As many of you know, I recently competed at the Ontario Weightlifting Championships for the first time. If you read my past article (that you can read by clicking HERE) about how my son’s hockey team helped me make the decision to lift at this particular meet, you would also know that as a result of being a beginner in the sport (a 39 year old beginner at that), I just barely made the qualifying standard and was therefore competing against men in a class far and above my own.
I must admit that up until the morning of the competition I was still having feelings of trepidation. ‘Will I make a fool of myself? What will people think? Do I even belong here?’ You know what I mean!
After the fact I can say that I am thrilled that I took the plunge and participated. In fact, I learned and reinforced some valuable life lessons that are about so much more than weightlifting. I would like to share some of these life lessons with you.
The first lesson I learned is that commitment leads to progress. After lots of deliberation I COMMITTED to competing and all of the preparation that goes into it. Not only did I send my cheque and my registration, I wrote an article that I posted on the internet about it! There was absolutely NO WAY I could back out.
This commitment forced me to focus my training in a way I just would not have otherwise. After a long day of meetings, and entraining, and child rearing, and I did not want to drag my butt to the gym, guess what? I had visions of standing in front of hundreds of people in a singlet and you bet I ended up training. The result is that I lifted 12 kilograms more than my previous competition. My commitment led to my progress.
The next lesson I learned is that competing against people better than you is invaluable. By hanging out with, warming up with and stepping on the platform with lifters better, stronger and more experienced, I instantly became better. In essence, I upgraded my peer group.
Why are these lifters better? They speak differently, focus differently, act differently, warm-up differently and use their energy differently than others. The only way for me to understand this was to BE one of them. As a result, I was able to make a lift that according to my previous training should have been impossible.
Last but not least, I learned that stretching beyond you comfort zone is incredibly rewarding. Was this competition a comfy, relaxing, and smooth experience? Hell, no! But let me tell you how fulfilling it is to have done it. Regardless of what I do in this sport THAT competition is a memory I will always remember. And it was also a lot of fun.
These lessons are not specific to weightlifting or even sports. They are about life and we all need to be reminded sometimes. If you are struggling with your health, or any other aspect of your life or are just looking to step up to the next level, consider these lessons.
How can you commit even more to health and life? Where can you stop ‘trying’ and start DOING. Who can you surround yourself with that is already getting the results you desire? If you want glowing health yet hang out at Tim Horton’s, your chances of success are NOT good. Finally, how can you embrace discomfort to not only get better results, but have a lot more fun doing it? A wise man once said, “You can either be comfortable or happy, not both.” Which will you choose?
I challenge you to apply these lessons in one area of your life starting today. This is a muscle that will grow with use so that one day you will be ‘lifting’ with the big boys and girls too.
If you would like to watch the Ontario Championships, click HERE for the link. My weight class was in Session 4.