From time to time, my trainer has me do some military presses. They are not my most favourite lift, although there are several things I dislike doing even more than military presses. When Michael throws them into a training session, I do them without complaint, at least I don’t recall ever complaining about them. They are not high on my list of fun things to do, because, quite frankly, they make me feel weak. Keeping proper form and technique is a struggle. I recognize that there is value in doing this type of press as an accessory, but it’s always been something I view as “having” to do rather than being thrilled that I “get” to do. So, when I registered for my first powerlifting competition last year and saw that there was an optional military press event, I chose to stick to the squat/bench/deadlift combo and ignored the military press. There was no way that I wanted a part of that!
The military press event was not even an option at my second powerlifting competition this past April, and that suited me just fine. I had no plans to do the military press anyway. When I registered for the competition in July, I once again ignored the military press optional event. There wasn’t even an ounce of consideration for it. Nope. No way, no how. I just want to squat, bench press and deadlift and eat really good cheesecake.
And then today happened.
I had sat down to compose a blog post on a different subject, and I had Facebook opened on another tab. As I struggled to get the thoughts in my head to translate into sensible written words, my eyes were drawn to the flash of a new notification on Facebook. The new post was a request for another female lifter to enter the military press event for the competition in order that a best lifter award could be given out. Apparently they need to have a minimum number of male and female lifters in each category to award a best lifter, and they were short a female in the military press.
And just like that I was staring down kryptonite.
I am a people-pleaser. I am someone who feels compelled to do whatever I can to help when there is a need that I can possibly meet. I have a difficult time saying the ‘no’ word.
I read that request and felt nervous energy bubbling up from my belly and into my chest. I could feel it spreading out towards my arms and legs. My breathing and heart rate increased. My fingers twitched as they rested on the keyboard as if they had a mind of their own and were trying to send a reply without my approval. But I paused. I paused long enough to send a text to my trainer for his okay, even though I knew he would tell me to go for it, no matter how much I might secretly wish that he would tell me not to. Do I need his permission? Probably not but he is my trainer, my coach and I value his opinion. As expected (unfortunately), he told me to go for it. He said it will be fun. I’m not wholly convinced, but I’ve already thrown my name into the ring and paid my fee. Looks like I’m doing the military press!