Yes, another Powerlifting/Work Life analogy.
I am very close to benching 135#. Lifters know that this is less arbitrary than it sounds, as it means that I will be using a full plate on the bar. It’s a milestone! And in a sport based on tiny incremental progress, these milestones are major. And it’s very likely within 3 months or less from being achieved.
Some things that have struck me during this last bit of effort towards my big lift:
1) It’s on my mind. And it’s going to be the same incremental progress when I hit it. I go up in 2.5# increments every time. This will be the same. And yet… it’s different. Just like other progress, we often celebrate what seems like progress, but not recognize all the other exactly equal steps we took to get there before.
2) I’ll miss a few times before I get it. Because it’s really at the edge of what is possible for me, I won’t know if I can do it until I try. So I will, inevitably, fail. I have already. And I will again. In fact, even after I get it the first time, there are no guarantees that I can the second, because for that moment, I am playing at the edge of possible. And if I chose to wait until I knew for sure I could do it without fail… until I was strong enough to make it certain? Well, then for sure it would happen way later than it will by trying whenever it just might be possible.
3) The best version of me will be needed. Again, because it’s on the edge of impossible, when I try, I have the best chance when I had a good night sleep, and have been eating clean and feeling focused.
It’s this last one that really sticks with me. It’s very clear to me that to deliver this lift, I need to be at my best, and that comes not just from my intent at that moment, but what I have been doing in the hours (even days) prior to it.
And that makes me think about my other endeavours in life, especially at work. For sure most of my job is not playing on the edge of impossible. It’s certainly not a walk in the park, either. So when it’s not easy…. The very best me ensures the best outcomes. And the best me does not just come from that moment, but the moments leading up to it, including what I eat, how I sleep and how I recover and play.
So the next time I am at the gym, or resting, reading, or eating optimally, I will remember that what’s good for me is good for the best me at work too…and taking that time and effort is an investment in work as much as it is in life. And not doing it? Well that’s just not an option, now that I know, is it?
First ever un-spotted 115lbs #benchpress. I’m pretty sure I have never NOT used a spot on anything over 100lbs.
It’s not that I can’t safely move the weight. But I let fear prevent me from trying without a safety net.
I would stand there at the bar, trying to reason with myself that there was no need to be afraid. And even though I knew it was true I could not convince myself. So I would ask for a spot.
Today I tried something different. I figured since I wasn’t going to be able to reason myself into NOT being afraid... I’d just do it no matter how I felt. And the results.... you can see for yourself. I wasted a lot of time trying to reason with the part of my brain just doesn’t reason.
I’m done with that.
....and I shouldn't of left you (left you).... .But I actually HAVE had a dope beat to step to.
Forgive the Aaliyah reference....but it popped right outta my head.
Anyway, I have not stopped writing or thinking.... it's just taken a different form in the last bit. Some training I was on with work had us doing some prompted journaling, and I have a book that's got me thinking, and a girl that ALWAYS is good for a soul-and-brain-conversation. That's kept my heart and creative spaces pretty occupied. We also have a move on the horizon, so there has been some extra work, which has created extra naps. So time has also been a bit tighter.
But this blog remains my main place to think about my practice, my body and what I have gained and learned on that journey. And there is news there, so... HERE I AM!.
Well, to be honest, there is no news yet. It's just brewing. It's been brewing for 17 months or so since I hit that 100# bench press for the first time. I remember the feeling. 135# is on the horizon. It's been a slow climb. After 100 there was some quick gains, but the last year has been truly one of those turtle vs hare things. Progress has been real. Just super incremental with lots of time between.
And now I am pretty sure that I'll put that plate on in October and have a good solid TNG. So STAY TUNED!
The chart mostly speaks for itself. But I also told Jerimiah that I'd really like to be a bit brave on a last attempt in 2018. Not that the last on any of these above were guaranteed, but they had been done before a few times.
And we aren't currently setting a date target other than "next year". We'll just work on progress and keep checking in and when it seems within reach, sign up for a meet and to a 3 month (probably) prep cycle.
I said the same last year, but by November was desperate to get signed to a meet to have it firm. I'll try to exercise patience and remember that more meets are added regularly and I won't miss out. Then I can try to be a bit more organic with the planning, which may be helpful given my travel schedule can be hard to have any long term insight into or control over.
HERE WE GO!!!!
Here are my results (in kilograms). I am super proud, super tired and super sore.
#Squat- opened with last year's best for a result of 70, 75, 77.5
#Bench- last year's meet best was 47.5. Today - 50, 55, 57.5
#Deadlift - last year's meet best was 90. Today 95, 100, 105
I will have more to say later, but for now, it's enough. It's plenty.
It's almost here! I knew after last years meet that I'd do it again. And I narrowed it down to a few events in November, and have been prepping for the Apex Summer Showdown since January. And now it's less than 2 weeks out, and I am getting the prep emails and reminders..... it's HERE!
I will have a buddy going to her first meet (Daphne) , which makes it a little more exciting. I'm hardly an old-hand, but having a bit of experience makes me feel like I have something to offer her as she goes on this adventure. It's such a great community, and I have received so much encouragement from it: it's nice to be able to support someone else who's taking it for a spin.
I have (mostly) gotten over the stress of not competing in the same weight class as last year. Maybe a tiny bit sheepish, but nothing that will hold me back from giving it my all, and putting some good numbers forward. .... on which to build my next year worth of progress.
I have quoted Seth Godin (his blog, more specifically) hundreds of times, but none more than this:
I've probably already referenced it in my blog. Sometimes, I am quoting it to try to encourage others to MOVE ALREADY! And sometimes, I have to speak it inwardly to do the same.
This time it's a bit different... it's the convergence of two things.
ONE is this. Last year I set some goals, and posted them here.
Suffice it to say... it's the end of Q1 soon, and I didn't get there. But I did get a lot closer, and while I have this lingering disappointment, I can also remember when setting these targets that they were do-able, but very hard. And yet here I sit, pretty darn close to being able to pull off the squat and bench numbers.
TWO: is this:
I registered for my next meet.
So I haven't reached my goals for Q1, but I registered for a meet anyway.
Well, frankly... I'm perfect. Perfectly ready. Perfect enough. Not enough to win. Not enough to qualify for anything. But that's not why I went last time, and I LOVED IT.
And while there is a little part of me that cries at the thought of being at the bottom, I'm not going to let that stop me from taking hold of the experience. And if I won't let anyone else steal the joy and magic of this discipline from me, I certainly won't do it to myself.
Therefore, no matter what my numbers are; I am perfectly ready.
So-so feels at the gym today. I thought we were testing, but we are still working up. Kept missing on depth on the squats. Despite being heavy, it felt good. Just not deep enough.
And failed out at bench. But it was at 115# so I suppose as we get closer to the top, I'm more likely to crap out. I'll try to remember how I felt HERE, and that this is my week of putting it all out it there.
Was at a conference this week. It was a beautiful venue and really also put me into the Christmas spirit.
There was a bit of over indulgence, ... I will spare you the details, but I have had my fill of sushi for a while. A long while. Like... forever. And also, not enough sleep. So too much of one thing, and not enough of another. Just for the record, it does NOT balance out (plus/minus).
But I still felt pretty good in the gym today. We didn't do anything overly difficult, but it was not super light either (a single 150# squat followed by some doubles @ 140# , as well as some paused benching at 95# and 100#).
I have a vacation day tomorrow, so can take a little extra rest in the AM (sleep in til 7 AM!), and don't train until 11 AM. It's Deadlifts, so will be a bit tiring, and I am out with the Mavens tomorrow night, but at least I won't start at a deficit. And there's always the weekend for a little nap. :)
I'm no social scientist. So if you want to read about Maslow's hierarchy of needs try Wikipedia. But there was an interesting reference to it in a book I am reading for work. I'll spare the back reference (but the book is called "Beyond Engagement" - Brady G. Wilson, if you are interested...)... but it quotes someone who ran the Boston Marathon as saying;
"After I ran the Boston Marathon, I had no motivation whatsoever. My diet and my training schedule went to pot. I need to set another goal for myself before I fall apart."
....And I do kinda remember that feeling after the London meet in July. I have continued training, but I know for sure that it's a slightly different feeling than training towards prep for a meet. Which is OK. I think actually that may be one of the things that makes Powerlifting the sport for me. There is ALWAYS a goal. Because it's not a specific event at which you measure your progress.... well, of course it IS, if you go to a meet, but also... it's not. Every few months you cycle through the program and BOOM! PR baby!
I found my magic. My girlfriends is yoga. I can imagine that it might be much the same.
My goal tomorrow: Just one squat at a time. Just one more. My goal for January - test and new PRs for all 3 (Squat, Benchpress and Deadlift). And then we'll set them again, AND schedule a meet!
I know it's called a "Meet" because people... well, they MEET. But I am going to think of it as just the place you meet your goals.