I had a lot of angst going into the meet. In fact, when the team started our training cycle, I was adamant that I was going to sit out. As you know from an earlier post, I Still Suck, my surgery took a bigger toll on my body than I expected, and while I was back to training the three big lifts, we continued to be conservative with weight. Jim kept encouraging me to compete so I could get qualified for Nationals and I admit that I really didn’t want to miss that opportunity. But, my stubbornness and competitiveness was holding me back. I didn’t want to compete if I couldn’t be just as good as last time.
A few weeks into the training cycle, the girls and I were chatting about the meet and Jim looked me square in the eyes and said, “What do you care? You’re not competing.” He had said this to me a few other times but this was the first time he called me out in front of my teammates and I was pissed.
Needless to say Jim’s little trick worked and I sent in my registration soon after. I’m predictable in that way, but then an uncharacteristic thing happened. Despite my earlier misgivings about competing, I consciously decided that I would not get hung up on specific numbers like I usually do. I was determined to focus solely on the work I needed to do and I would “see what happened” at the meet. For the first time, I got out of my own head, set aside my own preconceived expectations and just did the work.
As the meet approached, Jim continued to be conservative with my bench and deadlift training numbers, keeping them around 70% of my max, but he got a bit more aggressive on squat. All those weeks of correctives and safety bar squats after my surgery had apparently paid off because I found my groove. Jim doesn’t get excited often but one day he exclaimed “your squat is on fire” and in that moment I realized that I wasn’t going to be just as good. I was going to be better.