I used to get nervous a lot during training. Nervous that the weights were too much, that I couldn’t handle it. Over time with more successful lifts, I’ve built more confidence. But just like I’ve talked about in the past
( here), I still have a volatile relationship with the squat; particularly when the 45 lb plates, which we’ve lovingly named “big girl plates”, get racked on. I’m not worried about getting under the bar and unracking that weight. I’m not even worried about the trip down to the “basement”, where Jim says the bottom of my squat is; I’m worried about getting STUCK in that spot. It can be so difficult to push through as you’re coming up out of the bottom of the squat…even weights far from your max can feel like an elephant on your back when you’re trying to make it to the top.
In the past during heavy training or at competitions, I’ve thought to myself that if I got stuck in this spot and couldn’t push through, I’d probably just sit down. In my mind that would be the best and least dramatic way to accept defeat for a weight I couldn’t handle. But the more I think about it, I know I couldn’t sit down. I couldn’t accept defeat, even if missing that weight was inevitable. I’d push and strain and probably contort my face into some terrifying looking cartoon character and try to keep going until I racked that weight or the spotters took it from me.
Because in life, and yes even with squats, I refuse to quit. I can’t sit down and accept defeat. I want to push, fight and give it all I’ve got. And at the end of the day if it ends up not being enough, at least I tried and will be satisfied that if I do fail, it wasn’t due to lack of effort. Sometimes the biggest gains in life come from the struggle, not the end result.