It’s one week out. Twin Ports Raw Open is June 11th and I’m struggling to get my head back in the game. So many things are happening and I felt that I was on the verge of losing my Destroyer-ness. I know, it happens to the best of us, we can’t all be at the top all of the time, if we didn’t have these times we wouldn’t know what happiness is. Blah, blah, blah.
For the past few years I’ve been struggling periodic bouts of mild depression and for the past two weeks I’ve been in a funk that has thrown me off my game. I’ve been more isolated and less involved in life and it’s hit me where it hurts: my lifting days.
When I began powerlifting about a year and a half ago I was coming out of a pretty dark time – I had been half-heartedly going to the gym once a week and mostly going to work and going home and sleeping. But I was coaxed into the light when someone at the gym mentioned training for a powerlifting competition and I waded in slowly, committing to the training but not the meet because I wasn’t ready for the deep end. By the time that first training cycle had ended I was hooked and I was leaving that dark period behind.
Until recently. What changed? I can’t pinpoint an exact moment or thing but all of a sudden I looked up and the light was receding. Work was becoming overbearing and life had begun to swallow me again. I was working, going to the gym and going home – day in, day out. And this time even lifting hasn’t been able to pull me out. Maybe because I am too close to it now or maybe because I’ve put pressure on myself to perform at a certain level. I don’t know. But I’m tired of it.
I will say that my squat session yesterday and my practice bench press session today were better. And for that I am giving a shout out to JVB, my fearless leader. She said something to me yesterday that in my head I know but needed to be said out loud: at this point in training I shouldn’t be missing lifts and all I should be doing is building confidence – the weight on the bar doesn’t matter.
The weight on the bar doesn’t matter. Do you know how much my heart needed to hear this? My heart and my head have been having a lot of battles lately – they don’t always speak the same language and right now I’m not even certain they are speaking to each other. And now, finally, the heart heard what the head knew: the weight on the bar doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t mean I’m giving up my goals or am going to go light at my meet, it means that I don’t have to reach my goals all at once. Didn’t I have a great deadlift session last week? And how about the squat PR I had a couple weeks ago? Both were legit and valid but my heart was so stuck on a number that it affected my head and prevented me from doing anything. Now I don’t have to focus so much on those numbers.
Today I put on my pretty fuchsia Strong is the new STRONG tank and super hero tights and headed to the gym to practice my bench press setup and do some very light reps. And you know what? It was good. I was able to experiment with different setups, lift a moderate amount of weight and feel good. Yup. I felt good about what I did.
Does this mean I’ve climbed out of the funk? I don’t know. It does mean that I’m not necessarily STUCK there any more. I have options and in a week I’ll have a new set of goals to begin working towards: USAPL Raw Nationals.