This upcoming weekend marks the one-year anniversary of our first lifting competition and it’s really been an amazing journey. We’re physically and mentally stronger, and we have more confidence in our bodies and abilities. But the most special part of what we’ve done in the past year is that we’ve grown stronger, tougher and closer…together. I recently realized just how fortunate I am to have this bond. Without the support of the other girls in this group, I’m not sure I’d be competing tomorrow.
I always struggle with the squat, mostly mentally but physically too. Last week we had one of our last big workouts before meet day. I showed up ready to train but my mind was consumed with stress and worry. A personal issue was truly weighing me down but I was determined to push through.
I unracked my meet opener (160 lbs), squatted it once with horrible form, attempted it again and barely got it back in the rack. I dropped to 150 lbs and the same thing happened. I dropped to 140 lbs and did a couple “OK” reps. It took everything I had to not burst into tears. I was panicked. If I was struggling that much with my opener, how was I going to hit my goal at the meet?
I was working out with Missy and Jen that night and they could tell without me saying a word that I was “off”. Jen pulled me aside and assured me that she has a day like this before every meet. “Don’t worry. You’re going to do great. One bad squat doesn’t mean anything,” she said. Missy knew about what was going on in my life outside the gym. She smiled reassuringly and just said, “It’s ok. You’re going to be fine. You’ve got this.” I knew she was talking about more than my squat. Thank goodness they were there. It helped so much to have them to keep me grounded and positive. Suzanne texted me the next day to ask about our workout and I told her about what had happened. Her immediate response, “Do you want to talk about it? I could meet you for coffee after work.” She was more concerned about me than my workout and wanted to be there in any way that she could, just like Missy and Jen.
No doubt about it, the likelihood that each of us would have gotten to the point of competing at Nationals without the support of our fellow lady lifters is slim and frankly, it wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. We are there for each other on good days, bad days and everything in between. My bad day would have turned into a horrible one without their support.
Thankfully, bad workout days like that are rare, but each of us has a lot going on in our personal lives, just like everyone does, so having that relief, that support and the laughter that we share together is truly something to be cherished. I mean, come on, how hard is it to work out when you love to lift AND you get to spend time with wonderful women that rarely have a negative thing to say? But don’t worry. We’re not nauseatingly positive with beams of sunshine coming out of our glutes. We’re real. We talk about the normal stuff…everything we eat, wardrobe malfunctions, bodily functions, family, work, stress, vacation plans, oh and of course, our workouts/training/goals, etc. We’ve grown closer together because we just “get” one another. We understand the passion and desire to be physically strong, how important it is to be surrounded by motivated and positive individuals and that eating carbs only on certain days at certain times does not make you crazy.
Lizz, Anne and Kim won’t be on the platform with us this time but their continued support and enthusiasm is ever present. We plan to represent our teammates well and are aiming for personal records, but we realize that sharing the experience with one another and having teammates that are incredibly proud of us is better than any trophy. They too will share in our success!