Oh my goodness-what a day!
I had a pretty horrible night’s sleep…only 59% which was mostly due to being wide awake from 3:00 until 5:00ish. That’s two nights in a row where I’ve lost a couple of hours of sleep shortly before the alarm. I don’t think it was nerves, probably just the way my internal alarm clock has been re-wired for my work schedule, but it really sucks sometimes.
The nerves didn’t really hit me until shortly after 8:00 this morning, as I sat listening to the technical meeting and anxiously waited for my trainer to arrive. I knew he would be there, but my nerves stretched tighter with every tick of the clock. He made it; I was temporarily relieved. I went downstairs to warm up for the squats and came back upstairs to a room full of people, including several there to cheer me on. (If I seemed rather aloof , didn’t talk to you very much-if at all, I apologize most sincerely! To be honest, I had to be quite intentional about not looking into the crowd, because I know it would have thrown off my focus, made me emotional, and probably would have made my lifts that much harder as a result. However, I am so appreciative of all the encouragement and support I have received from family and friends! Thank you!!)
As I waited for my first squat attempt, the nerves were horrid. My hands were shaking, my stomach was twisting, and my heart was pounding. The physical reactions were silly, because my opening weight was something that I knew I could do quite easily. This is part of the reason why I was so glad to have my trainer there with me, because he’s been there, done that and was able to give me all the pep talks I needed. My first squat was 72.5 kg (159.5 lbs), and it was super easy. With that first lift ‘under my belt’, the nerves disappeared for a while. My second squat was 77.5 kg (170.5 lbs), and that was fairly easy, too. My third and final squat was 85 kg (187 lbs) which I had never done before. I was a little bit nervous about this one, because it was more than I’ve ever done (although not so much more that it was a long-shot!) Just a teensy struggle at one point but I still made the lift more easily than I had expected!
The bench press was next. My first attempt was 37.5 kg (82.6 lbs) and was easy. The second attempt was 42.5 kg (93.6 kg), I think. Converting everything to kilograms has made most of my numbers a blurred mess in my head, especially in combination with the blur of being in my first competition. That was also a good lift. I failed to get the bar up on my third attempt at 47.5 kg (104.7 lbs), which is disappointing but okay. It was the only time I didn’t get three white lights (a good thing!) for the entire competition! While I’m okay with missing that lift, I definitely would have liked to have had one more attempt for it. I haven’t benched 100 pounds yet, but I think I could do it.
Last of all were the deadlifts. My opening lift was 87.5 kg (192.9 lbs)…again an easy lift for me. The second lift was 97.5 kg (214.9 lbs), which was still not quite a maximal lift for me. My third and final lift was 107.5 kg (236.9 lbs), and that was definitely more than I had lifted before. I approached the lift feeling fairly confident, but I was still blown away by how easily the bar came up! My lifting for the day was done…or so I thought!
I watched the rest of the women do their final lifts, and then I thought we were finished. It was time for the men to do their deadlifts, but then I noticed my trainer waving me over to the scorer’s table. I vaguely heard an announcement about a fourth attempt (which is allowed for setting records). Me? I was going to do a fourth attempt?! Okay. Michael thought I could do 112.5 kg (248 lbs), and I guess I agreed. Ha ha! It is a good thing that this attempt was thrown at me at the last possible moment, otherwise I would have had plenty of time to think about it, fret over it, and feel those nerves bubble back to the surface. But there was no time for that…only time to put on my belt, chalk up my hands, and step out onto the platform.
I am going to digress here for a moment to say how much I enjoyed the entire 100% Raw powerlifting experience! The judges were here from Alberta, and they were so helpful and encouraging. The spotters and loaders were fantastic and also encouraging. One of the spotters is a good friend of Michael, my trainer. He lives in the Vancouver area and came up here to help out. I really don’t know him, but I could hear his voice cheer me on by name every time I stepped onto the platform. As I stepped to the bar for that unexpected 4th deadlift attempt, I could hear the head judge encouraging me and giving me advice…’keep going, don’t give up’. What a supportive sport!
The lift was definitely the toughest of my day, but I made it! The coolest thing about it was that it didn’t feel all that difficult. It certainly didn’t feel like almost 250 pounds. It felt easier than my training PR of 225 pounds.
It was super fun, a great day. I won 1st place for my age/weight category. So what if I was the only woman in my age/weight category! I also set national records for my age/weight category. Again, that was because there were no previous records for my age/weight category, but I’ll take them while they last!
Now I am feeling much like a zombie. It was a long day. We didn’t get home until roughly 4:00 PM, and it started at 9:00 AM. That’s a very long day when you are really only active for 4, maybe 5 minutes total! The adrenaline has worn off, and I’m feeling minor little aches from the exertion, brief as it was, and the endless standing and sitting.