Thursday, January 27, 2011

Out With It - Raw Unity Wrap Up!

I've sat down to write this at least 5 times since Saturday so I'm convinced at this point I just need to be out with it. I think part of the problem is that I've just got so many emotions and thoughts and BIG THINGS to say it's hard for me to organize it all and spit it out.

So here goes...

Friday I woke up at 147.0, well under the weight class limit of 148.7, but...the weigh-in did not go quite as smoothly as I'd like. After a quick consultation with RC, there were some last minute weigh-in shenanigans that involved hanging out in a sauna for about 20 minutes, but ultimately - I made it and that's that! Official weigh-in: 147.4!

After that drama settled I went off for some food, a nap, and a little bit of work before picking Ms. T(ara) and her husband Dale up from the airport. It was sooooo sooooo good to see Ms. T, she's so much like me in many ways and it's just been a long time and squeezy gf hugs kinda just rock :) We had some dinner and then headed back to the hotel - early morning!

I woke up at 5am STARVING - seriously weird when that happens because it seems like the ONLY time I'm that hungry is the morning of a meet. I had half a brownie when I woke up, then wandered over to breakfast at 6:30 (when they opened). Tara and Dale joined me, then we were off!

Got to the meet about 8:15, women were scheduled to start lifting at 9:30. I figured I'd be first, and one look at the flights showed me I was right - no pressure! Opening the squats...opening the entire meet! In a moment of freak out, I dropped my planned opening attempt from 164 to 159 (note: this seems to be a pattern. work on confidence!).

Looked around for Dave, was a little disappointed (but I guess not truly surprised) that he said he'd be too busy to really help me out during the meet, so I called on Ms. T. I knew I was asking a lot from her, for so many reasons this was a very difficult task that I asked. She was supposed to have been lifting, this was supposed to have been her first meet, but just two weeks ahead she found out basically she had to stop lifting, stop everything, due to Adrenal Fatigue. T is NOT your "just stop" kind of girl, and while I know I can't even come close to fully understanding how she felt about that, we are so similar I do think I have an idea. On top of that, I know that the long day of travel the day before on top of the excitement and adrenaline from just being there for the day was going to take a toll on her physically. I know it was extremely hard mentally to be there and not be lifting...and, I know she felt some pressure that I was to some extent relying on her judgement and opinions about lifts and attempt selection when she had no experience of her own.

T was amazing from the first minute I asked her and agreed once I explained what I needed. Let me make it clear, with all that I had going on leading into the meet, and with all that was going on crazy there - I don't believe I'd have been at all successful without T stepping up by my side. I needed that other voice with me, so right up front, Tara...many many thanks to you.

Also want to give big props to Dale for his awesome yelling! It seems weird but it really does make a difference, and Dale was an AMAZING cheering section out there...he's who you're hearing on all the videos below. Thanks Dale!!

Warm-ups went well, Tara came over to the bullpen area just ahead of my first lift and helped me get in the zone. The music came on (theme song suggested by the Fabulous RC) and it was my time to get things started!

1st Attempt Squat: 159.8
Good Lift! Nice start to the meet!

Went smoothly, a quick consultation with T and we decided to stay with the plan...

2nd Attempt Squat: 187.4
The lift was good, but it was "off" and it was a bit more of a struggle than I'd have liked in a 2nd attempt. Looking back on it I'm wondering if it wasn't because the jump from 159 to 187 was too big...

Consulted with T again, there was a moment of waffling on my part and then she said "you've got it I think you should go for it" so I did - she was right, I knew I had it, no reason for doubt. 3rd attempt entered...

This was for almost 9lb PR: 203.9

When that was over I was shaking like a crazy person! I couldn't believe it - it was a HUGE victory for me, over 200lbs from when I started not being able to squat at all!

The flights were big so there was a LOT of time between the last squat and the first bench. I tried to eat but found it difficult so I only ate a little. Warm-ups started and I quickly found I was having difficulty with my setup. Couldn't quite put my finger on it, although I was having a hard time with my back which was weird, because I felt nothing during squats. I told Tara to please remind me to slow down and take my time during feeling was I was rushing it and that's why all my warm-ups felt "off." The plan was to hopefully hit a PR at 126, here's how it actually went down:

1st Attempt Bench: 104.7

Good lift - I did slow down and take my time for set-up but I still felt off. The lift was no problem though, so we went ahead with the 2nd attempt as planned...

2nd Attempt Bench: 115.7

Also a good lift, but same issue with the back/set-up. It wasn't quite as speedy as it needed to be for me to feel confident in the 126 third attempt, and Tara agreed, so we went for the small victory..1.3lb PR with a choice of 121.3 for 3rd attempt...

3rd Attempt Bench: 121.3
No lift. Just couldn't get it...set-up was still off, back was off, and obviously the lift was off...just didn't have it. Maybe squat took too much..I don't know, but it got stuck a few inchces off the chest, and the spotters grabbed it.

I had a moment after the missed Bench where I needed to get my head together. I was pissed since once again I've hit MORE than that several times in training, but...the lift was over and done, I had an AMAZING squat PR, and I still had MY lift left to do, as T pointed out :) I was a little concerned about how much the squats had taken from me, and had some waffling and self-doubt about my planned attempts for deads...T and I decided to just play it by ear, that the 1st dead was not a problem regardless, so stick with it and then go from there. Got my head on straight, and knew that was the right way to go.

There was another LONG break between bench and deads. Still had a difficult time tummy was rebelling every time I put something in my mouth I kind of wanted to puke. Nothing was sitting right. T finally intervened and was basically like "i don't care if you don't want it, you NEED it so DO it!" And she was absolutely right. I had started to crash during that break, and after I forced down some food I started to come back to it fairly quickly...

Got my fab DL socks out - ninjaaaaaaa
T had brought them for me, cuz she rocks like that - check 'em out:

Warm-ups finally started, and I was getting fired up for deads. Did a few warm-up reps and then it was TIME. I'm getting pumped just recalling this part of the meet, hah! I opened pretty light (comparitively) - saving it up for that 3rd attempt. I was second to lift for deads, but I was ready to GO when it was my turn...totally amped! T told me to hold onto it, not to unleash it all quite yet, she said "You can do 275 all day, hold on to it for later" She was right...

1st Attempt Deadlift: 275.6
Easy! Good lift!

Quick consult with T, decided to stick with the plan...

2nd Attempt Deadlift: 297.6
Easy! Good lift!

OMG - this was THE moment..I had to submit my 3rd attempt...the choice was 319 or 325..which is it?! Just asking that question out loud to T and I's 325 baby!!

Watching the rest of the women lift between my 2nd and 3rd attempt just got me MORE amped. The deadlift is an EMOTIONAL's one that you can fight and pull and pull and spotter is going to take it from you. Sometimes it seems sheer WILL will finish the's just awesome to watch! It really got me pumped, and I knew what was coming for me...I felt like I had to make this lift happen for everything that's happened, for everyone that's supported and been behind me...I needed to unleash all of it on that bar!

Just before I went out for this lift (a potentially 10.2lb PR) T said to me, "Go out there and rip that bar off the floor for EVERYONE!" YEAH!

I'm so excited about this lift, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of relief and release of emotion with this was the best feeling lift EVERRRR!

here it is...3rd Attempt Deadlift: 325.2lbs

An amazing meet all in all. Two *huge* lift PRs, my total increased by 13lbs (13 and not 18 because technically I lost 5lbs on the bench) in just 3 months, and I got to see and spend the weekend with Tara.

I mean seriously, could it have gotten much better? We hung around for the awards and then headed on out to get some FOOD. I was ready to eat by then, hahah..I think my tummy settled.

We went out to the Outback, by the time we actually got to order though I was so out of it I coudn't even read the menu. T and Dale had to explain my choices to me, hahah. But a little food in me and I was feeling much much better after that.

Back at the hotel room, Tara and I had some time to just catch-up...good good stuff. I really miss having girlfriends around :(

Sunday morning I dropped Tara and Dale off at the airport and headed back towards home. I woke up sore, but more so very tender to the touch! That was a first..I felt like my entire body was bruised, and the slightest touch hurt! Even my bra hurt...ugh. I was definitely wiped out...a few days later though and I'm feeling whole and almost normal again.

I've got a lot more to share, some personal victories with eating and the scale, and a lot of it stemming from/near the meet. But for tonight I did just want to get all of this up and out...

Ultimately, I placed dead last. I was last in my weight class, last in the overall "middleweights," and last of all weight classes combined. But for me, I had a great day and I'm happy with the overall performance.

It was an awesome experience, I still smile when I think of it, I'm actually proud of me for it. And again, super grateful for Tara, and for everyone who tuned in and cheered me on. My Facebook page still leaves me grinning when I look at it!


  1. OMG...serious tears of joy for you!! I love watching you lift!

  2. Thanks Karen! It was pretty awesome, I keep watching them over and over..particularly the deadlift, it really was a big moment for me! :)

  3. Huge! So very happy for you (and Tara!) thanks for sharing. :-D

    Nancy D

  4. You got me on this one. *tears*

    SO SUPER PROUD OF YOU! You have NO idea! You are an amazing inspiration, role model, friend and POWER BEAST! HA! You're most awesome!

    The amount of emotion we shared that day was intense. I saw the pure amazement in yourself and I saw that turn to disappointment after the bench, which crushed me - nothing to be disappointed about... and then back to amazement. Your squats have come a long way and it's been so incredible to watch them evolve. I truly LOVE following your journey! And like you said, we are so much alike it's nice to have someone I can really relate to and who can relate to me.

    I'm so glad I was able to offer you that much support. I was so worried I'd steer you in the wrong direction with a "GO FOR IT!" command.

    I probably further depleted my adrenals as my adrenal was pumping and I was contracting for you on each lift! :) I was so happy to be there with and for you. There were a lot of emotions running through within, but I had to keep pushing back any regrets of my own... I was there for you sister. 100% YOU!

    I enjoyed our hours of giggling, and wish we could do this regularly. Such great therapy.


    PS. Dale needs those bouts of yelling. He loves tension releasing environments!

  5. Oh My GOD Cathy!!!!
    I love watching you as well, I even brag about you to my office gals & brought a couple in to watch you :) I am so proud lol

    Also the blog itself is an amazing read, brought tears to my eyes especially when you talked about being dead last... you truly do inspire me lady, your positive, self loving attitude to be happy & proud of your accomplishments no matter what is awe inspiring and reminds us of where we need to be at emotionally...
    Thank you Coothie! Really....

  6. Nancy thank you *smile*
    How is your knee recovery going?

    Tara cry fest, your reply got to me. You definitely didn't steer me wrong! I'm not touchin' that comment about tension releasing environments, just sayin ;) Happy Anniversary? ;)

    NewKaren - hahah NEWkaren! HI! Wow you found me :) So funny you called people in LOL, that's awesome :)

    I am struck by your comments actually, really! I've had a lot of help, particularly the past year, on changing the thoughts to positive and self loving rather than the other way around...believe me I have a long way to go :) Really the placing comment was exactly what I said - I am really proud of me, one of my best meets yet, last or not :)

    Thank you again :)

  7. Let me wipe my tears (of pride and joy) and try to add a comment here!

    Gosh, the whole recap of the day is amazing, and I know there is so much more to the story and I can't wait to hear about that too.

    Even though I knew the results as I read the post, I still hung on every word and pulled for you during the video!

    Honestly, I laughed at your comment about placing dead last -- especially after being so thrilled about how you KILLED the DEAD lifts. I took it the way I hoped that you meant it -- that "result" just didn't matter because your day was full of so many BIG WINS that do matter--for setting goals and reaching them!

    I'm so glad T was able to be there with you too. Girlfriends are amazing.

    ~ Coco