The Girl Who Never Quits

Two years ago this very date, on a heavy day of Smolov, I squatted with 285# and my already damaged hip crumpled underneath me. I thought it was one of the worst days of my life. It was, in fact, the worst day in the life of whoever that Warrior Girl was.

What I forgot at the time – what everyone forgets when they go from the happiest moments of life to utter darkness in less than a second – is that I was exactly where I needed to be. Who I thought I was becoming wasn’t who I was supposed to become. I just needed to have a little faith, continue working hard, and patience. Wow, did I need to learn patience.

I walked into Coach’s room and set up the squat rack. Coach walked in and we had our normal “conversation” (see yesterday’s post) and I warmed up as he unpacked his stuff. He threw weight on my bar and we worked our way up to 180#. I have been back to squatting 6 or 7 weeks since that fateful day 2 years ago. I have learned to appreciate every squat I can do: body weight, light weight, kettlebell, back, front. It took me all this time to not care about my squat numbers and instead remember the beauty of doing them. So I was proud of that 180#. Last year I could still barely squat to a chair without pain. I told The Cool Girl I was starting a post-injury PR list because the comparison to pre-injury doesn’t do me any good, it only makes me sad and I want to be proud of these small steps.

Coach told me to line up all my shoes and he stripped the bar down to 95#. He then had me put on my low converse and worked my way up to 140# in each. He stripped the bar back to 95# and had me put on the high tops and worked me back up to 140#.  We repeated this for every shoe I own. Last, but not least, I put on my oly shoes. And this time we worked past 140#. I didn’t do the math. I still didn’t know what was special about this particular day.

We ended the day and as I put notes in my journal Coach said “2 reps at 200#”. And I smiled and recorded it in my book. I’ve been wondering how long it would take to get back in the 200’s.

I have been trying (and actually succeeding lately) to not look back. There’s no purpose. But things will always feel heavy come mid-June. I decided to pull out my journals from June 2013 and read about that fateful day. 2 years to the day I went down. How fitting this day, years later, I would have the biggest squat accomplishment I could imagine. I have to be honest, many times I doubted I would ever make it back. I just never quit. And in those writings I can see I am not who I was. That Warrior would have been ashamed to type “I squatted 200”. This Warrior Girl will always cherish 200.

I e-mailed my old coach “on the 2 year anniversary I hit 200 on my squat. I fought my way back and it’s too big a moment not to share with you” (I would want to know news this big about one of my girls) and as I hit send a text came in from Coach. All it said was “I’m so glad for you”.

My client list is full. I kept 2 adults and the rest are high school and college athletes. Throughout this day, what once was the darkest day, I received random messages from some of the girls and some of the moms “S said she had an amazing day with you”, “thanks for listening today and being so cool”, NCAA sent a picture of her poolside in Florida with a note “you are my inspiration”. On the really hard days, these girls are the reason I never quit.

So I did not become the Warrior Girl I pictured myself becoming 2 years ago. I suspect this Warrior Girl is becoming something more amazing that I can even imagine. Isn’t this exciting?!

It’s good to be the girl who never quits.


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Lifting is my love. I think it is safe to say it is the only thing I have ever loved in this life. After 20 years of battling anorexia, this Warrior Girl started winning that battle the first time I touched a barbell. Loving something is a powerful thing.

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