I made it. That's what I'll start off with. AWPC Junior Raw 75kg British and European champion.
I write this in conclusion of 2021's competitive season and as I've had some time to reflect and unwind after everything. Let me tell you a favourite quote of mine from a famous American powerlifter, Mark Bell:
"Getting better, is not just going to take a little bit of effort. Getting better is not just going to take a few extra hours a week. Getting better is going to take the greatest effort of your life".
I have got better. From a journey perspective this year has been wild. Getting better or "progress" is never linear. I am always getting better, and this is the most effort I have ever put into anything so far. I am knowingly tough on myself because what I do here means a lot to me. I sit here eating on my new diet already, trying to get off to the best start of this upcoming offseason.
Here's how it went:
Squats: 112.5, 125, 130. A 10KG competition PB. 3/3.
Bench: 80, 87.5 (no lift), 87.5 (no lift). 1/3.
Deadlifts: 165, 175 (no lift), 175 (no lift). 1/3.
It's hard to write that out. Failure, as much as I understand its importance, is not something I am familiar with. To miss so many lifts was such a new and frustrating lesson I have sat on it all day. When I wrote a post a few weeks ago, I took this to the wall. The wall was different this time, some days it's closer and some days it's further away. One thing I can say truly is this last comp took heart. It taught me that things don't always go to plan, and that is something I will slowly grow into and understand better. I left everything I had on the platform yesterday, and as disappointing as the result first seemed I still managed to take the win.
Again: British and European champion 2021.
Apart from the obvious and frustrating lessons of some failures, the 130KG squat was HUGE for me. I sunk that squat, and was more than willing to go down before I lost the lift. Halfway up I just burst into a huge smile because I knew I had nailed it. That's 10KG in 4 weeks. I've added more on my squat in 4 weeks then I did in 2 years. I can't thank Wylie (@wyliesung28) enough for instilling that confidence in me and the awesome programming. Unrelenting support from him is what really made me smash that mental barrier and nail the squat. That squat PB in itself is enough for me to balance the scales on positive/negative happenings. I have to see the positives, all the experience and the time I spent will just push me forwards to become a better lifter.
I guess a lot of this is a ramble and more of a brain dump. I've felt very overwhelmed in the past 24hr. Everyone has said how much I gave and how well I did; but my head just asks what went wrong and how I can be better. Very mixed feelings. Huge thank you to all the friends, coaches, and strangers alike (as well as Mark for the cracking support and photos). At the end of this season, I will finish with my head high.
This has just fuelled the fire if anything. The plans are in motion, and next time I step onto that platform it will be undeniable. To those who read this, I will take the 400KG total next time. Mentally and physically fortified, I'll push on relentlessly towards that goal. To the next adventure.