I’ve spent the past 3 days trying to draft a blog post to explain why I’m not feeling excited about my upcoming meet. I’m 4 weeks out, and when I think about the meet, I just feel an overwhelming sense of apathy. I want to pull my usual modus operandi which is to withdraw ~3 weeks before a scheduled meet. I’ve been sinking money into meets for the past two years and yet I haven’t actually participated in one. I just seem to hit this hump where I realize I might not hit my overly ambitious goals and give up.
I tried to make a list outlining all of the reasons I’m feeling this sense of ennui. I was convinced it was a pretty good list and I even had 2000 words of justification laid out for all to see.
Then I weighed myself this morning and I saw a very optimistic number on the scale. Briefly, I was convinced that I might actually make it down to 72kg in time for my meet in 4 weeks. Even though I’m back to doubting possibility, I looked at my list of excuses in a new light and I realized that they all boil down to: “I might fail.”
That’s a pretty shitty reason to avoid doing a meet. Yes, the possibility exists that I might fail really, really hard. And I might be disappointed and angry and embarrassed. But I would get over it. Not to mention that there’s always the possibility that I might actually succeed. In fact, that seems pretty likely given the fact that I’ve done successful meets in the past.
I started thinking back to some of my PNLE lessons. I think I should feel excited about doing a meet. Except, I’m trying to act less on the noise in my life. Instead of doing things because I should do them, I am trying to rely on noticing and naming how things actually are. Objectively, there is no reaI reason to feel excited. Instead, I can simply recognize that I’m not feeling totally psyched up about competing, but there is no reason for me to act on that feeling.
I keep thinking back to the concept of difficult-difficult. Going to the gym and even going through the motions to prepare for a meet is my “difficult-easy”. It makes me feel like I’m doing something. Actually showing up to participate in the meet seems to be a lot harder for me. Why? Because putting myself out there is terrifying. I might fail.
This is actually a big deal. I avoid social situations because I might fail. Being anti-social is my difficult-easy. It’s lonely, but there is zero risk that anyone will reject me for being terribly uninteresting and fat. See also: my dating life. I am lonely but again, too afraid of being rejected. See also: nonexistent applications to grad school. Because I would really like to go, but what if I don’t get in? What if I’m not smart enough? And if we’re being completely honest, losing weight is difficult-difficult because I self-sabotage time and time again – and I tell myself it doesn’t matter because I was bound to fail anyway.
Self-confidence? Apparently I have none. (Which is actually nothing new. A guy I was seeing once told me I was “just fine, except I had no self-confidence” and the intervening years don’t seem to have countered that ringing endorsement.)
The task of finding my self-assurance seems a little insurmountable at the moment, so where else can I start? Well, in explaining difficult-difficult, PNLE uses the analogy of shoveling snow: If you’re just shoveling for the sake of moving snow around, that’s difficult-easy. It’s hard work but it achieves no real purpose and allows you to avoid doing more productive tasks. So how can I shovel a clear path through the snow and do what is actually difficult-difficult for me?
The answer is obvious: I said I would do North Bay in 4 weeks. I said I would lift at Provincials in order to qualify for Nationals. And I said I would go to Nationals. That’s a full year of powerlifting to correspond with my nutritional journey on PNLE. And if stepping on to the platform is difficult-difficult for me, then just getting there will be good enough.
So: I signed up for Provincials. I reserved a hotel room. I’m 10 weeks out. I don’t feel worried. I don’t feel excited. I just feel normal. And why should I feel any differently?