Today was the day, and I felt calm, cool, collected and ready! I think Michael was more nervous than I was for at least the beginning. Nerves only really hit me immediately before my third squat and maybe again right before my third bench press. Okay, maybe right before the final deadlift, too! But I felt good.
My opening squat attempt was 87.5kg (192.9 pounds). Although this was a routine weight for me now, it was good enough to break my own National record from last July. My second squat was 92.5kg (203.9 pounds). Broke my National record again but still not a personal best. My final squat, pictured below, was 100kg (220.5 pounds). This was the weight that I missed on a technicality in April, so I really wanted to nail it today. And I did! A new National record and a new personal record! Making that last squat was exhilarating! I felt like I could do just about anything at that point.
My opening bench press attempt was also a new National record at 47.5kg (104.7 pounds). Second attempt was 52.5kg (115.7 pounds), which was still below my personal best although, again, I broke my National record again. The one I really wanted was the third attempt at 55kg (121.3 pounds) and pictured below. Once again, that was the weight that I failed to press in April. Back then, the bar felt so light when I unracked it, but I just couldn’t get it up. I almost ran into trouble today, but I could hear my trainer’s voice telling me to push the bar back towards the rack and that slight adjustment was enough to get the leverage needed to complete the press. Super excited!
Deadlifts were next. My opening attempt was 110kg (242.5 pounds). Second attempt was 122.5kg (270.1 pounds), pictured below. This was a new National record and a new personal record! It felt good. My third attempt was 132.5kg (292.1 pounds). I got it up a few inches, but I felt my back lose position almost right away and I knew trying to pull would get really ugly. Michael said that I was trying to pull with my back and forgot to push with my legs, and that makes complete sense. But I can’t be disappointed with the miss. Michael was a little hard on himself for a bit, thinking that he had screwed up my attempts; however, I think we made the right decisions. My second attempt felt good, and I don’t think that the third attempt was unreasonable. Besides, it’s better to have failed on a third attempt than to have left so much more in the tank. I learned that lesson in April!
Normally that would be the end of my competition, but I agreed to do the military press this time. This isn’t something that I do very often, so my technique sucks and I am weak. I did it anyway. Well…more or less. My first attempt was 30kg (66.1 pounds). I made it, but it felt harder than it should have. I totally forgot all the little details, like taking a deep breath, locking down my core, squeezing my glutes, and leaning my head back at the start. If I felt panicked at any point today, this was the time. For my second attempt, we made the minimum weight increase possible, so my attempt was 32.5kg (71.6 pounds). Despite some coaching on perfecting my technique between attempts, I failed on my second and third attempts. Oh well! It was an experience and something that I could definitely improve on for the next time.
It was a good competition, and I am quite pleased with my results. I got redemption on the squat and bench. I broke all of my National records. I set a personal best in each of the three main lifts. I had wonderful friends and family there to cheer me on, and I had great support on and off the platform. The competition was well-organized and executed. The judges were great, too.
I only freaked out a little, when Michael said there was a spider crawling on my neck. For the record, I freaked out due to the sheer surprise factor and not because I am actually that scared of spiders.
It has been a long but good day. My back is a little sore, but it is a normal kind of soreness that frequently follows heavy deadlifts. It is already feeling not quite so bad as it was earlier this afternoon. I expect that it will feel much better by morning. I am hoping to compete again in October, but for now I expect to be worked hard in the gym.