As I was waiting in line for the vet with an anxiety ridden dog earlier, I got a text from one of our lifters. He was explaining how he was feeling and what his lifts had been like the last few days. As I was thinking through my response, it dawned on me. He’s tapering for his meet on Saturday. And, oh, I am also doing that meet. Duh.
While I love the excitement I see and hear from my lifters in the week before a meet, I also know that most of them are nervous as shit. And, most of them have numbers that they really, really, really want to hit in competition. That’s awesome. I do, in fact, coach a sport. Winning is important. PRs are important. A total is important.
It’s just that winning isn’t important to me right now.
I competed last month and I’ll compete again on Saturday. I’m not doing anything special to get ready, I’m not stressed out, I have no specific numbers that I want to hit, and I honestly forgot about it until today. But, I am going to have fun, and fuck yes, that’s an awesome feeling.
Bunches of my Facebook friends obviously had meets yesterday because I saw posts beginning with phrases like these all over the place today:
“Despite being injured…”
“Even though I haven’t been training…”
“No PRs, but I’ll take it…”
“I was just doing this one for fun…”
I cannot say that I know what each of those people was thinking as they wrote those phrases, but my brain interpreted it as, “I’m not happy with my performance, so here is my excuse.” Maybe they weren’t happy with their performance, and I understand that. There is always room for improvement.
At the end of the day, though, that’s just not where I am. When I see someone who is obviously upset or pissed off about their performance at a local meet, then I think, what was the point? Did the numbers matter that much to you? Would a PR have made the day more fun?
If you’re only willing to do a meet when your training, diet, sleep, and life have been optimal, when you are completely healthy and free of injuries, when your numbers in the gym have been consistent, and when you have the perfect singlet, new shoes, and amazing socks, then you aren’t going to compete very often. Or ever. Yeah, you are probably NEVER going to compete if you are waiting for the stars to align in some magical, ancient Mayan, New Age crystal cosmic event.
So, shit. Why not just go and have a good time? Do you really think the Internet cares how you did at a meet? Sure, the people who love you will cheer for you if you win, but they are going to cheer for you even if you bomb.
What is it about a weightlifting meet that inspires such drama? I know lots of people who head out on the weekend to play basketball or Ultimate or kickball, and never once do I hear how depressed they are about their performance. It’s okay to play a sport just for fun. If you have big goals, then rock on, and I’ll help you with those. But, most people are lifting as a hobby not as a career, and hobbies are about enjoyment.
I love lifting for fun. It’s a sign that I’m finally starting to get over myself and all of my stupid mental bullshit.
If you have stupid mental bullshit, you should get over it too. Go compete and have fun doing it.