I was in my first powerlifting meet yesterday. I hesitate to call it a competition; I pulled less weight than anyone. Well, except the guy that bombed out on his three benchpress attempts and didn't get to finish.
And I finally get the concept of only competing against yourself. I never understood it when golfers talked about it. And to be fair, I'm pretty sure a number of them (golfers and powerlifters) care a lot more about competing with the other participants than it being only about beating your best. But, I'm really not worried about the low weight, or my missed third attempt on bench. In fact, I'm really proud I tried for the 115# BP. I've never been able to do it in the gym before with the pause, & I was feeling really good. And maybe I could have gotten it if I was just a bit slower. But I actually tried something that had a goodly chance of failure ..... In front of a bunch of people.
Because nobody wanted me to miss. It wasn't a competition at that moment; not against each other anyway. Just me and the bar. And everyone got it.
And now I have numbers. A very clear place from which to improve. To measure progress. I was impressed by a lot of people yesterday. But I don't remember their numbers. Just their resolve.
Me. The bar. It's so simple that it's hard to understand how I didn't get it before. But I do now. And that's progress too....