So, I started training only eight weeks prior to the meet, but I was in it to win it—or at least, to hit my goals of a 100 kg squat, 75 kg bench press, and 125 kg deadlift, for a total of 300 kg. I made those goals right at the beginning of training, and I thought that if I hit those targets, I’d have a decent shot of being in the upper half of the competition, depending on who else showed up. I really doubted whether I’d hit those lifts in time (I’d have to add about 30 kg to my squat, 15 kg to my bench press, and 25 kg to my deadlift!). But eventually, I hit those targets during training, and I was feeling good and ready (oh, and extremely nervous!).
I got the list of competitors a few days before the meet, and there was one other girl who registered in my weight class. It was her first meet too (from what I could tell), so I had no idea how strong she was. But that’s one thing I really love about powerlifting—on meet day, the chips are going to fall as they may. If she was really strong, I didn’t stand a chance (I’m not going to hit a 50 kg PR on meet day!). But if she was weaker than me, I could win my class!
After weigh-ins, there was about an hour and a half to wait until the lifting was supposed to start, so the competitors just sat on the floor, ate, and waited. Somehow, the first hour dragged on, but the last half hour before the start flew by! I was running down the hall to get my singlet on in time! And I hadn’t even warmed up yet! Gah!
But somehow, everything worked out. The meet started a bit late, so I had more than enough time to warm up and shake off the jitters before it was my turn. Then, it was time to hit the platform.
I’d been supernervous about competing for the weeks leading up to the meet, but when I was standing there in front of the judge giving the squat commands, I was only focused. I’m certainly not one of those people who revels in being the centre of attention (though it does seem like many of my hobbies require me to perform in front of a crowd!), but all I cared about for my first attempt was listening to all of the commands. And listen, I did!
Three white lights!
Once I had my first lift behind me, I decided to go right for my goal of 100 kg (which, for a powerlifter, is not very much, but squats are my weakest lift!). I figured that way, if I missed it, I’d have another shot at it. But guess what? After fighting through it (oh, it was so ugly…I’ll spare showing you the carnage!), it was a success!
My third squat was really just a what-the-hell attempt of 102.5, and I don’t think I was even in the right mind-set to lift it. I was just happy to have achieved my goal, and I had to lift something for my third attempt!
Then it was on to bench. Bench, oddly enough, is my favourite lift! I had no doubt I’d make my goal of 75, and my opener was a textbook lift.
Now that’s what a bench press should look like!
Unfortunately, for some reason, I just couldn’t lift my second attempt of 70. Angry with myself, I vowed to lift it on my third try.
Well…lift it, I did, but since I accidentally hit the bar clip while pressing, the lift was no good. Ugh! So I was 10 kg short of my target after my “best” lift!
Disappointed and a little upset, I moved into deadlifts. I was confident I’d hit my target there, and…I not only met it but I exceeded it and set a new PR (personal record) on my third attempt! 130 kg!
In the end, I walked away with a total of 295 kg lifted. 300 had been my goal, but I guess the day just wasn’t mine.
Then, it came time for the awards. Since the other girl who registered in my class was insanely strong (she was actually deadlifting more than a girl in “gear”—which means that girl was using knee wraps instead of knee sleeves and a special, extratight bench shirt that two other guys had to work to get on her, allowing her to lift more than she normally could), I was banking on a silver medal for my weight class, which I was still proud of, especially since the competition wasn’t even close at all. But then, they called the winner of the gold medal in my class, and it was…
Apparently, the other girl who registered in my category failed to make weight (she was 8 kg over, so I’m not sure how she had planned on competing in the lower weight class!), so I won my class by default! Of course, it’s not how I wanted to win, but gold is gold!
(A few days later, when I looked at the overall results, according to the Wilks score, I finished fourth overall of the “classic”/nonequipped women! Not too shabby at all, I’d say!)
So what’s next? Have I caught competition fever? Well, after my first meet, I wasn’t entirely sure. I had had a good time and a positive experience, but I wasn’t necessarily fired up and filled with new goals. But after my second competition (where I won the award for best female bencher!), I think it’s safe to say that (barring any injuries—knock on wood!)…