So I did my first weightlifting competition last week. It was awesome! Serious rollercoaster of emotions leading up to it – everything from ‘I wanna enter and PR’ right up to ‘I’m not doing it’ – I did do it though and it was awesome. I did better than I thought I would and I was buzzing after. Super super motivated, couldn’t wait to get back in the gym and was pestering my Coach for my competition timetable for next year.
I had a great rest day and I bounced into the gym on the following Monday but something really weird happened – something I was not expecting and something I’m still struggling to get through as I write this….
POST COMPETITION COME-DOWN
Basically while my mind was saying yes my body said FUCK NO! And refused to do anything. Not only did it refuse to actually move correctly but everything hurt – an air squat, a light clean, an even lighter snatch. I panicked…what was wrong with me? Had I forgotten everything I had learnt the last 4 months, was I injured again, what the hell is going on???
I took a breath, signed off for the night and decided it was just a bad day – that tomorrow would be better…
Tomorrow came – I was worse, WAY worse..now what?? Was that my life as a weightlifter over? Was I officially too old for this? Everyone else around me was training like they hadn’t even done a competition, big smiles, going for PR’s, fixing technique they noticed had hurt them on comp day and there I was being sent home from PT because I was actually, physically unable to lift any real weight properly or with good form – or painlessly.
I left the gym that night crying….
THIS was my post comp comedown. Basically my body needs to adjust. Rest, recovery and then we go again. In fact after some research it turns out that this happens to alot of people – especially those starting out, us newbie’s need to look after ourselves a bit more!
So what’s the plan??
My body needs fuel to recover fast and perform well. I don’t measure macros etc but I do know that typically I eat around 1400-1700 calories a day..so yeah…turns out thats not enough. I need a good 2200 calories a day to lift well and recover fast. So yeah my muscles are giving out shit to me right now – they’re hungry, woops!
Im old, like Im not really old but I’m over 30 (WAY over 30 actually!) and my body needs a little extra TLC than it did when I was in my 20’s. I’m back on the fish oils, HMB & protein. Ensuring I eat enough and supplement correctly will help those achy joints I’m feeling right now!
I’ve recently started ROMWOD (www.romwodcom) for mobility – Im following their programme and already noticing a difference in how my hips and shoulders move. It also forces me to stop for 10-15mins a day and focus on my breathing and the way my body feels. I can’t recommend Romwod enough!
This is harder than anything else. I have some very stretched goals for next year, I have put and am putting myself under a good bit of pressure to achieve them. Personally putting myself under pressure and having goals that will be really tough to achieve actually motivates me but with big goals comes big expectations. Learning to balance expectation and reality is something Im learning. Yes – we think I’ll achieve my goals next year, but I need to lay off myself on days that things aren’t going right, understand Im a novice athlete and some days will be way tougher than others. Honestly – Im still battling with this but at least now Im aware of what I need to do.
Im sharing this as a little reminder to us all that working hard is good – there’s a saying ‘hard work not talent’ that alot of us live by however, we need to think outside of our one or two hours in the gym daily. What we nourish ourselves with extends beyond the weight we lift in the gym to how we fuel our bodies and how we fuel our minds – incorporating all of this will make us better athletes and happier healthier people.
In the words of one of the most amazing people I ever met “listen to your body”