Today I want to take a funny buzzword and write about something personal which you might be dealing with too!
To give you an idea about what I’m talking about, I’ll start by saying that I have four articles drafted and sitting in the back-end of the Crossroads of Fitness website. None of them have been worked on since January 6th and I have no idea when I’ll publish them, but stay tuned!! “On Gaining Weight,” “Deadlift Day,” and “Focusing on the Good” will all be fun reads!
I haven’t finished any of the articles because I’ve been having “alternate motivations,” aka my dog ate my homework, aka I actually have other things I’m so stoked about; dettering me from delegating my time elsewhere. Also, I don’t WANT to delegate time with them, and that’s OK.
It’s really OK with me.
I know it’s OK with me, because I didn’t even remember that I had them waiting on me until I opened my website to write this article! I’m clearly not losing sleep about it.
And THAT is my point in all of this.
When you can define your goals honestly inside yourself, you will never lose focus.
Why? because when you can directly pinpoint what it is that you want, you will not stop until you get there.
Every single day will be dedicated to that specific goal and you won’t lose sleep over other things in life that this particular goal is steering you away from.
And, that being said, I want to talk to you about my upcoming powerlifting meet.
Many of you know that I’ve competed in two meets before. I took the first one in like an anthropological experience. I fake prepped for it (meaning I tried to prepare last second) and simply went to discover what powerlifting meets are all about.
At last year’s USAPL meet, I had something to prove. As a strength coach I wanted to test my own programming processes and coach myself to a 260 pound deadlift and a 200 pound squat and 7 more pounds on the bench. Mission was accomplished, and then some.
I also cut about 10 pounds of water for that weigh in, which was a challenge I was excited to take on.
Flash forward to this year and I’m registered for a meet on February 12th. However I find myself dealing with some “alternative motivations.”
In theory, competing always sounds fun, and I would love to publicly demonstrate my strength gains, (my inner cheerleader truly appreciates a good crowd), but at the moment, I’m not very motivated to go through with it.
Not because I don’t like lifting or want to stop.
Not because I don’t think I can make weigh-ins.
Not because I’m scared.
Honestly, I’m just dealing with some other life stuff that is distracting me–we’ll call them alternative motivations.”
Here are three reasons why I’m not yet sure if I’ll compete:
I’ve dealt with tummy issues since I was a pre-teen, but in the past few years my issues have grown worse. I’m constantly in pain or bloated and it makes a lot of days uncomfortable for me. I’ve been trying the elimination diet, I’ve changed the sweetners I use; I’ve cut sweetners out. You name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve actually only had 1.5 cocktails in 2017! However, these issues make the 5’2″ me weigh 130 pounds some mornings… would you believe that!?
In order to properly cut weight, I have to cut out things from my diet to decrease my calories. Doing low calorie days, in a sustainable fashion, (given my active teaching lifestyle) typically means removing extra veggies and increasing protein, close to a PSMF (protein sparing modified fast) and I really have no interest in cutting weight given what I’m already going through.
You’re probably wondering why I want to cut weight…
It’s normal in the powerlifting world to cut/diet down a little bit to be more competitive because the weight at which that lifters walk around is usually heavier anyway given what lifting heavy loads does to your body stress-wise.
When you deload, your weight naturally drops; and so a girl who’s 137-ish, pulling 375+ pounds in the deadlift is going to weigh-in at 130. The girl who is 130 will likely be a 123 weight class, and then here’s me, who’s normal “weight lifting weight” is around 123, who will weigh in at 114. Simply put, cutting weight makes you more competitive, in most cases.
However, with how I’ve been feeling, I’m not sure I want to compete in the 130 class– although I might– simply because it’s a reminder to me that I’m dealing with such annoying and painful tummy issues.
There’s a part of me that still wants to compete enough that I’ll just weigh-in and see how I do regardless of class, but another part of me wants to be in 114 and WIN! haha I strive to stay competitive in things I enjoy, that’s fun for me!
2. I’ve been REALLY excited about my strength levels, no need to prove them further.
Last year I PR’d by 25 pounds in the deadlift, crushed my 200 pound squat and I hit my bench goal of 115 pounds. I felt so proud of these numbers. And while I never wrote about this, as I flew home from Chicago last year I thought “there’s nowhere to go from here; I can’t get stronger than this.”
That would be crazy.
But then hree weeks ago I did 275 pounds for 2 reps, with ease. Suddenly 300 pounds seemed doable.
First day of training in 2017 complete. Moved last week's 2RM attempt to today since I had a belt (it's under my sweatshirt) and got 275 for 2. Hit speed deadlifts for 10×2 at 200. Did some really sweet banded moves including banded RDLs, banded hipthrusts and then the two banded exercises you see above: chin-ups banded in a chair-hold position with slow eccentric then banded bicep curls. I even had time to do some bike sprints, ball slams and 32kg KB swings at the end. Everything feels good for that 600+ total, now I just have to keep up with the diet for weigh-ins. #daretomove #powerlifting #deadlift #speed #power #strength #dowhatyoulove #powerfullyin2017 #usapl
The following wee I did 3 sets of 3 at 250 pounds, with ease. I firmly believe that I can pull 300 pounds, and want to try it soon. So, that’s one reason I’d go to the meet, because my back (which has been bothering me) will feel better in less than 3 weeks and I could safely pull it, or so I believe.
As for my squat, I hit 220 pounds 3.5 weeks ago, a number I never thought I’d even see! Ever! My bench press was 3 sets of 3 at 115 that week, too.
Seeing as though I wanted a 215 squat and 120 bench in my third meet, and knowing I can do numbers beyond expectation makes my motivation to show up and prove it dwindle.
If the ultimate goal is to only compete with myself and be proud of myself, then why drive 2.5 hours to Chicago and 2.5 hours home just to do it?
Why not do it at home? I’ve already had the “meet experience” before… do I really need it again?
3. Alternative Projects
I have my eyes on a bikini competition April 8th. I’m on track with my prep at the moment! There are no weigh-ins at a bikini comp, it’s about how you look. And, my powerlifting prep (aka doing what I love) prepares me well for the stage. Why digress from my bikini prep to fast for a powerlifting meet weigh-in? Or Why not? I’m not yet sure.
I’ve been spending more and more time on real estate projects — ones I’m super amped on. I used to wake-up and think about powerlifting and powerlifting only while in the thick of meet prep.
And despite hitting some awesome numbers, those accomplishments were probably only 25-30% of what I’m really passionate about in my life right now. It’s hard to split focus on things, sure, but I find it more difficult to see GREAT success in one thing when you attention is split, as in my case.
Also, I’ll be in Indiana February 9th, and spending time with my new baby brother. Holding him and feeding him and witnessing the precious moments is important to me. I wonder if I’ll want to leave and compete, instead of simply running my own “mock meet” at the gym that morning and then spending the day with him…
Moral of the Story:
I’m not looking for anyone to comment and try to sway me one way or another. I’m an intrinsically motivated person. I don’t do well with exterior motivators or motivations, except for the occasional awesome coach.
I’m writing this because I believe that our happiness is derived from putting our whole selves into things with which we are one hundred percent enthralled.
If you get anything from this, today make a little pie-chart of the top 5-10 things you spend your time doing. Then, highlight the parts that you LOVE. Is it a colorful circle, or not?
I will always love powerlifting. I actually powerlifted this week and deadlifted 4 sets of 3 reps at 245 pounds (the back is getting better!), and benched 4 singles at 115 pounds. However, I’m not dying to put my singlet on, and I’m OK with that. I’m not losing sleep over it.
Side note: read about my first meet here . The singlet in and of itself was a serious issue! ha!
If you are interested in competing, or registered for a meet, read this article on last year’s meet, you may find it helpful!