& why YOU should compete if you qualify
🔝click the link in bio to read my latest article. I've been getting a lot of questions IF someone should compete, so wrote an article on lunch break today about WHY YOU SHOULD and my experience. People tell me "You've always been strong, you didn't have to worry about not hitting lifts" NOT TRUE… Hope this helps and offers some insight. #tbt to Reno, my first big contest in October 2014! Life changing experience for me and the best risk I've taken. 💪🏻💗 @startingstrongman #strongmanmotivation
To anyone afraid of competing at the higher level because they don’t feel “they are ready” #TBT to: Nationals 2014, where my journey all started. I wanted to write this today because I’ve recently been talking to people that are unsure if they should compete at nationals, a higher level competition that is compiled of all the winners from various state shows around the US. The weights are heavier than local shows, and it no longer matters if you’re the strongest in your gym.
This applies to anyone that competes in anything because doing something that could put you at risk of failing, is scary, no matter what your sport.
This was my first nationals in October 2014 in Reno that changed my life. I had been training strongman for 4 months and training for this show for 5 weeks, I only qualified because I won the MA state championship show by default. I had no intention of going, other people at the gym I went to were going, and they told me it would be a good learning experience. So, I decided I wanted to see Reno anyways!Submitted my entry form and then…
I looked up other competitors, I didn’t stand a chance. My goal was to go and not place last. Little did I know, I’d end up placing second in my weight class which qualified me for Worlds (Arnold 2015). I saw the events and the weights and remember thinking “What the hell am I doing this for, I should train for a year, get strong, then qualify and go next year.” I vividly recall myself writing down the events in my journal and the likelihood I could do them; this is what it looked like:
Press Medley: 125lb keg/150 axle, 80lb dumbbell press away –No way
Yoke: 500lbs 50ft—I know I can do this, but incredibly slow
Carry Medley: 175lb keg carry, 200lb farmers, 225lb duck walk—I know I can do the keg, maybe not the farmers,
Car Deadlift: Deadlift a car—Zeroed this in August, will never zero again so I will do this
Wheel Barrow: 1150 50ft—doubt it
Keg over Bar: 125-175lb keg series over bar:–maybe the first keg.
As you see, I only 100% knew I could do ONE out of SIX events and was determined to get at least one more. In reality, I did ZERO the overhead, and I passed out after the car deadlift event.
Somehow, I placed second in my weight class (I used to be under 160lbs). I thought it was a mistake, to this day I am beyond grateful I went to this competition because it has shaped my life in so many ways.
Placing at nats qualified me for the Arnold 2015, and showed me the love and passion I have for this sport. I can’t imagine my life without it, it impacts a lot of my decisions.
Takeaways and why YOU should compete:
I learned that it is VITAL to challenge yourself with weights you don’t think you can do. Most importantly, believing in yourself and your abilities, even when others (friends, family, other competitors) doubt them. I will never again write down events and weights and put the likelihood I’ll be able to complete them. If you find yourself doing this or even thinking about it, push it out of your head.
People come up to me, or reach out to me on social media and tell me I wouldn’t understand their fear because “I’ve always been strong”…As you can see, that is not the case, I started out an athletic 160lb girl that was fairly strong but couldn’t imagine even deadlifting 300lbs (Now, two years later, I’m chasing 500lbs and weighing in around 175lbs).
What nationals did for me…
It gave me confidence, the ability to view my body in a more positive light, introduced me to people around the world, the girls I trained with are some of my best friends, and as corny as this may sound: taught me to use my mind to my advantage. You’ll notice that I always preach how powerful the mind is. When I question my athletic abilities, I bring myself back to Reno. Right before the car deadlift I told my friend, “I’m going to lift this car” I lifted the car (passed out right after) but I did it…
Oh, and just to remind you of my failure, I ZEROED an entire event, and still placed. The event I zeroed was the first event of the day, talk about feeling bad. Since then, I made the dumbbell and the kegs one of my strongest overhead events.
I could write all day about my experience and speaking about it brings a huge smile to my face. Take the risk and go to the competition you don’t think you are ready for. The experience in itself is worth the risk.