Wow! What an exciting day filled with overstimulation – tons of people, loud music, and lots of sweaty buff men in tight clothes. Oh, and they were pretty stinky, too.
Yesterday, I competed in my very first powerlifting meet and it was SO much fun. I woke up feeling pretty zen, which is a little unusual as I tend to get quite nervous before any type of competition. I was calm and relaxed and was ready to tackle the day. Tall Guy made me breakfast of the usual eggs and bacon, and I headed off to the gym around 8:15am.
It was nice that the meet was at the gym where I do/coach CrossFit, so I think the familiarity helped with my nerves. There were already tons of people there by 8:30am – some were getting weighed in and getting their gear checked, getting rack heights, or claiming their seats in the shade. It was a warm one yesterday! I weighed in on Friday night and was quite surprised at my weight. I’ve been hovering around 128lbs, but they weighed me in a 124.4lbs. That’s the lightest I’ve been in years. In the 132lb weight class, the range is 123.6-132.25, so I was at the bottom end when I was afraid I was close to the top!
Since I was only doing the deadlift, I had to wait until the end of my session to lift, which was around 3:30pm. Even though it was a long day it was such a neat experience. I took the time (since I had so much of it!) to learn how this sport works and to watch other lifters and their technique. Of course there were the typical “I am so buff and beautiful and I’m going to puff out my chest and arms to show you how much I know this” type of dudes, but most of the people I met were pretty cool. There were young and old, and many more females than I saw last year. It is also amazing how flexible some of these men are. I know this may seem sexist in a way, but men don’t usually bend or move like women do. But some of the squats that these men were doing were so beautiful!
I have to say that my most favorite part of the meet was watching the lifters give it their all and not give up and make that successful lift. There were times where you saw some athletes struggle and they could have given up, but they kept pushing or pulling, albeit slowly, but they didn’t give up. The smile after they let go of the weight is the best. It is such a rewarding feeling.
There was this one woman who was in the masters 2 division (45-49) who is from San Francisco and has been lifting for four years now. She did what they call “full power” meaning she competed in all three events – back squat, bench press, and deadlift. I believe she set a new record in each lift and after every attempt she did this cute double fist pump and had the cutest smile on her face. As we were waiting for the awards ceremony we were talking about how we wished we could have gotten into lifting when we were younger and how much fun and addicting it is.
I often think about why I enjoy lifting weights. From the outsiders point of view, I can see how it seems silly. We’re just lifting heavy things and putting them back down. But there is something so primal about lifting heavy shit. I’ve always been an aggressive person – aggressive in that I like to be active and put my body through a tough challenge. I hate that society quite often portrays women as these fragile, gentle creatures. Women are so much more than that, and I wish that more women could see and understand that. Lifting and doing CrossFit satisfies this inherent need to challenge my body to push me to see and understand my potential. I think that is why I enjoyed gymnastics so much. It gave me that physical and mental challenge – what can I do next?
Around 3:30pm it was my turn to lift. I was hanging out inside waiting for my flight to begin. My coach and I were wondering when it was going to begin, and as we were walking to check out the roster we hear “Platform is ready for Ninja Nomers.” Once they call your name, you have one minute to perform your lift. “Oh crap!” is what I thought, and I tore my shirt off and ran up to the platform. My opening lift was 99kg (218lbs). It went well and felt pretty easy.
My next lift was 105kg (~231lbs). I was ready, but felt a little nervous. I went out there, lifted and FAILED! My legs were shaky and I stepped back. I have never stepped back on a deadlift before and it was a little scary. Big thanks to my spotter for catching me! My coach noticed that my foot didn’t appear stable and it looked like there was a hole where I was standing in the platform. So my next attempt I was going to step forward or backward to avoid that spot. Below is video of what happened:
My third lift (second attempt) at 105kg went well, and since I was within 20kg of the state record (107.5kg/236.99lbs), I was granted a fourth attempt. WOOHOO! Here is my 3rd lift at 105kg:
And finally, my last lift at 110kg (242lbs) to break the state and American record was successful! Here’s my final lift at 110kg:
I would like to send out a HUGE THANK YOU to my coach Bruce Mendoza (http://brucemendoza.com/). He has taught me so much, and it has also helped improve my performance and coaching in CrossFit.
Congrats to Nicole to for kicking ass, too! (I thought this picture of us laughing was cute).
Congrats to my friend Josh who also achieved a state record in the deadlift. He killed it! I forgot to get a picture with him, oops.
I would also like to thank all of my friends who came out to cheer me on. It’s a bummer that the meet was running behind and you missed my lifts, but just you showing up meant a lot to me. It really did.
Push yourself to be your best. Work hard to be a champion.