Competing in strength sports is a lot of things: it's exhausting, it's time consuming, it’s mentally difficult, it's scary...and it is also one of the best things that I’ve ever done.
That is not to say that competing is for everyone. If you don’t want to compete, that is 100% okay. But if you have found yourself looking for a little something extra or in need of an extra push with your training, then maybe it is time to try a competition.
Competition gives your training purpose.
Competing puts an entirely new focus on your training. Your goal isn’t just to get in, get out, and hopefully get a good sweat. Now you have a little bigger purpose. That date on the calendar can give you that extra push when you’re sure you have nothing left for that last set of squats and gives you that mental edge when you just really, really do not want to get up on Saturday morning. It amplifies all of the reasons you originally started training and brings to light some motivations that you may not have known you had.
Competition gives you clarity.
There are few things that narrow your focus like knowing you have to perform on a certain day. Often times, competing comes with clarity of purpose for your training, nutrition, and stress management. You learn that maybe you don’t need to stress about something small because, I mean, you just deadlifted this morning and if you can handle that, you can handle whatever life throws at you.
Competition teaches you things about yourself.
You learn what does and does not work for you. You discover how competitive you are (or aren’t). Competition teaches you what you’re made of. Nothing is given and everything is earned. You will learn what it is like to really dig deep and surprise yourself.
Competition gives you community.
Finding your “tribe” is one the best experiences, ever. Competitions are great places to meet like-minded people and to feel a sense of belonging. At the end of the day, you’re really just hanging out and lifting stuff with your strong friends and that is the greatest feeling. Strength sport communities are incredibly supportive and everyone cheers on everyone else.
Competition teaches you to be brave.
It is no easy task to put yourself out there. It takes a lot of courage to sign up and show up and compete. Competing in front of a crowd can be a very nerve wracking task and being nervous is completely normal. Once your first lift or event is done, the nerves dissipate and the excitement and fun of the day takes over. Knowing that you can go out on a platform or competition floor and put yourself out there definitely makes other “everyday” tasks seem way less intimidating.
Competing isn’t everyone’s “thing”, but you never know if it could be your “thing” until you give it a try.