“Lifting is no longer your escape. It is the pure brutal focus point of your will” said Warrior Girl’s coach many months ago. It’s been a process…an ongoing battle in which my aim is occasionally off and Joel is the recipient of my fire.
But in the last month my target has been hit consistently. The bar has taken the beating, my body feels the rewards of battles well fought, and my mind has enjoyed the peace that follows taking the negative energy to the gym and using it to achieve greatness.
My target wasn’t off today but my focus was blurred. After yesterday’s success I was expecting today to be a breeze. I was back with my coach, back with people who understand my drive and desire, people who recognize my hard work and dedication, people who see worth in this lifestyle. Why between last night and this morning I let the words of people who have never supported me shake my confidence, question my priorities, instill fear and doubt – fear and doubt on lift days are killer – is beyond my comprehension.
I went in early and did my core work. In case my shoulder sabotage from yesterday was not enough, I did single arm push jerks. Joel came and we started the snatch work. I usually enjoy it…constant form adjustments and critiques included. But today we would adjust the pull and I would lose my hip action…adjust the hip but lose the pocket…adjust the pocket but lose the pull. REST.
I found a corner for solitude and started picking apart every motion. Why, this many weeks in, why now am I having these problems. I have not had a hard day with the snatch. In this moment I hear those words I heard last night “why are you wasting your time with this? Other things in life are more important. What kind of life is this? It’s not like you’re doing anything with it. It’s just so stupid and useless. Who do you think you are? You aren’t special. Women have no place lifting weight. Do you see yourself, how you look?” And the tears start coming…
There is it. The lost hip action, the missing pull, the no-pocket-pop. I open my eyes and there sits Joel on the bench next to my hidden corner watching the process. He knows. I don’t even have to tell him what’s going on. “How do I channel all of this into that bar? How do I grab it all and throw it into my lift? My attitude is good. I want to do this. I want to be here.”
“YOU have to think you are awesome no matter what anyone else says or thinks. If you think you are awesome, you will be able to take all that other crap and put it into the lift. But it all depends on what YOU think, if YOU are worth it. Remember when you walked in not that long ago, that 80 pound girl, and couldn’t even lift the bar? What would she think about you?”
I do believe I am awesome. I am worth this. When I couldn’t lift that bar I became determined that one day I would – and with every plate in the place on it. The person I was would have seen the person I have become and thought “I want to be a Warrior Girl like her”.
Back to the snatch. I made my adjustments. Some reps were a struggle but I stopped over-thinking and started adapting. Other reps felt coordinated and easy.
The cleans weren’t as beautiful as last week, I was looking forward to showing off my progress, but my pocket and hip pop were back in full swing by this point so I will call it a job well done. My jerk practice was again about balance and it has improved. Other action today included hip flexor work, weighted lateral lunges, barbell shrugs and handstand push-ups. I love handstand push-ups! After a long day of shoulders, and shoulder work from yesterday, I couldn’t get my head to the ground but they were strong throughout.
The moral of this war story: 1) Don’t give people the power to rob you of your joy. 2) When you find your passion, whether or not the world finds value in it, it is valuable because you love it. 3) Wrapping your hands around a bar will solve most problems. 4) Don’t mess with a Warrior Girl.