I wouldn’t actually call it a 180. I’m not totally flipping my goals and decisions right now–based on the fact that I originally made the decision I talk about in this video back in April/May, this is really more of a 360. Originally, I walked away from the experience of competing in the 105 weight class declaring that I was going to bulk up and maybe someday be competitive in some other weight class. I did this for a small amount of time, and then the comfort of restricting my weight corralled me back into a position of watching it carefully for the 114 weight class. Indeed, the post prior to this one on this blog is all about the scale(s).
Let’s back up a second and focus on what I describe as “the comfort of restricting my weight.” Yes, this is a thing–for me, and for others. Spending years bringing my weight lower and lower has seemed to have made its mark on me long after I managed to work myself out of my addiction to attempting emaciation. I will tell you right now that if I wake up and see a lower number on the scale today than I did yesterday, I get a “comfort/relief” response. It’s like taking a test and waiting for grades to be posted–seeing something in the A range causes a mass-scale release of endorphins. At least, it did for me when I was playing the academic game. Despite my declarations in the above video of desiring to put on mass–which are absolutely true and part of my goal set right now–I am still programmed to desire lower readings on the scale. Thus, I have chosen to step the hell off the scales for a while.
So while the glamor of national rankings called to me and held me in a 114-oriented mindset in recent months–let me interject here by pointing out that the words “glamor” and “powerlifting,” when coupled, are purely oxymoronic–what I know I want at a deep gut level for myself conflicts with my until recently-held intentions for my weight class for my November 17th meet.
Most of us like to think we’re above pride, at least on our good days. When someone we know falls obviously victim to their pride, we watch knowingly. I’m not sure, however, how many of us realize how much hubris lies at the foundation of decisions we make. One injection of it early on in the process of forming a plan is all it takes to grossly mislead yourself. I’m guilty of deciding to go 114 because of my conviction that doing so and consequently ranking would yield admiration, respect, and dare I say attention.
Bullshit. I’m tied for the number six ranking in the country at 105 and no one gives a damn. I wouldn’t come close to number six in the 114 class. Furthermore, examining the rewards of “admiration, respect, and attention” reveals a needy desire for validation.
There’s almost no money in this sport. I’m not going to make a living off of it, a career out of it. I will gain friends and meet great people regardless of whether or not I compete at a specific weight class–that I know. So I refuse to restrict myself or my potential for the comfort of the scale or the falsity of ego.
Apart from the above declaration, I’d like to briefly list a few articles I’ve read recently that I’ve found particularly relevant to some of the issues I discuss in this post or because they are good articles or because they talk about me (see Erik Egger’s Elitefts piece)–semi kidding there. Semi.
Marisa Inda’s “Photo Shoots: Perfectly Imperfect or Smoke and Mirrors?” breaks down how much online images of fitness are only vaguely reliable/reflections of reality:
I’m not generally into the paleo (okay, actually, I hate paleo)/crossfit gig, but I respect some aspects of both pursuits. This article is written by a woman who’s passionately into both and speaks to the dangers of comparison–something I think a lot of female athletes struggle to overcome:
Wine to Weightlifting’s recent post regarding body composition is worth a read for those of us who get sick of the instagram ab pictures. I mean, okay, they’re cool sometimes, but everything has a limit:
Erik Egger’s article over on Elitefts is both about dealing with the darker side of training life and, uh, mentions me. Erik is an awesome lifter and a great guy, and I’m really honored to be featured in this article: