The night before my meet I barely slept because I was excited and extremely nervous. I tried to calm my nerves, but my mind just wouldn’t shut off. I was terrified of not making weight or failing in front of a bunch of strangers, you name it and I feared it. I remember being wide awake at 5 am and my alarm was set to go off at 6…I tried to get that last hour, but it was useless my nerves were not going to let me sleep now.
So I got up and started my day, making sure I had everything I needed in my bag and packing up my supplements and food, lots of food. Driving to the meet was just as nerve wracking and I was shaking the entire time, I actually don’t think my body stopped shaking except for when it was my turn to lift.
Walking into the gym I saw all of these other women and I felt calmed a bit because they all seemed really nice, of course they had other women they knew that were also competing and I was solo. Upon entering the first thing we have to do is weigh in and I was anxious. If I didn’t make weight, then I didn’t get to compete and I was terrified that my first meet would be over before it even began.
Finally it was my turn and I go in the room with a female judge and strip down to my underwear and sports bra, I was shaking the entire time and was hesitant about stepping on the scale. I couldn’t even look at the weight I just closed my eyes and once the lady said 62.45 kg it was like a weight was lifted and I can now focus on my lifts and eating. So I grab my gear and head to the bathroom to change and then go to the warm-up area. I couldn’t stop shaking everyone there seemed to have someone with them and I felt awkward. That was until a woman came up and started talking to me. Her name was Jai Jai and she was super nice and helpful once she found out it was my first meet and I didn’t have a coach. I will always remember what she said, “You’re not alone anymore you have all of us here”.
Those words made me feel welcome and like I belonged there. Then more women came up and talked to me and I opened up more and became more relaxed with the other women I was lifting with. After all I wasn’t competing against any of them I was competing against myself and trying to do my best.
Ok so now on to the lifting part of the meet. I made a huge mistake right from the beginning and warmed up way too early for my first lift, Squats. It was my one regret, but it might not of changed the outcome of my lifts on the platform anyway. I felt super shaky warming up for this lift and I definitely let my nerves get to me. When it was my time to step on the platform my heart was racing and all I could think of was wait for the commands. I didn’t want to screw up my lift because of a rookie mistake and not listening.
Once I got under the bar and got my stance set I received the command, my first attempt was at 226 lbsor 102.5 kg and I think felt heavy, but I got a good lift 2 whites and one red. I got called on one side for my depth and I was upset because I wanted 3 white lights. I tried to not let it get to me and went on to my second attempt at 110 kg (242.5 lbs) and I failed. I jerked and went forward and got called on my depth on one side again. The lift didn’t count so my third attempt I had to make it count. I tried again at the same weight and I went down perfect, I didn’t jerk and I thought my depth was great. Well I guess I was wrong on my depth because I got called on it again and another no lift.
I was furious because I thought my depth was fine, but the judges didn’t see it hat way. So I dusted myself off took some supplements, ate some food and moved on; I was going to make every single one of my attempts on my next lift count. It was time to move on to my warm-ups for Bench Press. This lift hasn’t been my strongest during training so I wasn’t expecting any huge numbers. During my last day of training I managed to bench 135 so I was saving that heavy weight for my third attempt.
I started off with something light that I knew I could hit no matter how long they made me pause with that damn right on my chest. My first attempt was 50 kg (110.2 lbs) and it felt easy, I got 3 whites and that was a huge incident booster. My next attempt was 55 kg (121.3 lbs) and once again it felt light, but those pauses seemed to be super long. I planned on doing 60 kg for my third attempt, but I went for 62.5 kg (137.8 lbs) which would of been a body weight Bench but I failed. I got the bar down, but that pause got me and I psyched myself out and bailed on the lift.
Once I walked off the platform and headed back to the warm-up area my hubby was there telling me I had that lift and I just gave up. I knew I gave up too, if I would of just pushed a little harder and used the tools he gave me I could of had that lift. He also said that I was doing great, afterall it wasn’t my first meet I didn’t come to get a medal I came for the experience.
Now my last lift of the day was the Deadlift and this was the one I was terrified of because I had already gotten hurt twice during training with this lift. My opener was going to be the same for my Squat 102.5 kg (226 lbs) I went into it knowing I was going to get all whites on this first lift, because I have done this lift many times in training. The judge said “Bar is loaded” and that was my que I walked up and ignored everyone in the crowd, I looked right at that judge and picked up the bar like I had done many times at home and once I got the down signal I checked the monitor and I got 3 whites.
I was pumped and excited for my next attempt at 110 kg (242.5 lbs). Once again I walked up to the bar lifted it with ease, locked out, got my down signal and maintained control as I lowered the bar. Another 3 whites lit up on the monitor. I was jumping on the inside, it would of been out of character for me to cheer and be outwardly excited. I just smiled and walked off the platform.
Now I had to decide what my third attempt was going to be, I planned on around 250 lbs, but my last lift felt so easy that I decided to aim a little higher 117.5 kg (259 lbs). Once I pulled the weight I instantly realized I should of pushed for 270 lbs because 259 didn’t seem heavy enough. But since I was injured twice on this lift I was afraid next time I will go big or go home.
Once my meet was over I was so pumped I wanted to do it again. The nerves were awful, but the experience is one I will never forget. All of the women I met were super helpful and eager to share their first meet experiences. Powerlifting is something I can say I am officially a part of and something I am passionate about. If you are ever doubting yourself in any sport stop! If you give it your all and leave everything you have then it was all worth it in the end.
Your Resident Barbell Goddess