I’m not going to lie. Being sidelined for Nationals sucked. But, don’t get me wrong; I’m not looking for a pity party. I’m way too proud and competitive for that.
If you read my last blog post, That’s Life, you know that I got sick during what I would describe as the pivotal point of the training cycle; about five weeks out. This is when the weight on the bar starts to remind you of your lofty goals, and I wasn’t just under the weather. Rather, I was flat on my back sick, and I quickly came to the conclusion that I should pull out of the competition, allowing my body the time I needed to fully recover.
The same day that my blog posted, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Decision validated you could say.
I didn’t train for three weeks. When I did return, I was not surprised when Jim instructed me to do my usual extended warm-up (inverted row, glute ham and KB carries) four times through. He did allow me to push a light prowler a few times, but no big lifts for another week. When I did get back under the squat bar one week before Nationals, I worked up to a measly 145 pounds; a weight that was far below my intended meet opener and less than half of my squat goal.
I wanted to do more but I knew to not even argue with Jim because if anything is ever consistent with him it’s that health comes first. There was no way he was going to let me take a shortcut. I’m learning that he’s right, especially at my age, so I shot him a quick smile (he was surely expecting an argument) with the thought, “with every setback, all I can do is start again” and I got back under the bar.
While it’s true that I was disappointed that I wasn’t competing, it was still important to me to set all of that aside and support my teammates. On that day, it was not about me. It was about them, and I am incredibly proud to have shared the experience with them. I’m sure you would agree that they are an inspiring group of women.
In the weeks since Nationals, my training has picked back up, but I have still needed to cut myself some slack. Front squatting 200 pounds for an easy set of three (a front squat PR!) proves that my strength base is still there, but my work capacity, the amount of work I can do and recover from, took a huge hit. I can always count on Jim to remind me, “oh yeah, you had pneumonia” when I’m bitching that the circuit of accessory work is kicking my ass. I’m using BioForce HRV to help keep me honest about my recovery (and stress level) and I’m taking extra rest days when needed. But it’s all good; I’m back in the gym and that, my friends, is way better than the alternative.