Doing A 180

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 I’m not totally flipping my goals and decisions right now–based on the fact that I originally made the decision I talk about in this video back in April/May, this is really more of a 360.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.

I mean, if I had that much of an ego, would I be posing like this? Damn.
I mean, if I had that much of an ego, would I be posing like this? Damn.

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:

http://www.bodystrut.com/?p=1382

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:

http://gabbysgfree.com/2013/10/perspective/

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:

http://www.winetoweightlifting.com/2013/10/08/progress-pooch/

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:

http://articles.elitefts.com/training-articles/beast-reality-shitty-days/

 

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2 thoughts on “Doing A 180

  1. Thanks for the blog shoutout!

    I think the biggest issue in any of the women sports is that SO much focus is on the physical. I mean, I will not deny I want to look good naked and all. Fact. But when that becomes the primary focus, there are so many negative things that can happen.
    I have an unwritten goal to weigh 140.. I don’t work hard for it nor do I need it to fit into a weight class, but a girl I workout with about my height is 140 and she lifts more than me so I have made that my goal. Be bigger, be stronger.
    I think once we do put less focus on the aesthetics and more focus on just putting in the work and learning to accept your body as it goes, you do develop a stronger overall confidence in your body,, even if it may not be some sort of arbitrary “ideal” that someone else thinks it should be.

    I think you look great, and you life freaking heavy for your size, 105 or 114 or whatever. I admire that! 🙂

    1. Having concrete goals is always a good thing. 140 will guide you, and there’s no rush. I believe it will also help your training if your goal is to put on some weight. Nutritionally, you’re just giving yourself better recovery potential.

      There have been some incredible blog posts recently regarding the aesthetics/performance topic for women. It has made me so happy to see these, and we need to continue the conversation about this issue to get more women thinking and perhaps changing the way they normally value/qualify their bodies.

      Many thanks–I am relatively happy with how my physique is doing right now and feel confident in my own body. That’s a victory right there. Keep killing it–I’m enjoying keeping up with your training!

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