Return to KB Sport Series #1: Doug Campbell


Five weeks out from the 2014 OKC NorCal Open Kettlebell Sport competition, I severely rolled my ankle on the job. The first action I took was call an advice nurse and schedule an X-ray after the swelling went down. The X-ray revealed a severe sprain in the ligaments that run over the top of the foot. Instructions were to ice, rest, and elevate for a day then wrap the foot up.

Jerking kettlebells was a bit difficult, but snatch was not bad. Hope was always on the horizon; I had worked hard for the competition, but it became apparent the sprain was going to be an issue. I saw a podiatrist, who gave me instructions for recovery that I followed (other than the not lifting part). I did what I could to train around the injury. I stopped Olympic lifting and switched to stationary powerlifting. Deadlift, squat and press - nothing that involved jerking for a couple weeks. I kept up my endurance with long swing sets and an Airdyne bike. I wrapped the ankle up and decided to train for a 5-minute jerk set instead of 10 minutes. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but shoot it was just a rolled ankle!

I continued to compete and train after the NorCal competition. I did the 5-minute Iron Man in Visalia on December 12, the West Coast Classic on February 3, and the OKC California Open Kettlebell competition in late February. My ankle was progressing with continued mobility work, and I lived in a brace. While I continued to compete, I was disappointed with my Snatch totals. In early March I started over with what I loved to begin with: Biathlon.

Once the pain subsided and I could get through a 5-minute set of jerks with no pain or swelling, I went back to my coach John Wild Buckley's programming and set my sights on Biathlon for the NorCal Open 2015. I took some old programming from John Wild Buckley, counted back 4.5 months and started there. Where I had failed previously in the programming, I was no longer failing. I've been hitting every set like clockwork. Sure, I started light but I needed that confidence and strength work. I have to give a shout to my training partner Melissa; she really helped with my accountability and motivation.

Here we are now one year almost to the day with the 2015 OKC NorCal Open Kettlebell Sport competition coming up and I'm on cloud nine! I will be returning to the platform at the NorCal Open feeling confident and strong.

Here is what I learned from my injury: Be patient and don't quit. Rely on the people that have the knowledge and follow instructions. I'm two and a half years into this awesome sport and getting stronger... at the ripe age of 57!

Doug Campbell is originally from Middletown, Kentucky and currently resides in Vacaville, California. He is married and has two kids ages 29 and 33.  He is a Safety Coordinator for a midsize commercial framing contractor in the Bay Area. 

Doug found kettlebell eight years ago at a Gold's Gym. He worked with a trainer for a year and lost 45 pounds. He has tried various fitness regimes including CrossFit, Olympic weightlifting, trail running, and cycling. Doug started training Kettlebell Sport with OKC's John Buckley two and a half years ago and has done six competitions to date. 

"I love the simplicity of KB Sport. The kettlebells do not lie. The sport requires technique, endurance, strength, and you have to be a little nasty between your ears!"