? Nope. Queso? Nope. Frou-frou coffee? Nope. Found myself longing for salad and fish, perhaps a grapefruit. Huh, odd, you mean to say that my brain has been lying to me all this time telling me how much I miss this trashy stuff, but now it tastes awful, or worse bland? Sheesh, the gorillas were right again!
Follow that up with a Thanksgiving full of family, friends, feasting and folderol. By the weekend I was chomping at the bit for something to do, so decided to try a few lifts with some of the kids from Full Throttle who were prepping for a strong man. Having not gone heavy in the gym since the summer off season, I was sure this would be more of a laughable hang out session than a true work session. A sudden onset of giggles while under the yoke was the only laughable situation all day. As it turns out that I matched my PRs in a few lifts for reps, and still rode my bike home. You guessed it, gorillas 3, short-stack 0.
Lesson learned! No chest thumping necessary, my gorillas, deloads will become a regular part of the program. It seems that all-go-no-quit made for a very cranky and mostly useless me. This break offered me the clarity and rest to reset some goals and expectations, and start afresh. Now, to go get my calluses back!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
This year the fest expanded to include a few other Celtic athletic events, Gaelic Football and Hurling, in addition to Highland Games and dance. Who in their great and powerful wisdom decided that more flying monkeys were needed for this show, I don't know, but I certainly approve. It was nice to get a quick chance to support the other styles of athletics out there.
This show offers plenty of vendors and historical displays, complete with a viking camp, or as I like to call it, Munchkin Land. Food is second to none with more than a dozen different shops to chose from. Guinness, Strongbow, Fireman's 4, Smithwick's, Shakespeare Stout and at least a handful of others can be found on tap at the two large bar areas. Don't miss out on the kettle corn and the fresh squeezed lemonade!
The highland games field is fairly close to the main music stage, so we are provided with an all day ebb and flow of music. The true highlight is when the Wizard behind the curtain of this show, Mike Baab, picks up a mic and starts riffing on all the throwers.
Saturday saw 27 throwers on the field, Open Class, Women's Class and Masters. Sunday would see the same setup with different faces. With so many throwers and limited space, it is only a six event day; weights, stones, cabers and wob. All six of the women that threw on Saturday had a strong showing, from our fresh faced newbie Blare to the champ of the day Liv. Spencer Tyler laid out a personal best with LWFD at something along the lines of 89 feet. Baab always has a herd of newbies, and they bring a lot of enthusiasm to the game.
Yours truly had a fair-to-middling game throwing right about par. The highlight of the day was getting to wrangle with a 17 foot 90lb caber. Qualifier moved me on to the women's caber, which then moved me onto this gnarly beast. A springy cedar caber that had a wicked roll, first attempt ended up in a bail, second attempt ended up in about a 20 degree throw off just four fingers, and the final attempt was a nice easy pick with only a final 60 degree. *sigh* I will face off against it again this weekend in Salado!
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
This is usually when I flash some thigh to the crowd and display my ruffled undershorts. Cue laughter.
Rumba butt bloomers are not part of the typical gamer's uniform, and they generate a lot of questions at most Celtic festivals. Here is the story
behind my "signature short".
I found highland games via the Ren Faire where I was a performer as part of the cast. Think of it as one of the guys dressed as Mickey or the girls that play the Princesses at Disney, we are there as part of the scenery to make folks interact and laugh. We did a demo show twice a day of the highland games, in all our ren faire garb. The theatre geek is strong with this one, no doubt. Never one to miss the chance to accessorize, I snagged a pair of "petty pants" for my first games. During that game I fell more than once, being made of grace as I am. My comment "If you are ganna flash your ass at the crowd all day, might as well make sure it looks good."
These days I don't fall down much, but I do work the crowd. Ruffles and lace are a fast way to snag any little girls attention, it shows a softer side to the
games. Dressing the part and playing to the crowd is part of the gig. One must always remember, we throw rocks and sticks for fun, never take it too seriously.
Monday, October 29, 2012
shoes on the ground and I didn’t look back.
You can find James Bullock of Warrior ~ http://www.warriorsciences.com/
Friday, October 26, 2012
I have always considered my self somewhat of an athlete. So when I had the opportunity to attend some practices for the Highland games I was pretty excited. After one practice my friend talked me into signing up for the Celtober Cowtown Highland Games. Im not going to lie, I was pretty nervous.I haven't competed in a serous athletic even since college. And I think people could sense how anxious I was because they kept telling how nice everyone was who competed in these games. I just assumed they were trying to ease my nerves, but they were not. The people I met were simply amazing. I have never been apart of an athlete competition where the athletes were so supportive of one another. So now I am addicted to the sport of Highland Games, and I can not wait until my second competition.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Hello my beautiful Yellow Roses of Texas,
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
You can find Brandy's scores here:
Sunday, October 21, 2012
As ever photo credits to Larry Ventress at Pioneer Photography. http://pioneerphotography.photoreflect.com/store/store.aspx
You can catch Erin's scores here:
Friday, October 19, 2012
experience, a beautiful day, an awesome location, all combined to make a fantastic time. The best thing about your first games, every throw is a PR (personal record) and the “old timers” will tell you It probably will never happen again. I ended the day in 7th place, which was better than I had expected to do by a long shot. Since then I have done 3 more games. A “backyard” games in late July gave me some much needed practice as well as a couple of new PRs and very nearly a heat stroke, but a darn good time none the less. At the Tulsa Scottish Festival in September I really felt like I was getting the hang of some of this stuff and even won two of the events (I must mention that this is only because two seasoned veterans I was competing against decided to bomb out on the height events and handed it to me on a silver platter. Thanks Britt and Terri!) My kids even gave it a whirl in the “lads and lasses” highland games for kids and both of them loved it. Several PRs at Tulsa gave me a much needed ego boost and some footwork drills shown to me by a short bald man I am convinced may be a leprechaun, gave me something extra to work on at home. This all brings me to October and the Texas Celtic Women’s Challenge where I was honored to compete on a team of 5 women against two other 5 women teams. As far as I am concerned, this is the ultimate Women’s highland games event and everyone should give it a try at least once. Each team makes up a cool name, the prizes are sweet, and the swag was outstanding. My team, Blood Bath & Beyond, ended up winning, but it had to be a close one, as the teams were neck and neck all day. I ended the day with 5 PRs out of 8 events, and while my throws are nowhere near as good as several of the women there, I was extremely pleased to have beaten my previous best efforts and I feel that helped my team get the win.
As ever photo credits to Larry Ventress at Pioneer Photography. http://pioneerphotography.photoreflect.com/store/store.aspx
Check Keli's Scores here
Thursday, October 18, 2012
BUT! Before all that heavy lifting and soul searching, something fun. Over the next week or so we will introduce you to all the new throwers who picked up Highland Games in our area. There will be pictures and intro articles to the handful of new ladies in our region. After which we will return you to your regularly scheduled games reviews, rants and raves about products, lifting and conditioning advice and the occasional musings of WHY we do this thing.
Monday, April 2, 2012
The little town of Dublin TX (Irish Capitol of Texas, so says Rick Perry!) is the site of the Dublin Highland Games. This year we got to throw on Saturday the 17th, St. Patricks Day itself.
Dublin is a small town with a huge heart; the people are out in droves at the parade and fairgrounds. Everything is done up in green, from the painted shamrocks on the intersections, festival signs, streamers and all the fabulous dressed up in their best Irish outfits. Lots of good food, fun and frivolity, and even historical re-enactment!
It was a beautiful day, not too sunny, little wind and no rain; it couldn’t have been a more suitable day for throwing. There was a big class, for the men and masters divisions. The women’s class was 4 throwers, and it was an excellent showing for the ladies.
As always the festival atmosphere at Dublin is great, with a crowd of people always moving in and around the throwers, hooting and hollering for the big throws and everyone loves the caber toss. Dave and Nancy (who also host the Salado Highland Games) do an amazing job and make the day easy and enjoyable.
I was very pleased with my throwing that day, and picked up some good scores as my sheaf is coming together, and my stones are moving in the right direction (i.e. farther away from me!). The best part is always the people, spending a day with the fun Highland games people makes all the travel worth while and enjoying a laugh with everyone is the best part of the day.
The drive home reminded me that Texas is a surprisingly beautiful place.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Feb 25, 2012
The newly turned professional Highland Games Brothers. Andy and Matt Vincent put on an amazing Highland Games Throwing Clinic in Fort Worth, Texas, Saturday Feb 25. It was held in conjunction with the Noth Texas Heavies Kickoff Games.
The Saturday clinic was an all day affair with a good crowd that had a variety of experience. There were brand new - never thrown in games before people, all the way up to Competitive A men’s throwers years of competition under their belt. Andy and Matt Vincent are lifelong athletes with an extensive background in sports, and their guidance over the day showed that they have amassed a wealth of knowledge about movement, speed, power and how to get the most out of what you have.
The day started in order of the classic events. Stones, weights for distance, hammers. Then cabers, followed by the height events, weight over bar and sheaf.
Personally speaking, it was the most useful day that I have spent learning and exploring what to do with the implements for Highland Games. I was totally gassed the next day for the competition, but it was worth the sacrifice for what I learned. Seeing the different styles of Open stone movement that they discussed with each person really gave me the sense that Matt and Andy were taking into consideration each individuals ability. Personalized attention of that detailed nature is rare is a mass setting and I think it really demonstrates their eye for explosive movement and throwing, as well as the fact that they really wanted everyone to get something from them that day.
I got a great view into how a power athlete looks at the events, some different stances to try and I really made some massive improvements in all events. I am excited to see this carry on into my season. I can’t wait for the next clinic so that I can get some more lessons and refine my throws some more.
Andy and Matt placed 1 & 2 in their first Pro games in Phoenix, AZ last weekend. Congratulations to them both and another nod to them for putting on this amazing clinic.
Matt can be found HERE on the interwebs.
Andy can be watched HERE doing his thing.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
The North Texas Kickoff Games in Ft. Worth, TX.
The North Texas Heavies are putting on their season Opener the Kick Off Games in Ft. Worth at the Zoo Park on Feb 26, 2012. Saturday, Feb 25th, they are hosting a clinic put on by the Vincent Brothers, who are some pretty outstanding throwers! I am personally really pumped to hear what they have to say.
The North TX crew are pretty much experts at putting on an amazing games. I have never had a bad moment at any games these fine fellows (and their partners) have put on. The judges are great, everything is set up, the swag is sweet, and the food is awesome. It’s a pretty amazing set up, plus, the lions at the zoo occasionally like to let it be known that they are just beyond the trees!
Vincent Brothers Clinic:
When: Saturday, Feb 25th
Where: Forest Park, Fort Worth, TX
Time: 9am sharp
Kick Off Games:
When: Sunday Feb 26
Where: Forest Park, Fort Worth, TX
Time: 9am sharp
If you haven’t signed up for the clinic or the games and you want to (and why wouldn't you want to)– please contact: Mark Cannon or Duncan McCallum at email@example.com or call Mark at 1-214-675-2829.
The entry form is at the bottom of the upcoming event page.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
In this post we are going to look at the SWOT Analysis (Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats) evaluation tool, which is also used frequently in business and athletics/sports. We will cover S.M.A.R.T (Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic Time Sensitive) in the next blog post as the second step to this goal setting extravaganza!