The competition was only 2 days ago, yet somehow it feels like it happened at least a week ago! Since I am a thinker, I’ve been decompressing all the information that was crammed into my head over the course of the weekend, processing and sorting things out. I’m just going to spew them out here, so this post might be a little disjointed. Hopefully it makes sense in some way, shape or form…at least to me!
1. I expected to feel more nervous than I actually did. My stomach did feel a bit unsettled first thing in the morning, and I really ate very little until the competition was over. As I stood in line waiting to get my equipment checked, I felt fear begin to rise, but it didn’t last for even 5 minutes. My husband and my coach had both just left the building to get coffee, leaving me on my own in a strange building amongst complete strangers and about to go through a process that I’ve never had to go through before. Thankfully those nerves disappeared quite quickly. In fact, at one point before my flight began, Michael commented that I looked calm, and I really, truly was!
2. Powerlifting is an amazing sport. I grew up with sports both as a spectator and as a participant. I have seen a lot of exciting moments, but I have also seen the ugliest of attitudes, behaviours, and lack of sportsmanship. While I am sure that there can be an ugly side to powerlifting, I have yet to see it myself. Both of my competitions have been nothing but positive experiences. The spectators cheer for everyone. The powerlifters cheer on their competition. The spotters are cheering on the competitors. Competitors share equipment when someone’s doesn’t pass the inspection or is forgotten at home. Rookies and veterans intermingle. Ability or disability doesn’t matter.
3. Confidence is a funny thing. I believe that I stepped out onto the platform for each and every lift feeling confident in my ability to get the job done. I don’t always feel that confidence in training, especially when I am about to attempt a new PR weight, but those potential PR weights didn’t scare me at all on Sunday. And that’s a little ironic. In a strange way, I had no confidence in my deadlift. My deadlift has struggled in training for months and months. In training, I couldn’t even better my PR from last July. I hadn’t seen a single gain in my deadlift, and so I believed that my deadlift was a weak link in my powerlifting chain. That belief shattered my confidence in my ability to go big on the deadlift. I knew that I could at least replicate my PR, but I wholeheartedly believed that anything more than that would be a struggle to pull. So when Michael would have liked to go bigger, I hesitated. But even though I believed that my final deadlift would be a difficult challenge, I still felt confident as I stepped onto the platform.
4. The moral of the story is to listen to your coach and follow his instincts, because he knows what he is talking about!
5. Hindsight is always perfect though. I should have listened to Michael, but I can’t really regret my caution too much. It’s a learning process, and now I know better. Trust my coach. My deadlift responds well to the de-load and rest and competition, even if my gym performance doesn’t look the greatest.
6. My coach (yes, I sometimes call him coach, trainer, Michael…they all apply!) is a smart man. He knows when I need a boost to my confidence, but he also knows when I need to be reined in a little. Sometimes I get crazy ideas in my head, like dropping a weight class just to try to break some records. While crazy can be good sometimes, it can also just be really stupid at other times. I have to say that Michael does a great job at finding balance.