I competed at “The Ontario Classic Provincial’s 2014” this past weekend in Hamilton. I entered last minute about a month ago since I was unsure if my lower back could handle competing. Back in May I had an unbearable pain in my lower back, it hurt to do anything and everything. I was frustrated and angry that I was nowhere close to where I was about a year ago; Frustrated to the point where I was contemplating if I should stop powerlifting. As ridiculous as this sounds now, I really was at my breaking point; months of everything feeling just awful and being too stubborn to get it checked out doesn’t make a happy camper. (Especially being an over dramatic, stubborn estrogen raging female, yes we can all be, I admit it!)
Instead of quitting I decided to get my back check out, when the X-ray came back it showed I had degenerative change in my L5-S1, basically my spine on my right side is deteriorating. I was told having this condition at 22 years old is very uncommon and they recommended I stop lifting as a whole. Honestly, I highly considered it at the time but they recommended I try physiotherapy. At first, I rolled my eyes and thought to myself sarcastically “yeah right, because that will help…” I ignored the suggestion at first and continued to lift in pain until it got so bad that I made an appointment. This was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. In a month my back felt almost 100% back to normal again and I was able to lift again without pain. It’s amazing how a few simple movements can make the world of differences.
After I got my back situation sorted out I was faced with emotional and mental disruptions and it took a toll on my training leading up to the competition. It got to the point where I was barely eating, sleeping and missing training; I was highly considering dropping out of the competition 2 weeks out. Thankfully I didn’t and everything sorted itself out; I truly believe everything happens for a reason. If it weren’t for my support system I don’t think I would have stepped on the platform this past weekend; so thank you friends, family and boyfriend, you all helped make this possible for me and I appreciate each and everyone of you.
Asides from my sob story, the main reason I wanted to do this competition was to redeem the number 1 spot in Canada which Rhaea Stinn currently holds with a squat of 178.5kg(392.7lbs), a bench of 112.5kg(247.5lbs) and a deadlift of 189kg(415.8lbs) at a body weight of 71kg(156.2lbs) for a total of 480kg(1056lbs) and a wilks score of 472.9. This meant I had to hit a total of 540kg(1188lbs) to take the number one spot and I would have had to have a perfect 9/9 day ending with a 205kg(451lbs) squat, a 107.5kg-110kg(236.5-242lbs) bench and a 230-235kg(507-517lbs) deadlift weighing in between 87-88kg(191-194lbs).
Sadly, I fell short of my goal by 7.5kg(16.5lbs). I finished the day weighing in at 87.1kg(191.6lbs) with a total of 532.5kg(1171.5lbs) and wilks score of 466.74 landing me with the #2 spot in Canada.
My squats went relatively well, I went 2/3 hitting a 190kg(418lbs)-200kg(440lbs)-205kg(451lbs) missed but it was close and I know I will hit it plus some next competition.
My benches, as usual sucked. Though it was my most confident lift going into the competition it fell short come game time. I went 102.5kg(226lbs)miss- 102.5kg(226lbs)- 105kg(231lbs) miss. My first attempt the hand off through my position off and I couldn’t recover, I came back on my second and got it and my last attempt wasn’t even close, it just wasn’t there. I know what I need to change this time around with my training.
My deadlifts, went well, just not what I was hoping for. I went 220kg(485lbs)- 230kg(507lbs)- 237.5kg(523lbs) miss. My second attempt was harder than I was expecting and I gave up too early on my third attempt. I had to pull my last attempt to get the #1 spot but all I could think about while I was pulling was my back. It was pretty beat up from the other 2 lifts and I’m happy I didn’t go through with it because I think I may have crippled myself.
All in all I’m happy with my performance, though I didn’t get the total I went for I learned a lot throughout this entire experience and that’s what counts. I came out with a PR bench, PR deadlift and PR total so I really can’t complain. I also had the pleasure of meeting Rhaea in person for the first time and it drove me even harder to do my best since I knew she was watching; she really keeps me on my toes. I also got to meet the almighty Kim Walford who’s not only an amazing lifter but an amazing person; she gave me words of wisdom and lots to think about over the next couple of months.
Overall, I met some great people, made some new friends and had an awesome time. Congratulations to all the lifters who competed this past weekend and thank you Linda McFeeters and OPA Powerlifting for organizing and putting on such a fantastic and well run competition.