Sometimes competition can bring out the best in you, even when you feel unprepared.
This past weekend I competed at the Toronto Agatsu Kettlebell Championships. I always pride myself on being well prepared whenever I need to compete. This time around, not so much. On top of my full time job, I had taken on a new freelance job at the beginning of October (it was too good to turn down, plus I’m a self confessed workaholic). It has kept me extremely busy, resulting in a lack of mental focus and sleep.
I still managed to fit in my usual 3x/week of long cycle training with my online coach Jason Dolby. Some days, better than others. My last attempt at doing a 10 minute set was a few days before the comp, and I barely was able to do 6 minutes. I wasn’t too thrilled with that. I didn’t feel ready to compete and was worried about being THAT person who was unable to finish her time. My initial goal was to get 120 reps in 10 minutes but seeing that it may be difficult given the circumstances, my secondary goal was to go into survival mode and just keep lifting until the full 10 minutes was up.
Jason reminded and helped me realize that:
We can’t always be our best or hit PRs all the time, but we can do it for the experience of competition and the character building opportunity of walking into something that we may not be totally prepared for.
Of course, I still had hopes that awesomeness would ensue in the heat of competition (yeah, I’m competitive like that). The only way to find out would be to just get out there, and lift my heart out.
This time I did not drive myself crazy trying to make weight. I was more focused on my work than training the days leading up to Saturday’s competition but I think the best thing I did for myself was getting a good nights sleep the night before.
I weighed in at 10am, made weight, and was scheduled to lift on the 5th flight at 11:30am
My warmup was pretty simple and less than 5mins. Did a few shoulder mobility exercises, a few hand to hand swings followed by some LC reps with the 12kg, 16kg, 20kg bells and then it was time for lift off.
I was off to a fast start. Doing about 12rpm for the first 2-3 minutes. The 16kg bell felt good and I was able to maintain a consistent pace between 10-11rpm for the most part. As each minute passed, I continued lifting without too much resting in the rack. At the same time, I was taking it easy, going at my own pace. Unlike my last competition where I burned up all my energy within the first few minutes doing 12-13rpm, the pace here was more relaxed. Which was how I felt during my set. I didn’t focus on winning or killing myself to get high reps, nor did I run out of breath or struggle to lift the bell at any point, so in my eyes, that was a victory in itself! Especially since I wasn’t even sure if I’d be able to finish my time. In the end, I was sooo far from hitting any PRs but finished strong, so I can’t complain, but rather embrace the whole experience.
The final result: I won a Gold medal for doing 103 reps (56 right/47 left) in the 16kg long cycle event and achieved Rank 2. Not bad at all considering that I didn’t feel ready for this and have been a bit off with my training lately. I’ll definitely aim to do even better next time though!
Sometimes what we gain can be small.
And sometimes you realize winning and losing is not the point at all.
It doesn’t matter if you win or lose as long as you stay in the game.
But I’ll take any win that comes my way!