Clearing Skies

For the first time in what feels like forever, my skipping warm-up was perfect. My balance on a single leg exercise was horrible, but I was pretty stoked to have had such an excellent skip. Maybe, just maybe the mental fog is beginning to thin out. Slightly, but I think it is happening. One of the more noticeable indicators of that, from my perspective, comes with my music. Since my last competition roughly 7 weeks ago, I really haven’t been able to listen to my power music. I listened to a lot of worship music or fluffy, mean nothing music. Even though I started listening to my power songs a week or so ago, I still felt mostly disconnected from them. I was going through the motions, knowing that I needed to get my head into the proper space, and yet I still felt lost. Today, listening to those power songs as I drove to the gym and then later back home, my head was practically clear and focused. I almost feel excited and eager and ready. Almost there. I haven’t truly felt like myself over the past month, at least in terms of training and competing, but I am beginning to remember the fundamentals that make me who I am.

  • I have tremendous will-power and determination.
  • I am focused and driven.
  • I thrive on a challenge.
  • I am cool under pressure.
  • I have excellent training, smart training, experienced training.
  • I have the best support system.

There is still a lot of time between today and Westerns (ha ha!), but right now, in this moment, I feel like I can actually do this. I also feel incredibly hungry, because I trained this morning and I need to eat lunch! And perhaps the fact I have an appetite is also a positive indicator of stepping closer to that right frame of mind.

1a. deadlifts, conventional

95 x 8, 135 x 6, 185 x 5, 205 x 3, 225 x 2

with belt: 240 for three singles

Last week was my last heavy deadlift prior to Westerns, so today wasn’t about putting up big numbers. These felt pretty good. Usually I use my belt once I break 200 pounds, but the thought didn’t even cross my mind until I finished the set at 225 and Michael said to use my belt for the next one. One thing I did notice was that the left shoulder wasn’t as happy with my favoured mixed grip of the left hand being under the bar. In the gym, I always switch my grip, but in competition I always keep that left hand under. The shoulder didn’t like it much today when I did use that grip, so I might have even used the right hand under grip an extra set. It’s probably just a mental thing to think that I’m stronger with one hand over rather than the other, especially since I do train both ways all the time. Even though the shoulder didn’t enjoy the grip, there wasn’t an increase in pain and I don’t think it affected my pull. Just something to be aware of…but I won’t be hitting serious deadlifts again until the platform.

1b. kettlebell arm bars

6kg x 5 each, 10kg x 6 each, 12kg x 6 each

I haven’t done these for quite a while, so I went super light for the first set with the left shoulder in mind. So easy. Honestly, even the 12kg set was easy.

2. Michael suggested a little curl challenge between the two of us. He would equal my reps at double the weight that I could do. First up was a barbell curl. I haven’t done those for nearly 3 months, and I honestly wasn’t sure how many I’d be able to do. The goal was to try for at least 6 or 7.

50 lbs x 11

And that right there was a PR for barbell curls! I didn’t think I’d get that many. Curls are one of those pesky intimidating exercises!

So Michael had to try to curl 100 lbs for 11 reps. He had the 43 pound bar and wasn’t sure if I would notice. I definitely did! He did add the 1 pound collars so the weight was accurate. I’m sure that he could have got the 11 reps, but he didn’t make the final rep. 😉

Then it was a kettlebell curl.

16kg x 8

That was definitely much tougher! Michael then had to use 32kg and he tied my reps with 8.

See! I love a challenge.


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