How did you get involved in the Highland Games?
This is my seventh year doing Highland Games. I was a track athlete in college. I threw hammer, discus, and shot put. As an adult, no longer being able to compete in college, this transitions really well. I love the whole atmosphere of friendly competition and support. I like having fun. I love coming to the venue because you see a lot of awesome people, with all these different sports, no matter how obscure. It is pretty awesome to see all that.
How do you train for this? Do you have all of this in your back yard?
Yes. I have everything but what we call standards (the height equipment). We just throw and guess. Sometimes we go in an indoor track and try to find a net that is high enough or a football goal post and try to measure from there. It is really a gamble. You have to adjust your accuracy quickly. We have to buy special equipment. Once you get into the sport, it is costly as a startup, but it is worth it.
Do you charge other people to come to your house?
No, we want more people to do it. But, if they break the equipment, absolutely, they are replacing it.
Is this your seventh time coming to the Arnold? If you register and pay your money can anyone compete?
This is my fourth Arnold. You register and put in your top marks from the previous year and the top eight get selected from whoever registers.
What is your favorite event?
The Sheaf toss, which was the pitchfork and the bag. I have the world record for the indoor one at 25’ 1” and I tried to break it today at 25’3” and it didn’t happen but I’m ok.
I walked in on something that you won.
Weight for distance. We throw a 28-pound weight for distance. I won with 43’2”.
What was that long piece of stick?
That is called the caber toss. Traditionally, it is a tree trunk. Indoor, the tree will break. The first one we threw was gray. It was 75 pounds and 17’ 6” long. None of us could turn it, so the general rule is, we go down in weight and size. We went to the yellow stick which was 65 pounds and 14 to 16 feet.
Do you work out work out?
The upper body is genetics. I haven’t worked out in four months. We moved to a new area and I haven’t found a gym yet. I am feeling it right now. I am really sore.
Sidebar: What? Not worked out in four months. I looked over my glasses. Must be nice…
Do you cross train?
I don’t swim. I don’t like running. I like cross fit. I have done a lot of the cross fit workouts in college. I like Olympic lifting and anything lifting. I like the cardio fast paced movements and repetitions. I watch what I eat when I’m in season. You know bulking.
Sidebar: Emily answered the last question popping a few peanut M&Ms from a family size bag.
Is bulking a lot of carbs and empty calories?
No. For me I don’t try to eat a lot of carbs because I will put on bad weight. I try to eat protein. I really like steak, chicken, and fish. I eat plain rice and veggies. Just moderation. I will probably eat this whole bag of M&Ms.
Is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you think I should have asked you? If so, go ahead and answer that question.
If you go to any Scottish or Irish festival in the US, Scotland, or Canada, you will find Highland games. It is everywhere. I have travelled to Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Florida, Virginia and Maryland. It is all across the country. If you are good enough, you get invited to go to games. If you are willing to traveled and pay the money, you could still compete at those games. They have them all over just about every weekend.