Of course, the whole purpose of the trip was to lift things. I’ve put off writing this portion because it has taken me time to digest what happened, how it feels, and what comes next.
This was my first international competition and actually, since I bombed out in squats at Nationals, the first time I’ve lifted above a local meet in either bench or deadlifts. It was also my fourth competition ever in less than a year of powerlifting. As I’ve been reflecting on my results, I’ve been trying to keep things firmly in context. That’s easier some days than others.
What happened in terms of numbers were a 132.5 kg squat, a 75kg bench, and 155kg deadlift, for a 362.5 total and a fifth placing overall in a very solid field of lifters. All of those are competition PRs for me, and the squat, dead and total are National 72kg M1 records.
How I feel about these numbers and what they mean is more personal than I’m willing to get on this public blog, but I will say that they represent a start to what I hope will be many more years of competition, and that I’ve learned a tremendous amount about this sport in general, myself in particular, and the competitive aspects of powerlifting over the course of these IPF worlds.
My one brief period on the platform was only one small part of the week and a half of lifting for me, though. Teammates from all across Canada lifted and it was a joy to see them put together some pretty spectacular performances.
In addition, I got to watch a myriad of different body types, personalities, histories and technical approaches from all over the world move that bar in the three basic lifts. It was fascinating and incredibly useful to see different leverages work through each lift, to watch how individuals approached that bar, and to reflect on how I can improve simply from the lessons learned in observation.
I have a list now of aspects to master, most of which aren’t about specific weights on the bar and all of which will make me a better lifter and person, providing I accomplish them.
Most importantly, though, I made some good friends through this competition, from many countries. With the occasional exception, powerlifters are incredibly decent people and so immensely supportive of each other. The highest calibre of powerlifting athletes walk onto that platform laying out their best work strategically and knowing that it is really themselves that they are competing with on that given day. Then they step off the platform and into the crowd, and cheer on, coach, and talk shop with other lifters without grudging them an iota of success.
The result of this is an atmosphere of positivity that is simply overwhelming and basking in the glow of that mentality and incredible talent for almost two weeks was glorious and almost intoxicating. It also inspired me to refind focus, and as I return to training in full measure this week (last week was a transition week), it’s with new knowledge, new goals, and a clear sight on what comes next and how.