The WKC is moving to the 20kg at the Toronto meet this year. I’m in total agreement with this move in terms of the Professional Women’s division. Knowing that, I wanted to make a very good showing in Vegas and in Hamburg with the 16kg. As many know, we didn’t get our chance to take the platform in San Diego at the IGSF Worlds. So, Hamburg was another chance to compete with some of the best in the world.
This winter and spring, I trained very diligently. I missed maybe one snatch and one Jerk workout in 3 months, and most weeks snatched and jerked 6 days in a row. I snatched even when my hands hurt and even when I didn’t feel 100%. I would throttle back the pace or duration, but I lifted the Kettlebells.
In May, I had a disappointing set in Vegas. I didn’t hit what I had planned in Jerks or Snatches. What I didn’t disclose to many folks was that one week prior to Vegas I was in a car accident. Luckily, I was uninjured ($6500 damage to the truck), but didn’t really account for the toll on my nervous system. It showed in my final training sets, but I didn’t really put two and two together. I just fatigued faster and unable to move with the same precision that I had the week before the accident. It wasn’t until after I returned from Vegas that I had really given it any thought. I shrugged it off and focused on Hamburg.
When I got to Hamburg, I felt good. Sure, there was jet lag. But, I hydrated (something I didn’t do in Vegas very well). I slept. So, when I only managed 187 reps (That is a competition low for me since Latvia), I was extremely shocked and disappointed. There was a lot of second guessing myself. Like maybe if I had come out at this pace or that pace, or did I really push hard enough? Clearly, I couldn’t sustain the 24rpm pace I had planned. I had 114 reps in 4:40 but found it hard to breath and slowed down significantly in the last 5 minutes.
I tend to set lofty goals for myself. In some respects, I am very much a risk taker. With risk there can be reward but sometimes there is disappointment.
That being said…I did what I had trained to do and it just didn’t work out on that day. I took the risk of coming out fast. Now, if I had paced myself differently, I may have had a shot at first place. The first place winner did 211 reps. That was not anywhere near her best effort. Then again, I had a number in mind and not a place or medal. So, that is where the experience comes into play. Even though it was a competition, I looked at it as more of a platform for me to push myself.
I’ve thought a lot about this. I realized that while I’ve been training consistently on the KB lifts for several years, I’m still relatively inexperienced when it comes to competing. Before Kettlebell Sport, I had not really seriously competed in anything since 10th grade Track and Field 20 years ago. I’m certainly not experienced when it comes to any sort of International competition. One attribute that I still lack is the ability to gauge how I feel on competition day and make the necessary adjustments to my pace. It’s funny that I do this in training all the time. For all the awareness I have now that I didn’t have prior to this training, I know that it could be much better.
Upon returning from Hamburg, I started training again. I realized that I’m not defined by one or two competitions. I am defined by my ability to keep training and keep competing. I am a Kettlebell Lifter. I am resilient. In my opinion, Resilience is the hallmark of a Kettlebell Lifter. I’m not just talking physical resilience, but emotional resilience. It is the ability to look at the big picture and the long term goals in your training and learn from the experience of every competition whether it be good or bad.
Resilience is forged by the modality itself. It is further solidified by lifting when your hands are sore, or lifting in a hot or cold garage and of course lifting on those days when you don’t quite feel up to it….or bouncing back after some lackluster competitions ;)
When I got back from Hamburg, I reread a blog post from last year titled “Why do you Compete?” That’s the great thing about blogging, it is a way to get your thoughts down for future reference. There is much more to it than the number, the place or the ranking. I just need to quiet my ego and remember that more often.
The competition was but one aspect of the Hamburg trip. Certainly it was the facilitator for the travel and the trip, but the overall experience was indeed very valuable. Thanks again to all who participated.