The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I’ve written about my theme and some goals for the new year, but I haven’t really recapped 2016. My original intention wasn’t to review 2016 at all. I usually do it, so I’m not entirely certain why I was hesitant this time. However, I’ve been thinking a fair bit about the past 366 days, because it seems like many people are lamenting 2016, happy to see it end, feeling devastated by losses. The celebrity world has lost quite a few talents this year, and this is a big part of the angst towards 2016. I understand the sense of loss when a beloved celebrity dies. We do get rather attached to our rock stars and actors. I feel the losses, too. Some more than others based upon my own level of connection, of course. As a Star Wars fan girl, the recent passing of Carrie Fisher saddens me more than the passing of a talented musician like David Bowie. But I don’t quite hold to the popular opinion that 2016 has been an absolutely brutal, horrible year based on the famous names we said good-bye to.

Death is a part of life. Countless numbers of people pass away every day of the year, most without fanfare and mourned by relatively few. Loss affects us all differently. We grieve differently, and that’s okay. Personally, I can’t judge a year based on the life or death of a celebrity, no matter how sad the loss may be, especially not when old age comes into play. The unexpected premature deaths, while harder to swallow, still cannot form the foundation of my contentment with my own life. As I’ve been thinking about all these things and hearing so many complain about how terrible this year has been, I realized that I kind of do need to recap my year, because I think I had a rather good one.

Some of the goals I achieved this year:

  • multiple unassisted chin ups (I did 2 from a dead hang)
  • multiple unassisted dips
  • broke 2 of my 100% RAW National records (squat and total)
  • set a Class 1 RAW total
  • broke my own BCPA Provincial records (squat 2x and total)
  • broke BCPA Provincial records (bench and deadlift)
  • competed 3 times
  • tried sushi for the first time
  • competed at Western Canadians
  • successfully cut weight to 148 pounds for my May competition (without killing anyone)
  • had a 250 pound squat
  • deadlifted twice my bodyweight (303 lbs)
  • got a tattoo
  • won my age/weight class at Westerns

While I could never have foreseen at the start of the year, 2016 also presented me with the opportunity to make a big change by leaving my comfortable and familiar job of 11 years for something slightly different. That has been a good change, even though it has also disrupted my normal routine. My stress level has decreased, my inner peace and happiness have increased. There is very little for me to rant about when I get home from work.

Each of my three powerlifting competitions was special in some way. My goal to compete 3 times was a little ambitious, especially since they would be crammed between mid-May and Mid-August. That kind of competition schedule isn’t ideal at all, but my coach is smart with my training and I was determined. My focus was sharp leading up to the first competition, and I hoped to break a World record. I fell short on the World record, but I still had that double bodyweight deadlift. That was also the first time I’ve had to truly earn my age/weight class win, and it was only by 5 kilograms! As I approached Provincials in June, I found myself struggling a bit to stay as intensely focused. I had goals, but a sliver of doubt had also slipped its way under my skin as is often the case when I expect to squat a weight I have never tested before. I made the squat and missed my final deadlift. The weeks between Provincials and Westerns were tough ones emotionally, as good friends experienced heart-breaking tragedy. The loss wasn’t mine, but I was not unscathed. I am fairly certain that I will feel the sharp shards of that trauma for a long, long time. At the time I didn’t know how I should feel or if that was even appropriate. Quite honestly, I still don’t know. It’s something that I haven’t talked or blogged about for several reasons, but mostly because it just feels wrong to consider myself. So I keep that private between me and God, but the summer was an internal mess. To add to the inner turmoil heading into Westerns, I was also going to be competing without my coach at my side. That was a scary prospect and unfamiliar territory. I doubted my ability to perform well without my coach there to manage my attempts, give me advice, cheer me on and slap my back. My 18 year old daughter ended up being my coach for the day, and while she couldn’t assist me the same way that my coach could, she did a good job. I had a bit of frustration with my final bench press attempt, but I broke records in every other category and won my class. Despite the quick turn-around between competitions and the roller-coaster of emotions, I performed well and have no reason to feel anything but pride.

My daughter graduated from high school in the spring. My baby! I rolled my eyes quite often at the prospect of all the preparations for prom, but I loved every moment.

This is taking much too long to write, and I am sure to have missed highlights here and there; however, I think I’ve touched on enough to provide illustrations for my year. It wasn’t perfect or without trouble, but it was mostly a good year. That is how I choose to look at it.

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