“You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” -Rosalynn Carter
Okay, so here’s the thing that I’ve been holding inside…I don’t feel mentally ready for this competition. And while I want to say that I am as ready as I can be physically, there are doubts deep down in the darkest corners of my being. Don’t get me wrong! I am excited to compete at my first Provincials. I am looking forward to competing; I love competing! And yet, in a way that I am not sure I can adequately express, there is a sense of disconnect between the excitement of competing and my head space.
I wouldn’t call this a case of nerves, because I’m not overly nervous, no more than prior to any competition and those nerves are generally very mild. Pretty sure my coach is more nervous when I compete than I am! If I am nervous about anything heading into this competition, it is my squat and that nervousness is based on absolutely nothing substantial! I want to improve each competition. I want to win every competition and reach the goals that I set for myself. I want to do better every time, in some way, shape or form. While it is entirely within my reach to break every Provincial record in my age/weight class this weekend, I’m trying not to think about those records too much. It’s the squat.
I hold the current Provincial squat record, which also happens to be my best ever squat from way back last October. Breaking my own record would be sweet, but more than that I just want to better my own personal best. But I haven’t squatted that much weight since I broke that record. I didn’t even match that weight at the last competition, and my memory tells me that my last competition squat felt heavy and slow at 11 pounds less than my best. The squat is always the lift that will cause me to feel a measure of fear. My bench press can be hit and miss, but I seldom stress out how I think I might perform it. For more than a year now, I have almost unshakeable confidence in my deadlift. While I may not always make the lift, I approach the bar believing that I can! The heavy, uncharted squat territory makes me feel afraid of failing, of being crushed, of not being strong enough.
But even the squat can’t explain how I am currently feeling completely. It goes beyond a bit of fear and trepidation over a heavy squat. I can only say that I have a feeling that this, whatever you want to call it, is a side effect of having two competitions relatively close together. Six weeks between competitions really is not ideal, and I knew that going into the first one. I chose the first one, because it was practically at home. I chose to do Provincials, because it is a required stepping stone to bigger competitions and goals. Unfortunately the timing of the two sucks. Then I chose to do Western Canadians in August, because that is another required stepping stone to bigger competitions and goals! I know it is exceedingly rare for powerlifters to compete so close together, but I have these opportunities that were too important, too good to ignore. Westerns are fairly close to home, so I couldn’t pass that up, because a two hour drive sure beats travelling to Alberta, Saskatchewan or Manitoba!
Thankfully there is a bit more time between Provincials and Westerns…8 weeks. 😉 I don’t think it helped that I let the box fall on my neck four weeks ago, but I am happy to report that the neck is feeling good. It probably feels better than I do mentally, and I’m not exaggerating too much. I am used to being extremely focused on an upcoming competition, mentally pumped up and raring to go. Not this time. My daughter (my baby!) is graduating from high school tomorrow. That’s a major distraction. The neck injury was a distraction. But I am not an easily distracted kind of person!
I am excited. I feel blah. I am eager to compete. I’m already looking forward to an off-season. I want to break records. I want to win. Well, with no one else in my age/weight class, I just have to make successful lifts to “win”. I was so emotionally involved and hyped for my last competition that I think, or at least it feels like my tank is empty and I don’t know where to find more fuel. I’ve got four days to figure it out, because I’m lifting in five. I’m hoping and expecting that the fog will clear a bit once I am actually there.