This is a guest blog post from HeavyWeights Training Center member Natasha Mooney.
In her first WeightLifting meet she managed to set a provincial record in her weight division in The Snatch, not bad for her first meet.
I asked her to share her experience to educate and enlighten others about the fun of competing and the amazing experience of competing in a WeightLifting meet. I encourage everyone to compete for the challenge and to “Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable”.
A year ago, if you had asked me if I would be interested in competing in a weightlifting competition, I would have laughed at the thought. However, March 22, 2014, I competed in my first weightlifting competition walking away with a medal and having set a new provincial record for the snatch lift.
I have always been the athletic type but in recent years my activity was to stay in shape and be healthy and was not always part of my regular routine. I joined heavy weights in July 2013 with a friend with the intentions of “toning up” and dropping those few pesky pounds. I loved my first program at Heavy Weights. I had completed StrongHER and learned so much about lifting weights and what my strengths and weaknesses were. It had turned out I was not in the shape I had thought I was in. I met great friends and had a great support system in them and in the staff at Heavy Weights. Most of all I seen results and I felt fantastic.
After StrongHER I completed Built in 42. I continued to learn so much from my coaches and was motivated to keep pushing myself to get stronger, set goals and reach them for myself. I had come to love heavy weights training center, I knew it was a place where I had belonged. I had never stuck to anything for the amount of time I had with this – I never got sick of it. I was getting stronger and living a healthier lifestyle on a daily basis, not just something for a quick fix here and there.
After I completed the Built program I completed fit testing to get placement in the elite levels program. I went into Elite Level 2. I had learned about Powerlifting and we had those lifts incorporated into our training. I enjoyed the technical aspects of it. I had seen others train and completing the Clean and Jerk and was interested in doing that too!
When I learned Heavy Weights would host the weightlifting provincials I became even more interested in learning more about weightlifting (The Snatch and The Clean and Jerk). Rob started weekend classes to teach the lifts and for us to practice. I committed to compete for fun and the experience. There were a number of us training to compete and most of us females! As the day approached my training increased. I was getting help and advice from my coaches and my training partners; I kept beating my numbers and was driven to keep training.
I was so nervous the day of the competition – I laugh each time I see pictures of me completing my lifts as I looked so focused and collected but inside I was spinning with nervousness. To watch the men compete first was a great experience in itself, although it did add to my nervousness. To see some amazing athletes lifting such heavy weights was mind blowing. Some of these men have been training for years and their experience showed.
The snatch was the first of the two lifts we had been competing in and I kept changing my numbers, dropping them back not having confidence in myself. Walking out the platform for the first time with everyone watching was nerve racking. I am certain I burned holes through the back wall with the focused stare I kept to ensure I did not make eye contact with anyone or to see how many people were actually sitting and watching, waiting for me to lift. I successfully completed my first lift – what a relief! Still nervous I kept my numbers lower than I had originally planned and I completed all my lifts successfully. To my surprise I had beaten the previous provincial record for my weight class for the snatch! I was beyond excited. Not only had a learned something new, stepped outside my comfort zone to compete in front of an audience, I had completed my lifts successfully and had set the new record. It was very gratifying.
We competed in the Clean and Jerk next. Again, I will tell you I toyed with my numbers as I was nervous and did not want to fail in front of an audience. After completing my second lift I approached the desk to report my next numbers for my last lift. I had learned I had an opportunity to beat the record for this lift as well, for my weight class. It was heavier than I had lifted before. I had support and encouragement from my coach and from my team mates, why not give it a try? Again, stepping out of my comfort zone I set out on my third lift to set a new provincial record again. Unfortunately I cannot tell you I did. I had managed to get the first part of the lift (the clean) but was unable to complete it. But I tried it. I am glad that I did. I am happy to have pushed myself and to learn from the experience of doing the very thing I had been afraid to do – fail in front everyone watching.
The majority of the women who competed were from Heavy Weights and new to this experience as I was myself. We had all started together and it was a pleasure to compete with these ladies. To have your team mates, and equally your competition, cheering you on and building you up was a great feeling. I loved my first weightlifting competition experience. I felt a whole new energy (which might have just been my own nervousness, who knows). I look forward to competing again and will continue with my training. I welcome new experiences and challenges and am thankful for everything I have learned from this competition and those who helped along the way.