Tuesday was Valentine's Day and my coach had plans that didn't include training me that night so my personal training session was changed to Friday morning at 11 am. Normally a no-go since I'd be at work, but last Friday I had a yearly physical with my doctor and I'd taken a discretionary day so 11 am training sounded pretty good.
I had plans to PR. I could picture pressing that bar loaded to 215 pounds to lockout. When it came time to execute though I couldn't lockout. I wasn't happy about that, in fact to be blunt I was completely pissed. I said as much and Coach Dane patiently reminded me that not every day was going to be a PR. He didn't seem disgusted with me, or even very concerned. I should probably consider it a point of pride that I was able to press that bar as far as I did and didn't drop it on my chest. Not that that would have happened either: Coach D wasn't going to let me hurt myself, he was right there spotting me, telling me to press the entire time.
Even I have to admit I am proud of me. The bench press is my weakest lift and the one I like the least. Not that I don't give it my all: I do, but it is clearly the weakest of my lifts. It is also the lift where that nasty voice in the dark corners of my mind has the most success rattling me. That voice loves to tell me I can't do it, that I don't have what it takes to make it happen.
Had I written this post a year ago I'd be telling you that I feel like a fraud every time I walk into the gym and my failure at that bench press was proof of that. I'm not that woman anymore.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that I have exactly what it takes to make that 215 bench press happen. I know I have it in me.
So has my ego suddenly inflated? Did I find my confidence? Is my opinion of myself and my abilities that high? Or am I just too damn stubborn for my own good?
It's probably a combination of all of the above, maybe more stubbornness than anything else. There's more to it than that though: I trust my coaches. There, I said it: I. Trust. My. Coaches. Completely.
If I finally figured out my niche in 2016, 2017 seems to be the year I am going to come into my own. It has finally occurred to me that if my coaches seem genuinely happy to see me and seem to genuinely enjoy working with me I can trust that. If Coach T says it was good to see me and work with me in a Pride Fit or Yoga Corr class he isn't just saying that. He means it. When Coach D tells me it is a pleasure to train me he's not stroking my ego so I'll do what he wants me to do (I think he figured out early on, even if I whine I'm going to do what he asks). Neither one of them is going to say something they don't mean.
Yeah, they both get that I'm a people pleaser. They know I'll give everything I have for a fist bump. A perfectly timed fist bump last Wednesday at Muscle Hour kept me determined to finish 5 Ground to Overhead Presses and 5 Sumo Deadlift High Pulls every minute for 15 minutes. A fist bump after I pulled 425 made me hungry for more because the smile on Coach T's face and his laugh when I screamed was the best. Maybe I surprise them sometimes, but I suspect that they both know I had it in me.
So I will press 215. It won't make me a better person. It won't make me more worthy. I will press 215 because I want to. I aim to have a three lift total of at least 1000 pounds and while I know I could probably get that by only focusing on improving my squat and deadlift I want a better bench press too. I have found my niche, I will be the best I can be not because I have anything to prove to anyone. I will be the best I can be because it matters to me. No one will ever be able to say I didn't work to get where I am.
Before I sign off, I'd like to share a picture with you. One taken by Coach Dane. I see my thick thighs, the jiggly arms, but I also see someone who is working her hardest to make her goals reality. We'll see come April 29 how that turns out, but in the meantime I may not be the best in The Asylum, but I will be the hardest worker.
|Bent Over Rows with the Hex Bar|