My powerlifting competition is 3 weeks from today, and I think it is safe to say that the mind games have already begun. I had thought that nervousness might stir within me over these last few weeks, but today I think that the feeling that I’ve been sensing is really good old-fashioned fear. Yes, as silly as it may be, I think I am a little afraid this time around.
I am afraid of the unknown, of the numbers I hope to hit but will never have experienced until that moment. I understand the training philosophy behind building to a certain point below one’s max rather than doing everything in the gym that you want to do on the platform. I totally get it, and I experienced it in competition last summer. There I was able to squat, press and deadlift weights that I had never done in training. It works. I completely, whole-heartedly, 100% believe it works…okay, so maybe my brain is only 90% certain right now, but still I know it works. There is just a crack in my confidence that is allowing fear and uncertainty to seep in.
How can I possibly hope to squat more than 225 pounds, when I’ve only ever done 210? Will I even be able to better my own personal best deadlift, when my deadlift has been struggling? What if I completely misgroove my bench and fail miserably?
As I reflect further on my fear, I realize that most of it centers around the squat, which is somewhat surprising as that is where I currently feel the strongest. Go figure! However, I think the root of that fear can be found in my own goals and expectations. There is a Provincial record that I feel capable of breaking at this competition. It is so close that I can practically taste it, and I want it like Gollum wants his Precious. With the thrill of hopeful dreams comes the risk of failure and that risk breeds fear. I suppose the key is to use that fear rather than letting the fear rule me.
Or it might just be easier to have a lobotomy so I cannot think between now and the competition. I am a thinker, but sometimes too much thinking is not a good thing. Maybe I just need to stay so busy that I won’t have time to let my mind wander down such rabbit trails…