by Stephen Dafoe
Morinville resident Darren Posyluzny has returned from the World Police & Fire Games in China with a silver medal in the Toughest Competitor Alive category. The games took place in Chengdu from Aug. 8 to 18.
Posluszny, who moved to Morinville only a few months ago, has competed in the bi-annual event for several years.
“Back in 2001, I did my first games. I found out about them through a friend that had done them when they were in Calgary,” Posluszny said, adding his first competition was in Indianapolis. “They’re every two years and originated in California.”
Posluszny’s event, The Toughest Competitor Alive, is a one-day event that combines eight different disciplines. The event includes a five-kilometre run, shotput, 100-metre sprint, 100-metre swim, a 20-foot rope climb, bench press, pullups, and an obstacle course. Competitors compete in each of the eight disciplines with the winners determined on a total points grid.
At the end of the competition, Posluszny, who entered an even more competitive category this time around than he usually does, earned a second-place silver finish on the podium.
“I felt good,” Posluszny said of his silver-medal win in China. “I approach this differently. I’m very competitive. There are subtle things I could have improved on that day.
“In the first half, I dug myself a hole and was down in the bottom of the pack. In the second half, I exploded and came up. I’m happy with silver and to hit the podium, knowing that I dropped into the more competitive category.”
The athlete belies he could have hit gold, but accepts that it is all down to how the athlete performs on the day of the event.
“On that day, they bettered me, and I totally respect that. I didn’t deserve the gold. On that day, they were better.”
Last month’s win was not Posluszny’s first win. In his first contest 18 years ago, Posluszny finished sixth in his category. Learning the training required after that first games, allowed Posluszny to train his way to gold in Quebec City, silver in Australia, and golds in both Vancouver and New York. This year’s silver win marks his fifth podium finish.
Posluszny spends a lot of time training. Although having a solid handle on running, sprinting, and weight lifting, the Morinville athlete has concentrated on the harder aspects of his event.
“I’ve learned to train for weaknesses,” he said. “It’s been the swimming, learning the rope climb, pullups, shotput—those kinds of things, the technical part of that. My training now—weight training stays the same. Running I do every other day. Anything specific—shotput—I try to get out a couple of times a week and just do technical work with that.”
Six months ahead of the World Police & Fire Games, Posluszny makes training a daily thing with two to three training sessions each day in shorter bursts.
Posluszny works for federal corrections. When he began competing in the World Police & Fire Games, he was a correctional manager. Today he is a deputy warden.
The next Games are in Rotterdam in 2021. Posluszny, now 50, plans to attend.
“If my health stays and I’m competitive, I’m planning on going there,” he said, adding his family has been supportive. “I’ve lucked out because my kids are athletic and competitive, so I’ve always trained alongside my kids. I haven’t felt like I’ve taken away from my family. It’s gotten us closer.”
Assisting Posluszny with preparations for the competition prior to departure and at the event is his wife, Terra. “I didn’t have her with me this time, and I felt it,” he said. “She is my dietician and my outfit coordinator and equipment manager for the Games. She keeps me going.”
For more information on this year’s World Police & Fire Games, visit www.chengdu2019wpfg.com/.