After trying to squat last Sunday and causing my weird tailbone-area injury to flare up in a big way, I spent Monday morning getting myself to the doctor. After ensuring that the professional really did agree it was ok, given the description of my injury, to work out in any way that didn’t make it hurt, I remained hopeful I could still go to the competition I was signed up for on Saturday… but I honestly didn’t think it was going to happen.
I stretched, rolled, and massaged all week, worked out carefully, and took the naproxen I was prescribed. Friday morning I still had a nasty knot in my right glute, but I was pleasantly surprised to feel good enough I knew I would be able to compete… carefully, and probably having to let go of my hope of (dare I have thought it) winning.
But Saturday morning came, and I packed my
torture mobility devices along with my lifting belt and biofreeze… and off I went, wondering if I was go going to be able to go for broke, or was I unwisely going for broken.
Event 1 was a max overhead squat. On the up side, my max OHS is around the weight I’d been able to squat without triggering big trouble. On the down side, I wasn’t feeling stable, and because of that and KNOWING I was hurt, I wasn’t committing to my jerks so I had a lot of trouble getting “easy” weights overhead. I still hit 135, and tied for third. At that point I was frustrated because 145 (which I failed only because I was shy on my jerk) would have tied me for second instead, but also thrilled to be past the only event that really worried be for my oddly specific injury and hoping I could catch up.
At that point, I felt ambitious setting my sights on second. Event 2 was the deadlift/box jump couplet that was 14.3 in the Open. Stepping up was allowed, just as in the Open version – and again, I swallowed my pride and did it because not only is it much safer and easier for my tendonitis riddled achilles, I can actually do it much faster even than cycling box jumps. Maybe because I am tall?
I bettered my score from the Open by 3 reps – not bad since my training the last 3 weeks+ has not been up to par. And then… and then… I was beyond thrilled to see that I stayed in the lead all the following heats. I decided at that point that I was just happy to have been able to compete, and winning an event (I’ve never been one to even come CLOSE to winning anything athletic) was a huge bonus.
Event 3 was a chipper – 10 minutes for 50 cal row, 40 40# dumbbell snatches, 30 pistols, 20 burpees, and 10 bar muscle ups. My goal here was to hit the muscle-ups in hopes of distancing myself from the competition – and also (let’s be truthful) because it would feel awfully cool to bust out a muscle-up in front of a crowd.
I didn’t make it, because my brain fart for this particular competition (it seems there is always one!) was that I heard the countdown for TEN seconds left at the end of my burpees… and thought it was “TIME.” I figured it out in time to get the last burpee, but too late to hit the bar.
After that, I had a protein bar and parked myself on a foam roller for a while – and ultimately took a walk outside. I was in the first heat, and all of my competitors followed me, so the part of me that couldn’t forget that no matter how grateful I was to compete I still wanted to win had nothing to do but wait.
As I was waiting for the last heat to finish to see if anyone would catch up to me, however, I did finally chill out and realize that win or lose I was extremely happy with my performance. After a really rough year or so with my mental game and my feelings about my performance, I went out there and gave it everything I had. I was careful in event 1 out of necessity but after that it was all or nothing, and nothing wasn’t an option. There was no holding back out of fear, there were no excuse breaks, and there was no stopping. THAT was the real victory, and I hope this restores my confidence that I am still the very same person I have always been, and I can and will pull out the stops when it’s time.
In the end, I did in fact win. I am so very thrilled about that fact that I think it just may get me through what promises to be an especially rough week of work smiling, and it was a much needed bit of proof that all of this work really truly is paying off, that I can be as tough as I need to be when required, and I WON’T give up before the goal line.