I pre-registered months in advance and booked my hotel, booked time off work and then it happened....I got sick. Two weeks before the competition, the most important time of preparation and I was a total wreck. I couldn't lift and I was totally devastated. I told myself it would be short-lived. I rested. 5 days in, it was my first time ever in the hospital because of some weird infection. I am usually the one who never, ever gets sick. I figured that I'd still be able to get my lifts in on the weekend, even though I was taking it day by day. Sunday came and I got my deadlifts in. They were absolutely pathetic. I felt like a beginner. I was so weak. It was a horrible feeling. Tuesday came and I had no choice but to do my squat and bench - just to my opening lifts. I felt strong, but I still wasn't 100%. By Thursday, I was at the Doctors office. He gave me a prescription which I didn't fill. I was lifting in the raw division (drug tested) and didn't know how any prescription would affect the drug testing at the end of the competition day. I won't even eat anything with poppy seeds in it, just in case! On top of that, any prescription might make me feel weaker. I just didn't want to chance it. I could only hope for the best on Competition day and then I'd start taking the meds after.
After a 6 hour drive, we made it to Cornwall. It was the night before the big day. I felt pretty good. We sat in the hot tub for awhile, cooled off in the pool and then had what should have been a good nights sleep, but wasn't as good as it could have been. Got up at the crack of dawn and headed in for weigh-ins. Made weight! That was a great start to the day. When it came time for warm-ups, I knew I was in trouble. My legs were vibrating. It could have been nerves but this was something that I hadn't experienced before. This wasn't my first competition. I got through my first two warm up sets. Then I put on a little more weight. I lost my footing. All I could think of was "WHAT THE F..." This NEVER happens!!! I finished my warm ups and waited for my turn at my first squat, my opener. I played it safe. It was a nice light weight, easy. I did it. I was starting to feel better but I didn't feel strong. My next lift, typically an easy one for me, was a 'no lift' My depth was good, but one side finished before the other. Ok. So, on my third lift, I decided not to repeat the same lift. Instead, I went heavier. It was closer to my max but I felt confident that if I had the depth, it would be a good lift. Nope. I just didn't have the strength. I didn't even have the depth. It was another 'no lift'. I felt robbed! I had done these lifts regularly!! How could I not get them today!?! I can blame it on the whole 'being sick' thing but I hate making excuses. It was a sad start to my day.
Bench was next. I did my warm up and felt strong. This was in the bag! I had this! First lift, easy. Second lift, 'no lift' What the heck was going on?!?!! I did this lift every week! Why....where did my strength go? Third lift, I kept it the same weight, but again....'no lift'. It was better and the bar was going up rather slowly, but it was still moving. They took it from me, in my opinion a little early, but I'm not making excuses. I didn't get the lift, period. There was a lot of talk amongst the women, that they waited too long to give the press command but on my third lift, I made sure to stay good and tight while waiting for the command so that I wouldn't lose it. Oh well. At least I got my first lift, as light as it was.
Deadlift. The dreaded deadlift. Normally I love doing deadlifts but in the weeks leading up to the competition it proved to be my weakest lift. In the past, that wasn't the case. I had put so much effort into building up my squat and bench, that I just neglected that lift I guess, but not intentionally. So, my first attempt is a good, easy lift. Second lift, I got that too. Third lift, I decided to go for broke. I should have been able to pull the weight but I just didn't have it in me.
All I can say is that as much as I was disappointed in all of my lifts, I can now go back to the gym, knowing what I have to work on and can only hope that I will never experience the same thing again. This was not a day of personal bests for me. I can only take it for what it is and learn from it. The only way to find out where you're weakest is by failing.
But, its not all for naught, I did set new Canadian Records. I'm not proud of them. They're low numbers for me and I have time to beat them. But for all other women out there, its not too late, get out there, lift and beat me! These records are a mere guideline for you to work towards, knowing that its completely doable, but only if you get out there and just do it. Its never too late to start, and if you think it is, you're just making excuses.