Just about 10 days ago, I competed in USPA’s first drug-tested nationals in Atlanta, Georgia. I didn’t have to make weight (YAAAAAS) and went into this meet feeling pretty good and very ready. This meet was really well-run, even with very long weigh ins and a late start time. Big shout out to the entire Goggins force crew, all the spotters, loaders, and everyone who made it such an awesome event for all of the athletes and spectators.
I came into this meet having some big expectations of myself and feeling ready. My prep leading up to this meet was HARD - there were several days where I cried, was unsure of myself, and thought "what the hell I am doing?" It was also one of the most productive training cycles I have ever had. I increased my numbers on every lift and really improved my technical skills thanks to a whoooole lot of practice.
The day of, I woke up extremely nervous. Couple my extreme nerves with a minor, accidental directions misshape and I basically had an anxiety attack on the ride to the venue. Once I arrived and got settled in the warm up room, I put my headphones in and stretched and reviewed my warm up plan. The flights weren't posted yet so it was a little bit of a waiting game to see when to start warming up.
This was a roooough squat day for me. The meet started about an hour late so I warmed up a little too early but was ready to go by the time my turn was up. Also, my handler was busy weighing in so I had someone else handle me and wrap my knees (Chris and Brad, you all are CLUTCH - thank you so much) which was so incredibly helpful. I hit my opener of 260# (117.5kg) with plenty of speed but missed my next two attempts due to losing back tightness and frankly, just not being confident and being nervous. I had hit 285# with some speed in training so I was disappointed, to say the least. A 300# squat has been one of my biggest goals since I started lifting seriously and I know I'm capable - but there is no room for hesitation. And I hesitated on the platform.
I went into the bench feeling pretty down but smoked my opener and took an aggressive 5kg (11#) jump. On my second attempt, I nailed it with a lot of speed but my butt came off the bench so I got 2 red lights. I sat around waiting for my third attempt and started getting really down on myself and pretty negative. I rallied and told myself that I neeeeded to put up that damn bench. On my third attempt, I misgrooved a little but had the grind of my life and got 3 white lights (I was really unsure if I would get white lights for that lift - glad I did!). This gave me a 5kg meet bench PR and was exactly what I needed going into deadlifts.
At this point, it had been a good 6 hours or so since the meet started and I was definitely feeling tired. My plan for deadlifts was simple: be savage. I have literally never been so aggressive or amped up or focused, ever (thank you trap slaps, pre workout, and nose tork). I got all baby powdered, torqued, and chalked up and hit my opener of 125kg (275#) with a ton of speed. I called 303# for my second attempt and immediately got nervous - 300# has been a HUGE goal of mine. I’ve hit it twice in training but really wanted to make it legit on the platform. When it was my turn, I was definitely nervous and my handler told me to "do it for everyone who said you couldn't" and after that, I got incredibly focused and 303# FLEW up for a very nice 12.5kg meet PR (and 3# lifetime PR). I definitely got teary eyed after I saw those white lights but went straight back to the warm up room to get my head together for my last attempt since things were moving pretty fast. I had my handler call my third attemptsince I didn’t want to know what it was so I could just focus on pulling like hell. For my third attempt, I yelled, walked up to that platform, and just pulled my heart out. I was SO CLOSE to locking it out but started to hitch so my the front judge called me down (I would have hitched that thing once and locked it out because, strongman). I found out after that it was 320# - which would have been a 20# lifetime PR and a 45# meet PR. I could NOT believe that I was even able to break that off the ground. As someone who considers themselves a pretty bad deadlifter, I was shocked. I had no idea that I was capable of that. That's the beauty of competing - it teaches you what you're made of, and often times, it can be a bit surprising.
After the meet, we hung around the hotel for awards. Fun fact: the power went out towards the end of the lighter class men’s deadlift session and people were deadlifting in the dark with cell phone lights and judges were giving calls with pieces of papers. Now that's dedication.
I ended up winning my class and division (there was one other girl in my weight class and division) and walked away with a shiny gold medal and the 148 classic raw national champion title.
Overall, I had a decent meet. I’m still disappointed with my squat showing because I know I had a really big squat in me, but I didn’t adapt to my circumstances and it cost me some kilos on the platform. It felt really, really good to get that 300# deadlift and it was great to fight for that bench PR and actually grind hard. I enjoyed a few days off (and an entire gluten free pizza and the best damn burger and parmesan fries of my entire existence) but I’m glad to be back to training. I’m never satisfied and just can’t wait to get stronger.
*As always, thank you to my coach Annie, my nutrition coach Anthony, and the entire Complete Human Performance team of coaches and athletes. I am beyond grateful to have the support of such amazing coaches and individuals.*