To Err is Human, to Fail Gracefully is Divine: Sometimes I Fall Short (And Miss a Squat)

I walked the weight out, and it did not feel as heavy to manage on my back as I had expected. The descent wasn’t the worst I’ve executed, nor was it the best, but for an eccentric portion of a max-attempt lift, it was mostly a solid one. Mostly. If you watch the video of me failing a 192 pound squat, you will notice that in my eccentric there’s kind of a hiccup to my movement, a loss of control as I lower myself towards the bottom of the lift. I posit that it was this little dip and shift in control in the lift that cost me some energy and contributed to the teeter-totter-like struggle I had with the bar coming out of the hole.

Here is some melodrama–as I have been told at various times in my life, it is my specialty. When I go in for a max attempt lift, I think about it like going to war. I am either going to win or I am going to die. It’s ridiculous, this conviction, but my emotions don’t seem to spend too much time being concerned with what is reasonable, realistic, or reality. I go into a lift and I will fight it out until someone takes it from me, as has happened at meets, or until I burn all of my energy for that lift out, as I did on this failed attempt. I wanted this lift like I haven’t wanted a lift in a while–I haven’t done any max attempts in a while, actually, and have not tested my squat since July. My squat has grown stronger and I have grown more anxious to break 190 lb.

I have a nearly 3x bodyweight deadlift and a 1.5-ishx bodyweight squat. It’s not a difference I relish. My pride and my sense of what lifts make one a “legitimate lifter”–the squat is king, as the title of one EliteFTS article that comes to mind intones–and I’m not happy with my 187 max. So unhappy that I literally cried over this fail. That’s right, I will get into confessional territory here–I cried later on in the evening after this fail, and then I woke up and cried at 5 AM again about it. Am I proud of this? No. Does it mean I have a worrying relationship with myself in relation to my lifting? Yes. When I lost that squat, I was captured by the opposite side as spoils of war. I didn’t win on the battlefield and I didn’t die on it–now I was in the weird, ugly territory of sitting around in a mental holding cell having to deal with my body’s capacity not being great enough to achieve my goal. On that day, at least. Because if you watch that video, this is not a squat in which I get flattened. One less screw-up in the eccentric, one more ounce of energy on that day, a better amount of recovery from a recent squat session–I could have had it. I’m close.

The next time I’ll attempt this lift will be at my next meet. The next time I’ll attempt making 105 will be for my next meet. A lot is riding on April 20th, and I think my greatest goal of all is to be resolved to handle whatever happens with greater grace than I handled this fail. Because it wasn’t failure, it was a failed squat.

I'll see you again, 190+ lb squat.
I’ll see you again, 190+ lb squat.
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9 thoughts on “To Err is Human, to Fail Gracefully is Divine: Sometimes I Fall Short (And Miss a Squat)

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