Risky Business

“To be alive at all involves some risk.” -Harold Macmillan


While chatting with a friend at church this morning about my potential powerlifting competitions for the year, I was asked if I get nervous for them. The conversation was no more than a few minutes, but that question has left me thinking about why I can so quickly say that I am not nervous when my natural inclination would indicate otherwise. After all, I am not the sort of person who feels comfortable in the spotlight of attention. Several months ago, as the minutes ticked down until I would be called upon to step onto the church platform and speak to the congregation about my journey, I was a mess. I was sweating profusely. My stomach was contorting into a million different types of knots simultaneously, and I was shaking all over. I survived the experience, but stepping into the spotlight in front of a crowd just isn’t remotely in my comfort zone.

And yet, I can step out in front of a crowd, wearing an ugly and shapeless singlet, and attempt to squat, press and lift heavy weights without even the tiniest flutter of panic. At my most recent competition prior to my final deadlift attempt, I was a bundle of nervous energy. I was quite literally bouncing on my toes, swinging my arms, and forcing myself to take deep breaths, but I wasn’t truly nervous. I think it was more excitement than nervousness, an eagerness to get it done rather than dread for what was coming, and just energy that couldn’t be contained.

Why aren’t I nervous when it comes to competing? How can I look ahead to potentially competing at Provincials or Western Canadians, maybe even Nationals and Worlds one day, and not feel nervous and overwhelmed?

My friend remarked that it must mean that I am where I am supposed to be, and I cannot argue with that logic! As odd as it seems, being involved with powerlifting feels like the most natural thing in the world. I am confident in my coach and his training, and I have become confident in myself. I know what I can do and I can envision what I will do, and it is so incredibly exciting! How can I be nervous about something that gives me such excitement? There may be a measure of nervousness when it comes to attempting an untested heavy weight, that nervousness is minimal next to the knowledge that I am being guided by capable hands, by someone who isn’t going to put me at risk just to satisfy ego or vanity.

Really, about the only thing that does make me nervous is the lead up to registering for a competition! The sport is becoming quite popular and competitions are filling up quickly. The most recent registration filled up in just under 5 minutes! Yikes! Tomorrow sees the start of registration for what I am hoping will be my first competition of the year. I will need to try to register for it while I am at work, and I am going to be nervous until I get that done.


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