Alex Rose recounted the incredible weekend he produced a new Area record in the men’s Discus Throw.
Before the meeting in Oklahoma on April 16th, I was at a Pennsylvania M-F sales training for my employer. This involved a lot of PowerPoint, group discussion, and staying indoors. I work as a sales engineer for Phoenix Contact to pay the bills, which sometimes needs to align with what I need to do for Discus training. As a result, I only had one evening on Wednesday where I could get Uber to a weight room and a local track to try and get some training in. I didn’t feel great, but in my busy life, I’ve learned that some training is always better than none!
After my week in Pennsylvania, I flew directly to Oklahoma. The night before the competition and the morning of, I focused primarily on stretching and mobility before the next day. This was the longest I had ever been away from my 6-month-old son Aleki, and this trip was challenging mentally and emotionally. I wasn’t in the best headspace, but I was determined to make this trip worth it- not only for myself but for my family back home, with whom I was missing precious moments. I felt great physically during my last competition in Los Angeles(a couple days before my sales training). However, I was falling off of my finish terribly, still managing to toss 65.89, so I knew that if I executed my technical cues, I was ready. Doing my warm-up throws before the competition, I felt incredible. I was snappy, and the throw felt easy. With the week I had had previously(not to mention 6 months of terrible sleep with a newborn), I couldn’t believe how great I felt, but I knew I was ready. It was a little chilly out, but the conditions were perfect. Powerful consistent right cross wind that was ideal for the discus. I threw 69m on my third throw and was absolutely over the moon! I had accomplished the trip’s goal, and was incredibly surprised at how far the disc went, even given the conditions. I had a second competition the next day, but no matter what happened, I was already content.
Then day 2 happened. The conditions were almost exactly the same, only about 10 degrees F° warmer- somehow even better than the previous day. I lined one up on my fifth throw and it didn’t fall off from my finish. I knew it would be far from the moment it left my fingers. Instead of my usual scream and fist pump, I watched in awe as the disc soared for what seemed like an eternity. When the official said “70.39” I was in complete shock.
My teammates and other competitors celebrated around me, but I might as well have been on another planet. Throwing 70 meters is a lifetime achievement for a discus thrower, and in that one moment I had changed history for Samoa forever. There have only been 24 other athletes who had ever thrown this far(steroid Era included), and to put my name on that list after everything I had been going through in my life and career was overwhelming. I’m still processing what happened, but at the end of the day, I am thankful and proud to have had this brief but incredible moment in what has been a very challenging but ever more rewarding career.