Posted by Darren Armstrong on

I don’t compete, I don’t train, but I still have a love for the sport of Strongman and Strongwoman and with a wife who is so energised by it why wouldn’t I support her, and it.

On Friday 14th February 2020 Kelly, the kids and I went on an adventure to UK’s Strongest Woman in Burton-on-Trent as Kelly was competing. Excited by the large bed, breakfast buffet and purple interior of our premier inn we set off on our 3 hour journey. With only 2 bags of Haribo, a bottle of Raspberry Pepsi (its a thing) and some old school hip hop playing through my Phone. The kids happy on their iPads watching annoying American you tubers gave Kelly and I the opportunity to talk about the impending competition. She was nervous, I could tell, but excited. Excited to push herself to her limits, excited to see if she could get a PB but mostly excited to meet some friends she had met on her Strongwoman journey. She was smiling, which in my book, is a good thing.

The Premier Inn was anything but Premier but the room was the size of a tennis court so the kids proceeded to make the most of it and acted like tiny elephants for the next few hours until bed. 

Bedtime arrived and at this point I realised my children sounded like baby elephants asleep as well as when they were awake. After a night of uncomfortable unsettled sleeping the breakfast buffet couldn’t come quick enough.

Breakfast was healthy and protein based until I realised there were pancakes and golden syrup. After my seventh trip to the little rotisserie toaster thing to warm up my pancake addiction I was asked to leave. But with a pocket full Nutella sachets and a bag full of Pain o chocolates I was happy and fulfilled.

The venue for the comp was Grindhouse. An industrial unit gym and in the heart of Burton-on-Trent. At first glance it was clean, well organised, well stocked and filling up fast with eager competitors and excited spectators.

To not distract Kelly from getting in the zone, I took the kids off for the first half of the competition to explore Burton-on-Trent. We soon realised that there was not a lot to offer a Dad and 2 bored kids on a rainy Saturday in February. So we spent 20 minutes looking around The Range before returning to the hotel so Kelly could focus.

It was lunchtime and although I had been updated of Kelly’s progress I could take no more and decided to take the risky move of taking an 8 year old and a 4 year old to a gym where they had to sit still for fear of being trampled on. Boredom was inevitable, I just hoped it did not distract Kelly from her events.

How wrong I was !!! The energy, the noise, and the atmosphere were infectious as soon as we arrived and although cramped both kids were happy to sit and stare in awe of the feet’s of strength on display. Event after event, competitor after competitor left me speechless and open mouthed as to the effort and determination of each competitor but mostly the support and love they showed for each-other. In a world tarnished with negativity I had just entered the most positive room on the planet.

The event was a huge success. The organisers, supporters and competitors did themselves proud and to top it off the wife came away with some silver wear.

I finish my findings of UK’s Strongest Woman with the following. Ladies, never change ! You were all amazing and I am so privileged to know some of you and so lucky that my children have inspirational role models as their mother, her friends and the support team behind every single one of you.

Things I will miss from the weekend: Pancakes and Golden Syrup

Things I will not miss from the weekend: Mark with a c (if you know you know)