Dear GPC-GB Nodumbelles 2015 Lifters,
I would like to thank you all for joining us on platform on Saturday. I know that for many of you this was your first powerlifting competition and I feel honoured that you chose GPC-GB Nodumbelles Women’s Open 2015 to pop your powerlifting cherries.
I know you were nervous. In fact I know many of you were terrified. So many things were running through your heads even before you sent off the entry form. The thought of being up on platform in front of so many people made you feel sick. What if I make a fool of myself? What will people think? OMG I am just going to be a laughing stock. The other girls are going to be so good. SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!
The times you thought of pulling out. The ‘reasons’ you could give yourself for not entering running through your mind as you lay in bed at night. No one would know it was just an excuse would they? No one but you.
How will I know what to do? What if I get it wrong? How do I pick my numbers? Where will I warm up? HOW will I warm up? What if I need to pee? What if I don’t get my lifts? What? What? Who? Where???? AAARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And Jeeeeeeeeezzzz I am going to have to wear a singlet!!!!!! Why do I have to wear a singlet? I think I will actually DIE. This has to be the most unflattering garment known to mankind and I have to wear it IN FUCKING PUBLIC!!!!! SERIOUSLY?????? Yes I will ACTUALLY DIE of embarrassment.
But you didn’t die did you?
No. Far from it! You actually thrived and grew with each passing moment.
You felt the fear and you did it anyway. No one laughed. No one jeered. And you know what even if they had have done would you have cared on the day? I don’t think so. You see that is the thing about pushing outside of your comfort zone, you just can’t lose. Whatever happens you have won. You have put yourself in a place you have never been in so whatever the outcome you will walk away with something you didn’t have prior to it.
Every year I stand back and I watch as each one of you literally grows as the day goes on and it is AMAZING. I see the shy, body conscious women who come to weigh in become these powerful singlet clad Amazonians in a matter of hours. I see empowerment of self and of others. I see friendships made. I see coach athlete bonds that are truly unique. I see that fear turn to elation and I see trepidation turn into absolute determination. I see body language change from self-conscious wall flowers trying to hide in the crowd turn into absolute puffed out peacocks of pride with glorious tail feathers on show strutting their stuff and I FUCKING LOVE IT!!!!!!
I want to thank each and every one of you for giving your all on platform. You were incredible. Not one of you came to just make up the numbers. You came here to be powerlifters and powerlifters you are. From the first-timers right through to our seasoned lifters each one of you gave your all. You conducted yourselves in a fashion that make me proud to be on the same team as you. No tears or tantrums. No divas. Just solid athletes getting on with what they came to do. You lifted out of your socks. You supported each other with shouts, cheers, words of support and advice and when needed a good old kick up the arse.
There is no shame in being competitive. NON at all. The difficulty sometimes comes in making sure you don’t take it personal. You can be competitive and not be a bitch. You should want to beat your opponent but you should never want them to fail. The better they become the better you become. Do not compare yourself but push yourself and those around you. Leave the ‘fight’ on the platform and be gracious in victory and defeat.
For many of you this is just the start. You are on page one your powerlifting story. Turn each page and enjoy it. Sometimes you may have to reread a chapter but never be tempted to miss a page. Sometimes it is a hard read and you may want to put the book down because you just don’t get it. Please persevere, one word at a time….one training session at a time, one lift at a time, a day at a time. This book has no end.
On Saturday for many of you your lives will have changed forever in ways that yet remain to be seen. For me the memories are many but I want to leave you with one of the reasons that for as long as you and others like you keep wanting to lift I will keep providing a platform.
At the end of the lifting a lifter came to thank me for the day, as many of you did. As she hugged me she said
‘I am so proud of MYSELF.’
The power of these words are the reason I do what I do.
Be proud of what YOU do.