The Mock Meet, My First Competition

The Mock Meet

The thing about Olympic lifting. You have both a ton of time to wait, and no time. You have to stay in the zone.

The thing about Olympic lifting. You have both a ton of time to wait, and no time. You have to stay in the zone.

When I first started Olympic lifting, I was adamant that I wouldn’t ever compete. I wasn’t interested in pushing myself. I wanted to get in shape, learn the movements, and have a good time.

What I really wanted to avoid was anything competitive.

I put that part of my life behind me, the competitive, win-at-all-cost attitude that turned me into a less-than-pleasant guy when I was younger. I figure somebody in his forties should probably work on chilling out.

But the truth is I missed seeing how far I could go. I love working out, but I really love working towards a goal. It’s the difference between running on a treadmill, and running on trails in the woods. They both get you to the same place, but you see so much more out in the forest.

So I decided to give the competitive master’s weightlifting circuit a try. However, I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about my placement in any competition. Instead, I was going to compete against myself.

That means less concern about strategy and tactics, and more focus on my own personal goals.

In February, I’ll compete in my first USA Weightlifting sanctioned event, one put on at Broad Ripple Fit Club, which is my home gym. Last week, our coach decided to host a Mock Meet so that we could get a sense of how everything worked.

Since this was my first meet, I wanted to push myself. I wasn’t concerned about hitting my weights. Instead, I wanted to get see what it was like to lift heavy weights in a quiet room in front of an audience and three judges. I also wanted to work on my qualifying weight

The Snatch

I decided I’d go 71, 74, and 75 on my three lifts regardless of what happened. I hit 71 with no problem. Then I botched the pull on 74. And I finally nailed 75…until I failed to lock out my arms.

I wasn’t upset with my performance. But I learned that I really need to channel my aggression better. I was so amped for my first lift that I worried I was too excited. I tried to calm myself, and did that too well. My last two lifts lacked urgency.

Still, here’s my 71 kg opening lift.

The Clean & Jerk

I decided to go 85, 90, 94 on the Clean & Jerk. That was 5 kgs more than my previous one-rep max, which I’d just hit two weeks before.The truth is that I have more in me. I’m still working on my form for each movement.

However, I felt solid going into the meet. We had the day off on Thursday, and a thirty minute session on Friday. I was ready to go.

I nailed 85 kg without any problem. Then came my meltdown. I hit 90 kgs, but two of the judges said no. (Since this was a mock meet, they were judges-in-training. And my friends. I was mad, but not at them. It’s hard to tell that from my look.)

Needless to say, I was annoyed. (You’ll notice my face at the end.) With no time to think, I declared my third lift at 90 kg again. I abandoned my plan, and instead let my emotions take over. I was going to smash that 90 kg, and show the judges. (Of course, I bombed out on the jerk because I was too pissed to concentrate.)

It was a stupid mistake, but one I’ll use to learn. For now, he’s the “No Lift” 90 kg lift.

The Takeaway

I’m still working out my warm-up and lifting routine. It’s a bit odd to have everyone swirling around in the back trying to get loose.

What I enjoyed the most: the atmosphere.I loved that when it was time to lift everyone at the meet went silent. I’m told some people find it unnerving to have a room full of people watching you. Me: I went into a trance and didn’t even notice them.