On July 9th I participated in my very first Powerlifting Competition, it took place during the Okanagan Strength weekend being put on by Naturally Fit and Predator Barbell. I met some very nice and very strong people! Must of us are unaware that we have world, national and regional champions right here in the Okanagan.  I had the privilege to meet a few of them and they are super supportive and very kind. 

My morning started pretty tough. I tend to get nervous tummy and the butterflies were doing a messy two step in my stomach. Nutrition is important and of all mornings to be on target this should of been it. I could barely hold water down! Steve was being wonderful and keeping me as even keeled as he could I was getting tons of encouragement via Facebook and Twitter.  My bbm and text messaging was a buzz with support! Special mention to Melissa who not only reminded me to breath and that I was awesome, but recommended some ginger ale to settle the tummy. 

By the time I had met up with Sheila and Kevin who I was doing the competition with and weighed in I was feeling better and you could no longer see “the whites of my eyes”  we all went for breakfast and I managed to get in some food. Not much, but enough that my body has some fuel to use. By the time we get back my trainer Ryan Brown and his wife Jenn have arrived on the scene and we start to warm up. 

Here is how my day broke down: 


1. 181.9 lbs  I am afraid. Due to the terror Ryan see’s in my eyes my first lift is one that I can do plenty of reps of. The idea behind the squat is you have to get the squat to 90 degrees or below for it to qualify basically your butt has to get below your knees. I am worried that I won’t get down low enough. I do! First lift a success.

2. 220.5 lbs In the gym this still feels like a LOT of weight when I do this squat. My goal is to make sure I am low enough and I get it back up using the muscles I am supposed to. While I don’t want to say it was easy, it was far smoother than I thought it was going to be! 

3.  248 lbs This will be a personal best. I have NEVER even tried to get up this weight! Part of me is pretty sure Ryan is crazy, part of me is sure I can nail it after getting up that 220 so comfortably. Can I do it? YES!! Success!! 

Squats can be tough for me. I always feel just a bit “off” I have visions of being squashed like a bug!! I guess I gave people a bit of a fright because I went down SO low (to make sure I didn’t get disqualified) plus I stayed down longer than most, for some reason I almost need to reset my mind so I can get back up. Odd, but it works for me.

Bench Press:

1. 165.3 lbs. I can do this. I lift this all the time and can usually do a solid 4 repeats. Down on the bench I go, shoulders set, feet planted.. and FAIL! Yikes.. the judge said press and once it came down it did NOT go back up! Must of been nerves. Happy I have another shot. Too bad I can’t drop the weight for my second attempt but that isn’t allowed. No worries, I’ve got this.

2.  165.3 lbs. Here we go again, shoulders set.. and CRAP came down way too fast and NOPE, once again, it didn’t even come off my chest. I’m upset now and quickly exit the competition area for a little cry. Steve comes back, lets me cry it out, and once my eyes are not as red I head back out, just in time for them to call my name to try it again.

3.  165.3 lbs. Ryan comes out to spot for me. Helps me make sure I am in the proper position and …. NOPE. This time I get it off my chest but not high enough for it to count or be able to rack it. Say it with me. DISQUALIFIED. I am VERY frustrated. 

At this point I promptly go back into the training area.. and actually DO THE FREAKIN’ LIFT!! Aw well.. I will think about what went wrong and try to fix it for next time. Happily they will let me go on and do my dead lifts even though technically I am disqualified. 

Dead Lift:

#1 220.5 lbs. Coming off the disaster that was the bench press we dropped my opening dead lift weight. I had planned to start at 255 lbs, but my confidence was more than a bit shaken. 220 proved to be no problem. 

#2 259 lbs. After picking up that 220 with what felt like ease the butterflies in my stomach seemed to be marching in formation now. It was only weeks ago that I was struggling with this weight and today I picked it up with a smile. 

#3 270.1 The 255 was solid, but I had NEVER picked up, or even tried to pick up over 270 lbs!! My confidence was high as I quietly said to the bar “Hello 270, nice to meet you, I’m just going to pick you up now…” and I did. I practically skipped off that platform when all the white flags went up signifying that I had successfully completed my final lift. 

Dead lifting has always been my strength, it is for most the easiest of the 3 events and I think the most satisfying, partly because of the loud crashing noise as you guide the weight back to the floor without releasing the bar, but with no strength behind it. 

Will I continue with my powerlifting training with Idol Fit? YES!  Part of that reason is that I want to do a meet and complete all 3 events without being disqualified.  I also really enjoy the brief moment when my mind shuts out everything else in the world and all the attention in my body is simply on performing one function be it push, pull or press. 

Special mention to Sheila Sutton a wonderful friend who also was competing on Saturday. She nailed ALL her lifts and looked fabulous doing it! She has also listened to me panic in the days leading up to this and has been VERY patient 🙂

and.. you may have noticed I had fabulous hair, Amanda at Roxi’s Salon took the time on short notice because she knows a girl with good hair is always more confident!