10 Days

Ten days out. Today was to be my last heavy squat, and the plan was to hit 220 pounds. I thought things started out well, but the session didn’t quite play out as expected.

1. squats-low bar

without belt: 45 x 8, 95 x 5, 135 x 3, 155 x 3

with belt: 175 x 2, 185 x 1, 200 x 1, 210 x 1 and this was a little tougher, a little slower than it should have been. It’s a little tiny form issue. I’m pushing with my legs but forgetting to push up with my traps at the same time, which means the bar is getting a little forward, making it feel so much tougher. So, Michael had me drop the weight to work on technique.

195 x 1, 200 x 1, 205 x 1, 195 x 2

2. toes to bar x 8, x 6…with chalk I probably could have done more each set.

Michael feels that I was at about 95% for this training session. He gave me a good pep talk about not stressing over the fact that the 210 felt tough or that I didn’t get to the 220 today. You’d think he could see directly into my brain, because he always seems to know exactly what I am thinking/feeling when something doesn’t quite go according to plan. Yes, I am a wee bit disappointed that I didn’t get to squat 220 today. That’s the weight I missed at the last competition. Missed on a technicality…not for lack of strength. Nailing that weight would make me feel more confident, but I learned last competition that I don’t necessarily need a big result in the gym to get it on the platform.

Still, with the squat, there is a sliver of fear that is so intricately woven through my being that I cannot completely remove it. I can know that I am capable of more, but that is still a lot of weight on my back. It’s heavy, and what if it knocks me flat. The only fear with the deadlift is a lack of confidence in my ability to pull a weight off the floor, and I’m feeling quite confident with my deadlift these days.

At one point today, Michael asked what I wanted to do, and I deferred to his judgement. He laughed that I was putting the pressure on him, but I’m making the choice to listen to his judgement, his experience, and his point of view of what I can do versus what I need to do. I can let fear cripple me from progressing, or I can stubbornly resist backing down because my pride doesn’t want to take a hit. I can go from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye, wanting to throw in the towel yet wanting to break through the ceiling. I need someone to tell me it’s okay to back down, that it isn’t an indicator of my ability or my strength. I need someone to tell me that I am more capable than I think I am, not to cater to my ego but because he really does know what I can do and believes in me. I need someone to point out little flaws in my form and requires me to work on perfecting them, because honing technique is crucial to my physical well-being as well as my ability to lift bigger weights. As much as I might not always feel this way, I truly cannot pick and choose when I want to trust my trainer! If I can’t trust him in everything, then how am I supposed to know when exactly I could trust him? I can’t trust his judgement with my deadlift and not trust him with my squat. Well, perhaps I could, but that kind of logic just seems supremely flawed.

So, today didn’t quite go as planned, but the world has not spun off its axis. As cool as it might be, Pluto is really not the Death Star. Not squatting 220 pounds today is a very minor bump in the road, and really it was better to work on that technique.


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