One step backwards, three steps forward

“My goggles. Have you seen my special prescription goggles? I don’t think I packed them!” I was standing in the middle of the living room, surrounded by mountains of clothing, kayaking gear, food bags, blankets and assorted miscellany that was yet to be packaged into boxes and bags and then two small cars, looking around…

By default

“Yeah, but I didn’t lift because I won the spot. I was there by default, because the person who won at Nationals didn’t want to go.” An athlete and I were walking back to the hotel having a conversation about lifting and competing and the topic of winning (be it a place on a team…

Strength and resilience

I used to think that my primary job as a competitive lifter was to continuously get stronger in the gym and that this would directly translate to better performance in competition. Grinding in the gym, day after day, working the accessories and hammering the main lifts, while continuing to work on recovery and nutrition… that’s…

Powerlifter survey part 3: Age is just a number

Getting survey responses like this is an interesting experience. Unlike with the numbers portion, the textual responses are very real and very human. Part of the reason I decided to share them with minimal editing (other than to ensure anonymity or correct typos) is the power and poignancy of some of the words used. There…

Powerlifter Survey Part 2: training volume, injury, and fear

The three questions below seem simple enough, but a substantial portion of lifters voiced concern about injury and their ability to participate in the sport long term, so I’ve presented the responses here as submitted. Every powerlifter eventually acquires a war story or two about injuries and they are a common concern, regardless of age,…

Quiet thoughts and lists

The day after a heavy lift is always a slightly quieter day for me. I know this now and was reminded of it again by a friend this morning; the nervous system takes a hit and needs time to restore itself and this slightly down or quiet feeling is actually restorative. I’m enjoying today. It’s…

Heavy stuff, too late at night.

    I debated whether or not to write this (because who likes admitting any sort of defeat?) then decided to go ahead and throw it out there because it fits with why I write this blog; it’s my story, my roadmap, in a sense, and I use it to sort out in my head…

Maybe Yes. Maybe No.

Tuesday I was doing some seemingly benign barbell split squats and pulled an adductor muscle. There was a mild popping sensation in my groin coupled with the simultaneous thought (like a line from a cheesy movie), “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” Actually, in that initial shining moment, my chief sensation was dread rather…

Quiet reflection: Eastern Canadians 2015

I was driving through the sunshine this morning, with The Beatles jangling optimistically and thinking about the weekend past. After each meet, I wait a day or two and then write myself up a review, noting what worked, what didn’t, how things went as planned and how the unexpected cropped up and how I dealt…

Confidence begets patience (a meandering stream of consciousness for a sunny Friday)

Look through the curve. When you ride a bike, you encounter curves all the time. You steer through those by looking ahead to where you want to go. Your bike and body will do what it takes to negotiate the curve if you give it direction. If you stare at the wheel, you’ll go off-course. Stare at the handlebars and you may lose the ability to adjust to bumps that crop up in front of you. Never lose sight of the end of the curve.

Because it’s fun, that’s why

I saw a great quote the other day that made me stop and think: She was a girl who knew how to be happy even when she was sad. And that’s important. Marilyn Monroe There are training sessions in which you haul your ass into the gym wearily and wonder if you’ve got enough in…

Finland part 3 (the part where things got picked up)

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…