I have been incredibly lucky over the last 2 and a half years to compete in, be surrounded by, and work in the Powerlifting community. As a sport it is both incredibly challenging, relentless and can be so rewarding and heart breaking at the same time. Mentally, practicing the art of strength training can do wonders for someone’s confidence, mindset, strength and overall outlook. But, for a lot of people stepping into this sport the prospect of competing or the first time, even at a novice competition can be incredibly daunting.
Most of us will compete in a sport hoping to win or at least with the aim of getting there one day. Not always, but most people have a competitive nature. This in itself can have varying scales from the lower end where people are seemingly unbothered by it, through to the fear of failure and embarrassment should you not be able to perform at the level that you desire to.
However Powerlifting is different. Sure there comes a time when being competitive matters but that is not always the case.
To be able to push the boundaries in training, performing lifts that you have never done before or, performing lifts you could originally only do for 1 rep for multiple reps, and then even attempting this lifts on a competition platform can take one hell of a lot of mental strength. Why? Because the mind can run away with you and run away fast.
I am not strong enough to do this, I will make a fool of myself, people will expect me to be stronger because of my size. So on and so on.
These are still stories. When we get caught up in these stories we often miss the opportunities that are presented right in front of us.
At most novice Powerlifting competitions each and every single pb is celebrated, it doesn’t matter what weight. It doesn’t matter where the other lifters are at if it is a personal best then damn well own it. If you don’t own your successes and if you don’t rock the fact that you achieved a weight you haven’t been able to then who will? Sure the cheers of the crowd are great in that point in time but what about when you go home?
I remember competing at nationals last year and pulling 130 for my last attempt on deadlifts, at the time I still perceived this weight to be super heavy and extremely out of my capability but I went out and gave it everything. Most girls I know warm up with this weight, but so what? It was a win for me. I did it for me and man was it a good feeling. What is just as cool is when it starts to become your warm up weight too.
Enjoy the moments that challenge you, these are opportunities to do just that and don’t miss out on what could be an awesome experience because of everything you are scared of.