At this time next week, I’ll either be so excited I won’t be able to sit still, or I’ll be overcome with so much energy that I won’t be able to sit still.
Seven days. Seven days from today will be the day of the eve of my third weightlifting meet.
That’s quite a mouthful, and to many of you reading this, the fact that this is the third (and not the first) weightlifting meet I am participating in is not that exciting. I should know what to expect since this is my third go around at competing–the butterflies in the stomach, the trembling fingers, the racing heart. These are all physical manifestations of the adrenaline and stress and excitement that course through my veins every time I compete in something athletic or not. But what is getting me even more amped up, even more wanting to storm the platform RIGHT NOW is that I actually have goals. Big goals.
The first weightlifting meet I ever did, I just wanted to make a total. The coach I had at the time said that I should just aim to go 6 for 6 (make all 3 of my snatches and all 3 of my clean and jerks) and do so with good form. I accomplished that feat, and felt pretty excited–yet, in the back of my mind, I knew I could’ve done a little more. I little more weight on the snatch. I little more calmness in the jerk.
The second meet I participated in was a last-minute effort, as I was actually getting ready to compete in a supertotal meet (snatch, clean and jerk, squat, bench, and deadlift). This second meet was more to see where my weightlifting (aka “Olympic lifting”) numbers could be for the supertotal, and so I didn’t have very high expectations going into it other than to have fun and see what happened. Needless to say, that calmness helped me better my weightlifting total from the previous meet, and I walked away feeling like it was a good experience. Happy, yes. Joyful? Jazzed? Enthralled with my performance? Eh. Not totally.
This third meet, in exactly a week and a day away, is one I consciously trained for in hopes of making a certain total and (hopefully) qualifying for National Masters.
There. I said it. Or actually, typed it.
A few people know that that is my goal for this upcoming meet–to hit a certain number on my snatch and clean and jerk in order to travel to Salt Lake City in March to compete on a national stage. It’s quite scary. It’s quite thrilling. And it’s a challenge for sure.
Hitting the numbers themselves is within my reach, so what is truly the challenge is not letting my crazed mind take over. Instead, this whole training process has taught me to let God’s spirit pull me through rather than my own mental or physical strength. This past week I was with the two kiddos since we are in the midst of fall break, and I’m pretty sure spending all day in the hot sun at the zoo, journeying to the park and library thereafter, playing on the jungle gym near our home, riding bikes up and down the street, and basically moving moving moving almost every minute of the day is not the best way to recover from intense training sessions. But my children come first (even through I have a weightlifting goal), so I sacrifice the time to play cars when I’d rather be napping. I sacrifice more sleep at night to camp out with the little guy and have him roll all over me at 2am.
It’s tough to balance keeping the house clean, planning lessons for second quarter, entertaining the kids, and hitting the platform. But the thing is, when I step onto the platform that Saturday morning, no one will know that I only got five hours of sleep (down from my usual eight) all this week or that my legs feel like lead from traversing the perimeter of the zoo five times within the past three days. There are no excuses. There is only what I can do that morning.
Now if I were to try to will myself to lift the barbell overhead, yeah, sure I could probably do it. But would it feel great? Would that rush of joy be there? Maybe, maybe not. Could I mentally plot out the trajectory of the bar, making sure to extend before jumping so as not to bang the bar off my hips in the snatch? Sure, I could. But in the end, will all of that thinking, all of that muscling, all of that forcing though my own volition yield tremendous results? Uh, not sure.
But what would happen if I trusted in the process, in the training regimen and diet templates my coach laid out for me? What if I trusted that God wants the best for me and desires for me to glorify Him in all things (even weightlifting related)? Would I feel any different about the lifts I perform come Saturday?
The answer? YES.
What I have noticed during these last few weeks of training is that when I thank God for His strength before each lift I do, I feel, well, awesome. I can’t quite describe it, but it’s this feeling of “Yeah, I got this!” invades my mind and spirit, and I feel light and unfettered. This feeling, the presence of God with me when I lift, is what I’m so excited for. Yes, I want to hit a specific total and lift a certain amount of weight, but if done without God, accomplishing that goal, having that victory, would not be as sweet.
So I have a goal come Saturday. And I’m praying that that goal comes to fruition. And if not? Hey, it’s ok. I already experienced the great joy and awesomeness of knowing that God’s strength can help me through any circumstance, no matter how daunting or overwhelming. So once again, I can’t wait. I can’t wait.
I can’t wait.