Passion & the Dark Places
All of these things are pretty commonplace at powerlifting meets and are things that I personally like when I’m about to hit the platform. I’m definitely what would be considered an “aggressive” lifter. I like getting my back slapped (hard), sniffing some ammonia, and occasionally yelling to get myself psyched up on the platform. However, these antics aren’t to draw upon a well of anger to help me deadlift. These antics are about passion. Anger is not a sustainable source of motivation and focus. Anger is short and fleeting; passion slowly simmers. For me, it’s about going to a dark place where there is nothing but passion and focus. There are certainly days that require more passion than others and for me, my last meet was absolutely one of those days.
I’ve recapped my powerlifting meet a few weeks ago in several places on the internets (IG, FB, etc.) so I’m not really going to go into the results of my meet here. To sum it up: I went 5/9, had a really brutally tough squat session, an okay bench session, and an okay deadlift session. I matched my all time squat PR (got 2 red lights though), matched my meet bench PR, and matched my deadlift meet PR (hitched my 3rd all time PR deadlift of 308#). It wasn’t the meet I wanted but overall, I couldn’t be disappointed with how the day went considering how training went.
After spending a few months rehabbing my knee (and not squatting or deadlifting for several months), I was beyond eager to jump into meet prep. Long story short, nothing really went as planned. As someone who is a super planner (I mean, I’ve got a color coded planner with stickers), this was a huge source of anxiety. It’s an extremely frustrating feeling to be faced with a problem that you don’t know how to solve because the solutions that are available have already been done. My body felt very much like it was not my own and training felt a lot like trying to stand still in the middle of a hurricane. I can count on one hand the number of training sessions that didn’t end in tears.
I came very close, very close to not even doing this meet. I had an email drafted up saying I wouldn’t be competing. I went back and forth between dropping out and going forward at least three times a day. It was exhausting. Around three weeks out, I made the decision to pull out of a strongman competition and put off competing for the rest of the year. But this meet was still looming. I wanted to quit so badly. I was looking for every single excuse to just not show up. At the end of the day though, I wanted to be there for my friend (who did AMAZING), I wanted to how my clients that powerlifting is an accessible and fun sport, and frankly, I’m too stubborn to quit, so I showed up.
Was it the meet I wanted? Not really. Was it the experience that I needed? Definitely. I get wrapped up in my own head sometimes (okay, all the time) and I fail to see what is right in front of me. On paper, there is no real reason why I should have even had a semi-decent meet. But sometimes, it takes visiting some dark places to show you what you’re made of. For me, it took a really terrible training cycle to remember the passion I have for being able to compete and lift and be there for others doing the same. Because sometimes, you just have to recognize your feelings and fears and insecurities that live in the darker places and say “fuck it” and keep going.