I am so excited and refreshed to be back home and ready to start entraining people in the office after my two and a half weeks in Italy to compete in the World Masters Weightlifting Championships in Turin, and then enjoy a holiday with my family in Florence and Rome.
This article will take a break from my series on Going Deeper to Get Better, to go back in time and complete the classic September grade school project; what I did on my summer vacation. Because I’m sure you could care less about most of the details of my holiday, I thought I would instead share what I learned both from the competition and the vacation in general.
First the competition. Jumping into my first world masters competition was a HUGE deal for me. For the most part I have been blessed with pretty good athleticism and I have typically done well at most athletic endeavours (except flag football, but that is another story!). I am USED to succeeding in sports.
Picking up Olympic weightlifting at the age of 38 has been a big challenge to my big ego. I have shared with some of you that weightlifting is more of a spiritual practice for me than anything and this is one of the reasons why. When I registered for the World Masters – paid the fee, booked flights and hotels – I had yet to even reach the standard to qualify! I just committed to find a way to get it done. Those who know me are aware that this is NOT my style – or at least hasn’t been until now.
So, one thing I learned is that sometimes it is okay to get READY, then FIRE and then AIM. You don’t have to have every angle figured out before you commit.
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
I never wanted to believe that quote, but I have found it to be true in many cases. My expectations going into this competition was to finish somewhere between 14th-16th out of 16 competitors. Some of you were even upset at me for suggesting I had no chance at a medal. What ended up happening was that a few of the top lifters could not get into the country, a couple others had bad days on the platform and I ended up in 6th place. Had I made my last lift I would have been 4th. Sometimes you just have to prepare the best you can and show up!
The Roman Holiday
Holidays – especially in foreign countries – are always great learning experiences in many ways. Italy is a country with lots of challenges (especially financial) presently and in a time of challenge you really get to see what a culture’s priorities are. On the surface, what struck me most about Italians is the importance they place on high quality food. Compared to North Americans they eat fresher, better, and less processed food – and they are willing to pay for it.
The biggest lesson I learned on this holiday was to be adaptable. It is rare to be in a place where almost nobody speaks your language (Turin), stores are open and closed at odd times, training facilities are different than what I am used to, there are no clothes dryers, the internet access is kind of sketchy, air conditioning is not what it means to us, and our Roman apartment was spread over 7 floors. In spite of all of this perceived loss of our usual comfort, we were happy, we had lots of fun and I was able to put in my best competition total to date.
Being in a different place provides an invaluable and immediate shift in context that forces us to look at what is really important, what is really necessary and question if the way we have been doing things is really the best way. That is a great gift and one of the reasons we have taken our children on major trips since they were toddlers.
Naturally, I filter everything I learn and experience through the work that I do correcting Neural Resistance through NSO (Neurospinal Optimization). The link is that Neural Resistance reduces our ability to adapt to both physical and mental changes and challenges. It freezes us where we are (physically and mentally), hindering us from ever making any real progress. AND this hurts!
Correcting NR allows us to unwind what has kept us stuck and in pain and opens up a new world to us whether we are walking down Main St. in our hometown or fighting the crowds and 40 degree Celsius heat at the Colosseum.