One of the main things that I have tried to do when I write this blog is to help you learn something, understand something, question something, and ultimately it would turn into having a better understanding of what it means to be a healthy well-balanced human.
Today I am not going to do that. Today I am going to blog the way a lot of other bloggers blog, I am going to just talk about myself. Not totally in a selfish way but to share something that I did and how it made me feel.
I have been doing Olympic Weightlifting as part of my gym routine for several months now.
It was suggested to me through my Crossfit gym and I have become totally addicted to it. I thought I would give it a try, learn something new, but figured that I would find it boring but useful and ultimately just go back to my Crossfit classes. I was totally wrong. I don’t find it boring at all. Although there are generally fewer movements to master, I now know that I will likely never actually master them. It will be a continual growth exercise.
Going to the gym generally comes with certain goals. We, as people who go to the gym, have either weight goals in that you have a certain weight that you want to move. You may have goals based on your appearance, smaller waist or bigger biceps. For me, it has almost always been about losing weight and being a smaller size. That is, until recently.
I know how important it is to have goals. I set all sorts of them. I rarely achieve them, but it doesn’t stop me from setting them and working towards them. I did actually manage to lose some weight a few years ago. I worked really hard, ate super clean, worked out a lot, ran, hiked, was really focussed. But ultimately, without keeping up that strict routine, some of that weight has crept back. It is not only typical, but it is the majority of people.
When I started at this Crossfit gym, I told them that weight loss was my goal. The response from one of the coaches was“ what if your goal was to get stronger and weightloss was just a byproduct of that”. Those words have haunted me, yes haunted me for months now. I am now in agreement with that trainer and am coming to terms with goals in the gym, that are more concerned with lifting heavier and achieving some pretty ambitious weight goals for a woman of my age.
Having said all of that, I have done my first ‘mock’ weightlifting competition. Our coach for Olympic Weightlifting is somebody who has trained for the Olympics. Yes, an actual Olympic trained athlete. He is so particular with form. Just the smallest detail he notices and does his best to correct it in us. There are so many different stretches and warm-ups before we pick up a weight. Now admittedly, Doug and I are the oldest lifters that he has trained. So our program is a little different from the others that we see lifting. But, he actually sees progress in us.
So, when I got to the end of the last series of program notes, to my surprise was a page I hadn’t seen before and didn’t really understand. It was a competition page. Andy, our coach, wanted to see how we would do in a competition setting. YIKES! Something I had never considered before was competing in weightlifting. This, in my mind, was a young person sport, not for a person my age. Apparently, I was wrong, there is a Masters category. Who knew?
Friday was the day, competition day, well MOCK competition day.
I showed up and before I did anything more than put on my lifting shoes, Andy explained how the day would go. I was given a lifting platform and told to warm up, make sure I was really warm. When I was, Andy would ‘call my name to the platform’. I would then have one minute to complete my lift. When the bar was lifted to the appropriate position, I would get the signal to put it down. Then, wait for my turn. One thing I had to learn was to rest well between sets. There is no room for rushing, that is where injuries happen. So, I wait until I am ‘called’ again.
I will get four attempts to increase my weights. Then there will be about 10 min to rest, reset, and get ready for the next type of lift. The first lift is a snatch, the second is a clean and jerk. When my name is called again, I approach my bar and lift. At the end of each lift, I choose to add more weight and wait for my turn again.
Andy tried really hard to make me understand how it would work in a real competition. Including telling me to wait as there is another competitor lifting. Not really, but it is a competition after all, lol. I am told of rules like don’t move your bar with your feet, you will be disqualified. Ok, time to lift again.
Once I have completed both lifts, the snatch and the clean and jerk four times, my heaviest weight of each is added together and I have a total. BOOM, done.
Phew, that was actually stressful. Andy was both coach and judge. Although he is always judging my form, this time it was different. And at the end of all of that…. Ok maybe I might consider possibly think about one day far far away competing. WOW, that is scary! But as I have heard, if your goals are not scary, they are not big enough.
So, Olympic Weightlifting, something I never considered is something I am not only doing but considering competing in.
Stay tuned, I have a lot of training ahead of me.
By the way, I lifted 32 kilograms in the snatch and 43 kilograms in the clean and jerk with a total of 75.
We shall see where these numbers go from here.