Someone, another powerlifter, commented on yesterday’s training Instagram post, asking if I was going to compete in February. The question brought forth a sigh born out of hope and despair. I really do wish that I could compete in February, but I also know full well how far removed I am from competing anytime soon. The mind is willing, but the body is not.
As I think about that innocent question, I find my thoughts branching out in various directions, and I am rather amused with one particular branch of thought.
What was in my few short training videos to make someone even think that competing soon was a question to ask me?
Anyone who follows me on Instagram should be aware of the fact that I herniated a disc and have been rehabbing and plodding along slowly for the past year. Since I am not fond of typing out lengthy posts using my phone’s keyboard, I try to keep my messages on Instagram short and sweet, but I haven’t hidden the facts of being injured or in pain or being a powerlifter who isn’t powerlifting.
Yesterday’s training session was okay and not so okay. It is becoming obvious to me that training after work is no longer ideal for me, since my back is usually more achy and the muscles have all ganged up on me. The nerve pains in the legs have been slightly stronger for the past couple of weeks, so that doesn’t help much at any time of day; however, in conjunction with having been on my feet for hours and the resulting angry back…well, let’s just say that I feel like I resemble some hideous, deformed creature as I hobble around the gym.
Bench press was okay, except for the cranky back and the nerve pains shooting through my buttocks and down the backs of my legs. Rack pulls were sucky once I reached my working weight of 225 pounds. The combination of back aches and leg pains made the rack pulls feel heavy and slow and tough, and I know that there is a mental block about pulling heavy things. The Zercher squats were uncomfortable because of the body aches and pains and the fact I’m adverse to using the bar pad to cushion my inner elbows. And the cardio of doing a minimum of five reps! Even something as simple as a glute bridge hold was uncomfortable as the nerve pain in the buttocks squeezed harder with every rep. The only other exercise on my program yesterday was some reverse pec deck, which I ultimately decided not to do for no other reason than that I didn’t want to. And someone was using the only machine and I didn’t want to wait around anymore.
Nothing I did yesterday actually made me hurt more than I already was, but the constant day in, day out of pain and going through the motions of a normal life in such a state is toxic. I fought against emotions as I was doing my glute bridges yesterday. The rack pull mental block is big and difficult to remove. I feel frustration oozing out of my pores.
And yet somehow, someone looked at my little videos of struggling through rack pulls and saw something, saw enough to ask if a competition was in my near future. I don’t know what was seen. Maybe nothing. Maybe the question came from a place of innocence or concern or just because. I could be thinking too much about something rather inconsequential, and this is likely the case. But regardless of the motivation behind the question, perhaps this is merely a reminder that the way others see us is not always the same as how we see ourselves.