The Good, The Bad, and The OH CRAP I CAN’T GET UP: How I Failed at Powerlifting

Hello everyone and welcome to Barbell Nation!

I’m Whitney, Wes’ better half and apparently snarky side kick. Since, this is our maiden voyage post in the ‘Hers’ section, I wanted to tell you a little bit about what you will be seeing here.

Obviously, I’m going to talk about fitness and health topics that specifically relate to women. Why you may ask?

Because I’m a girl, duh.

Thumbs up if your a girl!

Thumbs up if your a girl!

As someone who is on their own fitness and health journey, I want to share my own experiences with you and hopefully learn about your experiences.

Today, I wanted to share with you an experience I had in the gym this morning to give you an idea about the kinds of issues I want to talk about here. So, let’s get started shall we?

Today, something happened that really changed my perspective about weightlifting. I failed. That’s right, I failed. But, let me give you a little context first.

I’m currently training for my first power lifting meet in February. To me, every weightlifting session is important. I try to give 110% percent with each and every lift so I know in the heat of the moment in competition I will have confidence in my own strength and abilities. However, I tend to forget that I’m still new at this. I’ve only been weightlifting for a couple of months and I’ve only been training for the meet for a couple of weeks. So, mistakes and learning experiences are an important part of training right now.

Knowing all this does not make failing at a lift easier. I attempted a personal record of 125 pounds this morning on the squat and decided to film it for the blog. Here is what happened:

If you noticed I did not set up very well for the squat. The second I stepped away from the bar, the fact that I had a 125 pounds on my back (which is more than I weigh) got to me a little bit. For a split second I thought, holy crap I have 125 pounds on my back, I am probably going to die. In an attempt to clear my head I just went for it and, well, I couldn’t get back up.

Now, this was slightly traumatizing for two reasons. First, I think to myself that I will never be strong enough to compete and second, I failed in front of two guys. Most people will understand the first reason, but only women get the second.

If any of you out there lift, you know what I mean. Anytime I go to my university’s gym and lift weights, I usually get a lot of stares from the guys in there. It doesn’t really bother me that much anymore, but sometimes It still makes me mad. This year, I have noticed more girls than ever getting into weightlifting, whether it be with powerlifting movements or with dumbbells. But, it never ceases to amaze me when I get looks from guys who are obviously thinking, ‘what the hell are you doing?’

Well, let me see, hmmmmmmm. I’m making myself stronger and as a result more confident. Just because I am a woman, doesn’t mean I need to be a weak, helpless damsel in distress. Even Disney Princesses can kick some serious ass these days. MULAN SAVED CHINA FOR GOD’S SAKE.

She's getting down to business to defeat the Huns, people.

She’s getting down to business to defeat the Huns, people.

Please excuse my rant. Also, Mulan rocks.

So, to fail in front of two guys, even if one was my friend and the other Wes, still bothered me. And then, I took a breath and learned how to fail.

I had to accept that the lift just didn’t happen for me. I laughed it off and took a second to recover. I also realized that my friend and Wes couldn’t care less that I failed. To them, failing is just a part of weightlifting. It’s part of the process.

See, this is the first time I had ever failed so epically. To me, not being able to get up is like gravity slapping you in the face and telling you that you’re weak (if gravity could talk of course). But, again, I realized that a lift only last a few seconds and I couldn’t allow a few seconds to ruin the rest of my session. Sometimes, you just have to be able to get over it and move on. And you know what happened next?

That’s right. I got it. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t my best form, but I got it. I not only powered through the weight, but also through my emotions. Most importantly, I learned that it is okay to fail. Your world will not fall apart and it certainly doesn’t mean you are not a strong lifter.

I was a little scared before my second attempt, I won’t lie. I even said it out loud in the video. I needed Wes to be there spotting me, to know I would be okay, but in the end I complete the lift on my own. See what we can accomplish when we let the fear go?

Have any of you ever epically failed? Leave me a comment if you have time. Happy lifting!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s