Usually I do not like to jump right into the middle of a debate, but I feel compelled to do so this time, since I just competed in my first meet last month at the age of 48. Steve & Al always encouraged me to take the plunge. Labels aside, I did it to just build my confidence, which was sorely lacking all my life, and to just meet people and have some fun. Up until that point, I have always considered myself to be a "weightlifter".
For me personally, training at a commercial gym and at home all my life, setting PR's and maxing along the way, but never competing, was night and day compared to lifting at an actual judged meet, with plenty of eyes watching, in an environment I had zero control over. I bombed on my opener squat of 365, a lift i have done a million times. I was so upset I started to shed tears. LtL and Steve were not there to give me advice and support. I even thought about leaving the event. This was not fun. I don't belong here as I am weak, mentally and physically. After collecting myself for a few minutes while in a facepalm, and a quick prayer to my late Mom, it was my turn again. I had to go for 365 again. I nailed it, but it felt heavy. I was wondering WTF is going on. I fail on my first 365, and the 2nd one is too heavy and I barely get it. Now I am in a panic state, as my number 1 goal was to get a 405 squat at a judged meet.
When I was deciding on my openers for the meet, many people on the other forum questioned it, saying why just 365? You tripled 405 last week, why are you selling yourself short? Surely, if you can triple 405 at home, you can do it just for a single at the meet. In hindsight, if I would have gone for the 405 on my opener, it would have been a complete disaster, even worse than the failed opener of 365.
So here I am, with a 365 under my belt, and I now have to quickly decide on my 3rd lift. I thought to myself, either I am going to leave here with my tail between my legs or I am going to leave here with my head held high and proud. The only way to accomplish the latter was to at least attempt my goal. Even if I miss, I had least showed some balls to try it, and I would still be proud. To leave without at least going for it would have left me with even less confidence.
When the judge said "bar is loaded" with the 405 is now one of the biggest turning points in my life. I nailed the lift, and according to many of the Powerlifters around me, with near perfect form. I cannot explain how this happened, other than to say it was the environment around me. One of the Powerlifters was so impressed at the comeback and my mental fortitude, he invited me to join his team here In Calgary. He is the head of the IPA (Independent Powerlifter Association) His name is Brian Johnston.
None of this experience could have been duplicated in a commercial gym or in my JimGym. It could have only happened at a meet, and I am all the better person for it. Everyone around me has noticed the difference, even my boss at work. I am now focused and full of drive and ambition.
After the meet and upon returning home, i of course joined the Powerlifting Gym, Strive Powerlifting, and the team. Just yesterday, Brian said to me I have a very bright future with the team and my lifting. I have also qualified and have been invited to represent Canada in my age and weight class of 110kg's at the WPC worlds in Las Vegas November 6th thru the 11th.
I am now one of the most happiest and confident "Powerlifters" on the planet.
My transformation took place at this meet, July 7th, 2012.
My Favorite Part Of Lifting Is Having The Opportunity
Meet PR's: (May 2014) Raw Natural
Squat 475 lbs
Bench: 286 lbs
Deadlift: 501 lbs
Total: 1262 lbs
Squat: 495 lbs
Bench: 300 lbs
Deadlift: 520 lbs/500X5
Total: 1315 Lbs