Wednesday, May 6, 2015

It's not a bad day until.... USAW Regionals St Louis.

Many of you know that I've decided to focus this year on weightlifting and have had a moderate amount of success. Two of my goals, to total at the Arnold and to qualify for Pan-Am Masters, have already been met. But this past weekend, I had the Worst.Meet.Ever. I mean, things could have gone more wrong, but it would have been challenging. 


March, post Arnold- I get an invite to Regionals based on my total at the Arnold! Hmmmm... Sounds fun!! Register immediately. SUPER PSYCHED to lift with the big kids!

Sunday, April 19th- J and I had the privilege of attending a Donny Shankle seminar. That man is amazing! Listening to him speak about weightlifting is like a combination of a church revival and a pep talk before a big battle! We were all pumped up and ready to go to war with the barbell! And when Donny Shankle says, "And now you will hit PRs on your lifts" YOU DO! I mean, who wants to let the Lion Killer down? I hit a PR on my c&j at 77kg and PRd my front squat by 2 kilos bringing it up to 93.5kg. I almost matched my snatch PR.  Everything that day was feeling pretty darn good! The next weekend I was scheduled to compete in the Nashville Open along with 5 of our athletes, but I decide to not lift in order to help coach our athletes and rest for Regionals. 

Tuesday, April 21st-  Well, I had decided not to lift at Nashville, but they released session times and I was not lifting with any of our lifters. They were all in Session 1, I was in Session 5. Yes! I could coach AND lift...and I had already paid for it so.... I was in! 

Friday, April 24th- I drank a lot of water, kept the food light and didn't eat or drink anything past 6 PM. 

Saturday, April 25th-  Since all our lifters weigh in at 7, J and I got up and met them all at the gym. They all make weight and start warming up. Then they all proceed to do an AMAZING job at their first meet! I, however, am about to die because I don't weigh in until 12:30 and I haven't eaten or drank anything since 6 PM the night before. I easily make weight at 52.4 and then inhale ALL THE DONUTS. I go 1/3 in snatch, but hit a meet PR of 73 in c&j. I was happy to have hit a meet PR, but I was feeling exhausted and wiped out. I knew that my body had been in competition mode for too long and doing this meet was a mistake, but I had done it. I decide not to lift at Regionals. That night I eat everything including pizza and half a quart of ice cream.

Sunday, April 26th- Still eating everything. Finish off the pizza and the ice cream. And a ton of other crap.  

Morning, Monday April 27th- Still eating everything. 

Afternoon, Monday April 27th - Decide to lift at Regionals because I'm not a quitter. I signed up for it and I must follow through. (Please note all the eating I've been doing. Generally, leading up to a meet you cut back.)

Tuesday, April 28th- I realize I do not have a USAW legal lifting belt because I had passed mine on to someone else and hadn't ordered a new one. I get on Amazon and pay an extra $20 to get it to my house by Wednesday. 

Morning, Wednesday, April 29th- I get a shipping confirmation from Amazon that my belt will get here THURSDAY! Ummm....We were planning to hit the road Thursday morning so that won't work. Call Amazon and get a refund on shipping, but no belt. (Are you seeing all the red flags starting to pop up saying "don't do this"??)

Afternoon, Wednesday, April 29th- Borrowed a belt from another athlete. OH MY GOD I CAN'T FIND MY SINGLET!! Did I leave it in a gas station in Nashville? I thought I put it in my gym bag! It's not in the car! It's not in the closet! For 4 hours I was in pure panic mode until Jeremy found it under the seat in the car. I wish I could say I knew how it got there, but nothing frisky had happened 

Thursday, April 30th- On the road to Regionals! My plan is to stop eating and drinking at 6 PM as usual, get a good nights sleep and then tear it up Friday morning.  All is well until we get stuck in traffic for an hour. Finally at 5:30 we get out of the traffic jam and run into Ruby Tuesday. I fix myself a huge salad because I feel like I need the fiber. I gulp down the last bite at 6:15. (Red flags everywhere!) When we get to the hotel, I attempt to make a mini-sauna, but the water doesn't really get hot enough.

And here, folks, is where the fun really starts. At the time, it wasn't funny at all, but now I am laughing as I type it
Friday, May 1

 I woke up at 5:30 AM and stepped on our scale in the hotel room. 53.7! Oh CRAP! If you are unaware, I need to be 53kg or less. Salad was a BAD, BAD IDEA!! What was I thinking? I throw gum in my mouth and jump in the shower. The water is as hot as it will get, I'm spitting like a redneck.

Get to the meet, officially weigh in 53.7. OH MY GAWD!! 

Really nice weigh-in ladies remind me to strip off all jewelry, hair ties, and clothes- 53.5 OH  MY GAWD, OH MY GAWD!!

(Warning: there is no delicate way to describe the next hour)

Run to bathroom, force a baby poo- 53.4

(I have 43 minutes remaining to make weight)

Put on all the clothes I have with me and go run a mile on the treadmill.

Run to bathroom one more time. Try to pee. Try to poop. Try to vomit. Realize I'm in the men's room.

Back in the weigh-in room with the two really nice ladies and Jeremy. Butt naked. 53.27

WHO'S GOT SCISSORS??? I'M CUTTING MY HAIR!! Seriously, I was going to do it.

Go try to pee again.

(8 minutes left to make weight)

There is an age old trick wrestlers and lifters use to trick the scale. 


Let me remind you of the scene again.

Two really nice ladies, large room, one scale, Jeremy.

And then me.

Doing handstand holds.



Praise Oprah!

I sit down to eat and drink my coffee and try to come to terms with what all had just happened. Traumatized is really too harsh of a word, but still.

5 minutes into my eating and as I am pondering my future life plans since I clearly couldn't show my face after naked handstands, my tummy grumbles and I have to go number 2. For real. I probably lost 2 kilos in the bathroom. WHY BODY?! WHY DID YOU BETRAY ME LIKE THAT?

The really nice ladies from the weigh-in room come out and smile and say they will see me later. They are working the Marshals table and judging my session. KILL ME NOW.

In the warm-up area I shared a platform with some really cool people from CrossFit Fenway. Eric and Ky were super nice and they both did a great job with their lifts! If I'm ever in Boston, I'm checking out CFF!

When they called us to line up for the session start, I realized the oldest person in my group, besides me, was Ky and she was 23. All of these kids could have been mine! Some were only 14-15!

The snatch went as well as could be expected for me. I had wanted to go 45/48/51, and hit a new meet PR, but I got a no lift at 48 so we decided to only go up to 49.  I hit it and breathed a sigh of relief, because the Clean and Jerk is my jam.

I was so confident in my clean and jerk because I rarely miss under 73. We planned for me to open at 70 and go 70/74/76. Hitting 74 would have given me a new meet PR C&J and a new meet Total. This scheme made me the last person to clean and jerk so we were a little concerned I'd have to follow myself and not get a lot of rest. However, I wasn't overly worried. 

When it was my turn, I walked out on the platform with confidence. I hit 70 all the time. It was no big deal. I set up and was a little too confident and missed the clean. 

Umm...what was that?

I told Jeremy I wanted to go on up to 71. When it was my turn, I hit the clean easy, but pressed out the jerk and got three red lights. 

I'm pretty upset at this point because I have never had this much trouble at a meet. 

Now, I didn't mention earlier that I had gotten a phone call on the way to the meet with very troubling news so my mind was already full. The tears are brimming up. I'm starting to realize I should have just sat this one out. 

I tell Jeremy to send me to 74. I suck it all up and KNOW I CAN HIT IT. 

The 74 clean was the easiest one I had done all day. It was make or break time. I had to hit the jerk to get a total.

And I miss.

I felt like such a loser. What a waste of money coming down here. How embarrassing to let the weigh-in ladies down after they had cheered me on all day. I had let my athletes down. My CFM family that was cheering me on just watched me fail. My nutrition coaching athletes just watched me almost not make weight. I felt like a fraud!

And the person I felt worst about letting down was Jeremy.

I felt this way for about 24 hours.

And then I gained some perspective. It was a freaking competition. Something I did for FUN! I was sitting there pouting and crying about not making my lifts when there were real problems going on in the world.

Some of those kids competing were really trying to make it the Olympics. I was just an older lady playing with a barbell.

Someone I love had just gotten a cancer diagnosis.

Some friends had a family member in critical condition with serious injuries.

Friends and family were praying that they both would be healed.

And I was crying about a silly lifting competition.


I realized I wasn't really all that upset about my performance. I was really upset about the news I had gotten and instead of taking time to process it and feel it, I had shoved it aside to think about tomorrow, Scarlett O'Hara style. Once I let the news settle in, I realized how trivial the "failure" I had this weekend was. It was no big deal.

Lessons learned.

1) Listening to my body is important. If it is screaming no, listen to it!

2) Listening to the universe is important. If stumbling blocks keep appearing, maybe you should slow down and appreciate them instead of kicking them out of the way.

3) Eating a big bowl of veggies is a terrible idea prior to a weigh-in.

4) Allowing yourself to be upset and feel your feelings is ok. Trying to be stoic is honorable, but it uses a lot of energy.

5) Friends and family don't care how you perform. They love you no matter what.

6) You aren't really having a bad day until you are doing naked handstands in front of strangers.

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  1. LOL at that hour! Never seen so much described on a blog before. Why does eating veggies prior to weigh in mess with your weight like that? I usually eat a salad for lunch of my Weight Watchers weigh in days.

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    2. Thanks for reading Cassandra! The high water content of the veggies along with the high fiber content caused me to hold onto a lot of water that should have flushed out. Generally I try to eat a few ounces of chicken, a banana and a rice cake as my last meal. Nothing too heavy that will doesn't have a lot of fiber.

  2. This was such an interesting read! I'm so sorry the day didn't pan out for you and that you received such bad news. However, I'm glad you are able to put it all into perspective now. I also love you last lessoned learned, "You aren't really having a bad day until you are doing naked handstands in front of strangers." - I'm going to remember that haha.

    1. Thank you Nicole!msometimes we all get fixated on stuff that doesn't really matter. :)