I have sat on this post for about 2-weeks because I could not figure out the best way to communicate my adventure. The main thing that held me back from posting was that I didn’t think I really experienced “Fear” in this event.
I did it!! I competed in my first powerlifting meet on May 26, and took home a gold medal!
I’ve shared in previous posts, physical fitness has always been a part of my life and I started training with a coach for Powerlifting in March. Over the past few months, I have enjoyed watching my strength increase thanks to the direction and advice of my coach.
This was my first competition so I went in with a mindset that I wasn’t going to take anything home other than experience and motivation. Well, come to the day of the event and I see all these amazing powerful women and I’m overwhelmed with feelings of doubt, inadequacy, fear, anxiety etc…
Thankfully, my fellow powerlifter, Amanda was there to help put my mind back in order. She reminded me that 1. This is my first meet 2. You’re competing against yourself and 3. You’re here to lift heavy and have fun!!
Women lift first, so we began warming up as the referees reviewed rules and schedule. As we’re in the warm-up area I think I hear my name being called to lift…. hear it again and look at my coach. Well, it was my name and I had about 20 seconds to get up on the platform and get the bar on my shoulders. WOW talk about a great opener squat!!
Honestly, though, I think it was the universe helping me not get jitters pre-lift. I was so rushed I didn’t have time to think, I just had to run up get under the bar and get set. 3 white lights (refs indication of a good lift) – done. It was like oh, ok this isn’t so bad I can do this 8 more times!
I finished out my squats achieving a new PR of 210lbs. Next up was bench press. I managed to get 3 white lights the first two attempts which I push 127 lbs. On my last lift, I was so distracted by my son being a wild banshee and my nerves that I failed to listen to the ref’s directions for the press and my last attempt at 132lbs was DQ’d. I must admit I was a little down on myself after that. How could you be so stupid not to listen to the instructions!!! But one failed lift doesn’t ruin you, so we had lunch, stretched and laid around until deadlift warm-ups.
I suffer from what I’ve been told is sciatica and degenerative disc disease, and the less movement I make the more it hurts. So after laying around for 2 hours, I was HURTING!!! I started moving around and warming up – things were looking good.
I hit my first two lift with ease. On my final attempt, my coach really upped my weight to 270lbs. In an attempt to help me with the lift I was offered smelling salts to get the adrenaline rush. WELL — let me tell you all if you’ve never tried it, don’t try it the first time right before you’re competition lift, also don’t inhale like you’ve never had a breath of air before.
I am not kidding when I tell you the aroma hit my nostrils and instantly made me question my entire life. I felt this burn, this tingle, this OMG I can’t breathe sensation. My eyes start watering, I felt like I was going to die or pass out or something. In my head, I’m thinking well this sure is a shitty way to go out. But I remember, you can breathe through your mouth, HA what a concept! I get on the platform pull 270lbs and get all white lights!
DONE, DID IT, BOOM SHAKALAKA!!! I step off and my coach and friends are getting a good laugh at the tears running down my face from the smelling salts and high fiving me for getting my lift!
Braydon and I left after all of our team finished deadlifts, it had been a long day and a little boy was hot and tired. I assumed I wouldn’t get anything at the award ceremony so we said our goodbyes and headed out.
Of course, the boy passed out 5 minutes into driving. We got ourselves home and a little while later my phone starts buzzing away. I GOT 1st for my group!! I GOT A GOLD MEDAL!!! Braydon and I start doing a happy dance!
I learned with this experience that fear is about your perception and while I did have doubt in myself it all came from comparing myself to these other women, some of who had been competing upwards of 17 years.
With each journey, I learn more about myself and continue to find more of who I am as a Woman, Mothers, Athlete, Human, and Spirit.