I can say that I had a pretty good competition today. The Risto Sports team was down at NorthShore CrossFit for Day 1 of the New England Championships- the Women's classes. As I'm not a member of the New England LWC, I was competing as an extra lifter.
What I have realized these last few years of competing in my 20's, is that competition is, for me, is more about personal growth, doing your best, challenging yourself to reach new levels, and growing your spirit. So, lifting as an exhibition and not getting a medal did not matter at all to me. I cared more about a chance to compete in a controlled environment.
Before I get all philosophical, let's do an objective evaluation of how I did:
1. I snatched 81kg
2. My total would have placed me 9th at the 2012 Olympic Games
-For reference: US lifters Kendrick Farris Placed 10th, Holley Mangold Placed 10th, and Sarah Robles placed 7th
3. Every meet, I'm consistently opening with higher clean and jerks
Overall, I did well and had capacity for lifting more weight.
When I first started lifting, I would have been more concerned with how I placed, worried about what other people were lifting in the competition, and agonized over missed lifts. The flaw with that mentality is that it distracts you from your own performance, with out moving you forward.
Being a great athlete is about not worrying about what other people are doing -- its about focusing on improving yourself. Every competition there will be different competitors, so indexing your performance on another athletes performance is useless. More so, it is regressive as it tends to focus people to narrowly on "beating" someone else. Your baseline for improvement is always yourself. Hence, great athletes tend to achieve success simply by seeking to improve their performances and controlling only what they themselves can control.
If you can walk away from a platform feeling that you have accomplished something - learned something, grown as a person, helped someone -- then that is a feeling that you can build off.
A fantastic meet is like a deep meditation. Your mind is clear and focused, and you experience. Thoughts are not racing through it and even negative comments from the environment just seem to pass through with no affect. For example, many times when I compete well, I cannot even remember my lifts. I can feel the major parts of the lifts - grabbing the bar, the catch, holding it overhead. The lift is almost automatic- like watching choreographed scenes of a Kung Fu movie, every motion flows into the next with no premeditation.
The funniest thing is I remember my best lifts the least, sometimes to the point where I'm like, " I really did that?". What I remember more is the deep mental focus, the meditation, the mental flow, and the feeling of having learned something more about myself and the world. I really believe that you are accessing a different level of your consciousness.
Finally, my daughter invoked another deep thought after my competition today. She asked me, "What would we be doing today if you didn't weightlift?". Then I realized, I would probably be spending less time with my family, have developed far fewer meaningful relationships, have helped far fewer people, and would be more consumed with money and success in my career (I'm a better manager and developer of people in the workplace for weightlifting as well).
Goodnight, and see you soon September 9, 2012.