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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

First Powerlifting Meet Recap

The short version of my meet results goes something like this…. bombed in the squats, couldn't get to depth in any attempts, had a pity party for myself for about 45 minutes, came back and hit two PR's in the bench and the deadlift.

But really, it was so much more.

Did I hit my goals?  No.

Did it go as planned? No

Did I learn a ton about the sport and myself?  Abso-freakin'-lutely!

Let's just get the cruddy stuff out of the way and talk about squats. The women were the last flight of squats to go so even though the meet started at 9am we didn't start squatting until one o'clock.  I had plenty of time to stretch and do body weight movements but when it came time to warm up with the bar it was crowded. While I was expecting this, I still felt uneasy. My goal was to hit 350lbs.  I opened at 295lbs.  I felt confident it would be an easy 295 as I have hit that for six reps before in the gym.

I had my handler, Drew wrap my knees and head to stage for my first attempt.  I lifted the bar off the rack and immediately thought, "Shit, this feels heavier then I expected." (Pardon my French).  I squat down and just get buried.  Not a good start.  Your opener should be easy!

My second and third attempts weren't any better.  I didn't hit depth on either attempt.  I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I looked at the head judge and hear him say, "no lift".  I walked off the stage, threw my belt and yelled an inappropriate word at the top of my lungs, took off my wraps and sat in the bathroom for the next 30 minutes.  No joke.  I was pissed.  I was disappointed.  I was sad.  I was defeated.

Technically, I should have been out of the meet but Wes, the owner of 22nd Street Barbell and director of the meet gave me the option to still bench and deadlift.  I debated just walking out the door and never powerlifting again.  But I didn't.  I told myself to at least finish the meet. If I didn't want to compete again, fine.  Just finish the meet.

I'm not going to lie, mentally it was extremely tough for me to pull myself up from the disappointment of bombing all three squat attempts.  Thankfully, I had a handful of people to help remind me that situations like this happen, even to the best and I can (and should) still press forward.

Kent Fleming was one of those people.  This man just became the third man in the world to squat 1,000lbs raw and he took the time to share his experience of bombing out of a meet.

Are you kidding me?  The man just hit the squat of his life and made history and he's going to offer advice to me?  Amazing.

Wes Keith was also one of those people.  He handed me a folded piece of paper, told me all of these people have something in common and walked away.  It was a list of amazing lifters like Kent Fleming, Caitlyn Trout, Sam Bryd and Eric Lilliebridge.  All of them had bombed out of a meet at some point in their career. The tears just poured out (and still are as I write this).  Immediately any thought of giving up left my mind.  I was going to not only finish the meet but I was, and still am more determined than ever to commit to this sport 100%.  I can't thank Wes enough.

I finished the bench and deadlift going 6/6 and hitting a PR in the bench at 155lbs and finally, FINALLY conquering the 300lb deadlift.  To no surprise, meets are a lot more fun when you hit your lifts.

Looking back at it now, I think the silver lining is that I don't think I would have gone for 300 in the deadlift if I had made all my squats.  My original plan/goal was to hit 285 in the deadlift but by the end of the meet, with a little nudging from others, I said go big or go home and just went for it!  

All numbers aside though, I had a wonderful time watching my teammates compete.  Some of them first timers like me and others more experienced.  I'm such a cheese ball but I even feel like I made some new friends and existing friendships grew even closer.

My training partner, LaKesha
I know first hand the amount of training mentally and physically a lifter must go through to have success at a meet and watching my teammates set new PR's, earn elite totals or even in a few cases become ranked top in the nation makes me so happy.

This weekend left me only wanting more.  I'm more motivated than ever to work on my weaknesses, get stronger and set new goals for myself.  I'm so thankful to have a gym and a team like 22nd Street Barbell to call home.

Saying it was an emotional day for me would be an understatement.  Tears, smiles, laughs were all a part of it but I wouldn't change it for the world.  I truly believe this will make me a better lifter in the future.

Thank you to all my friends, family and readers for your support.  Your notes, messages and cheers of encouragement really do mean so much.  Thank you.    

Some of the 22nd Street ladies from left to right: Terie, Abbie, Me, Caroline, LaKesha, Kayse and Becky


  1. So proud of you, Annie! You're amazing!

  2. How amazing for your PR's!! I enjoyed reading your recap! Keep on going girl!

  3. Congrats annie! Very proud of u! Keep up the hard work and it will continue to pay off and inspire others. I love your posts.

  4. This was fascinating to read, Annie! Knowing nothing about the world of powerlifting, I appreciate you sharing your experiences. And that video!!! Even though I knew he hit the 1,000 squat from what you wrote I was so nervous watching it! Unreal, all of you. Nice work, and I agree - coming back from a disappointment like that is HUGE. Good for you.