A Dainty Diary of Lifting

10 weeks out / Difficult – difficult


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?


5 thoughts on “10 weeks out / Difficult – difficult

  1. I’m never particularly excited about an upcoming meet. I try to go in with zero expectations other than the expectation that I’ll give it all I have on that day–without knowing what I’ll have until I show up and start warming up. I used to get excited for meets when I was younger but realized that I was getting excited for the wrong reasons. I was getting excited based on expectations I had for what I would lift. That was taking me out of the moment and keeping me from enjoying the things about a meet that I should’ve been excited about.

    • Yes. I think getting ahead of myself is part of where the apathy comes from. I was also thinking meets must be totally different for dudes because they don’t follow a million powerlifting girls on instagram…..

      • Yeah, I wouldn’t know much about that, I follow some powerlifters but I came to terms with my own lifting mediocrity 25 yrs ago so the exploits of instagram famous lifters don’t really impact my lifting identity much.

  2. My next competition is in 2 days (British nationals) and I feel. M-E-H. Totally blah. My prep has gone horribly, I will probably get some pbs but I won’t place (I came last in 2013, I will probably do the same this year). I just can’t bring myself to care…

    I might feel different at 2pm on Saturday, when I’m slated to start lifting…

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