Solcana blog

As we inch closer and closer to the one year anniversary mark, I can’t help but be more reflective on everything these last 51 weeks have meant to me. But don’t worry, I’ll save that for one big, emotional, heartfelt, vulnerable post next week, okay?

Coach Hannah giving instruction to us pre-meet
Coach Hannah giving instruction to us pre-meet

This week was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster – week 2 of my new job in which I hold leadership and decision making (skills I honed because of the confidence Solcana has helped me achieve) as well as a week of special workouts that were intended to help me get ready for the Solcana Beginner Olympic Weightlifting Meet I participated in on Saturday. Now, I know I’ve said it 10000 before…powerlifting (bench, squat, deadlift) is my jam. Olympic lifting (snatch, clean & jerk), though? Not so much. I get too in my head about the technique and tend to psych myself out. This is the part of this week’s blog post where I give huge shout outs to Coach Morgen, Coach Jerik, and Coach Hannah for really helping me get out of my head. All week Morgen and I were back and forth on Facebook messenger talking about starting weights and lift attempts. Her confidence in me is nothing short of amazing. Then, at the weigh on on Saturday when I had to declare my opening lifts, Hannah pretty much looked me dead in the eye and said, “Um. No. You’re lifing more than that.” So, I upped my opening weights. And Jerik…who in warmup sat by me, gave me a pep talk, and made me laugh after I missed two attempts that were lower than my opening snatch. These people are magical.

My lady unicorns warming up pre-meet
My lady unicorns warming up pre-meet

Of course I can’t forget the rounds of hilarious texts with my magical unicorn lady gym pals that kept my anxiety at bay – things like “YOUR SNATCH NEEDS THIS” and “MY SKIN IS A SINGLET”. I know I’ve also said this a million times: I am so thankful for this community that has welcomed me in with the most open of arms. It’s amazing to be a part of a crew that wants you around as much as you want to be around. There is some real, genuine FRANDSHIP and VULNERABILITY that happens within the Solcana CrossFit walls, and as someone who has been working tirelessly on being okay with being vulnerable, I’m grateful.

But I digress. The meet! Let’s dive in. I showed up to the gym around 8:30, as weigh-in was going until 9a. Now, a year ago, “weighing in” was not something I would even be interested in doing…let alone when I knew my weight would end up on a big screen for everyone to see. Honestly? I didn’t even think about that at all, which to me is a total win. Also, I was wearing a singlet for, like, many hours. A singlet in which I was photographed with wild abandon for internet purposes – something that didn’t seem to phase me much, either. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for this mindshift. I appreciate my body for the strength it carries and the amazing things I’ve learned it is capable of doing. This shift alone has empowered me in ways I’m not sure words can describe – it’s pretty powerful, and I maybe get a little choked up thinking about it.

But anyway…

Lifting started for the women right at 10am with the snatch, so the hour before I spent getting warmed up with my gal pals. I’m not going to lie…we laughed a lot. The nerves were in high gear as this was the first time any of us had done an olympic lifting meet and none of us knew what to expect. My heart swelled when my pal, Sally, whipped out her kimono to wear over her singlet with an unaplogetic “I NEED TO DO THIS MY WAY, JENN.” because, yes. Oh my god, yes. (Sidenote…Sally: I adore you.

This alone made my entire day.) The most I had ever previously snatched was 95lb (43kg) and declared my opening wight at 35kg (77lbs). I felt good about this until during warm ups I missed a 75lb snatch….twice. Maybe it was the discomfort of all of these people I didn’t know in MY gym, maybe it was the eyes I felt were on me, maybe it was the pressure I put on myself…either way, I missed something less than I was opening with. Twice. That can really mess you up. It was at this exact point that Morgen and Jerik were all over me giving me pep

talks and thoughts and food(!) and helping me get my mind off of what had just happened. My teammmate, Emma, was also a huge help in this too. Rationally, I knew I had

Gearing up for my first snatch, in a singlet.
Gearing up for my first snatch, in a singlet.
Coach Jerik trying to get me out of my head after missing two lifts in warm ups.
Coach Jerik trying to get me out of my head after missing two lifts in warm ups.

to shake it off. But my head, I was beating myself up. Until I stopped. All I wanted to do was hit some amazing PR’s – something I’m more used to doing with powerlifitng. It’s not the same with oly lifting, because my confidence isn’t where I’d like it to be…yet. I laid off on lifting until the meet started and I could feel the adrenaline begin to pump through my veins as I geared up for my first 35 kg snatch. I chalked my hands. They announce my name and called me to the platform. Eyes were on me. I grabbed the bar, got my grip in place, looked up and focused on on the tent pole outside so that eveyrone’s eyes didn’t make me nervous. And I PULLED. I hit that 35kg snatch, too. Whew. Felt good. Three white lights. I declared my second of three attempts at 37kg (81.5lb) and felt better about going into this one knowing I had already hit the first. But alas, my brain got the best of me and I missed it as well as my third repeat attempt. It was okay. I was done. I watched as so many strong women kept throwing up awesome weights and I was so inspired. I just kept thinking about how I WANT TO GET BETTER AT THIS and be able to throw up impressive numbers, too. I was so impressed. Once eveyrone hit their 3 snatch attempts, we had about a 15 minute break before the clean & jerk lifts started.

Clean & jerks. I call this one the “fun lift”. Fun because it seems, somehow, more managable. I’ve clean & jerked 105lb as a PR and I’ve jerked 120lb as a PR so I knew I was capable of doing this successfully. I opened with 40kg (88.1lb) and had cleared a good lift – check out the video below:

My next lift was declared at 43kg (95lb) and I successfully hit that one, too – meaning, my arms were locked out on the jerk. My third and final attempt was 45kg (99.8lb) and I was so close to nailing it – I just had a little bit of trouble sticking things at the end, causing the judges to red light me. Even though I was disappointed, I was fine with it. This entire experience took me so far out of my comfort zone that just doing it was a complete and

CELEBRATION
CELEBRATION

utter success that I’m extremely proud of. That’s enough for me as I continue to work even harder on my strength. It was so awesome to dip my toes into something so foreign – at my favorite place in the world, and among such wonderful friends. I would do it again. I will do it again.

My gym pals and I went out to celebrate our success Saturday night and OF COURSE talked about our feelings and accomplishments and celebrated our individual successes – it was glorious. We talked about the

experience and how great of a time we had in such a wonderfully supportive environment. This whole thing has me totally geeked for the USAPL Twin Ports Raw Open on May 30 (OMG A WEEK FROM SATURDAY). So geeked because this past Sunday (the day following the oly lifting meet) I hit a 15lb PR on my bench press, getting me to 135lb (I had been sitting at 120lb for two lifting cycles). It was glorious, and probably had a lot to do with the cheering and support I got from my teammates and lifting partners Ariel, Hannah, Colette, Lara, and Lori. Thank you, ladies. You’re support means everything.

And of course, thanks to everyone at Solcana CrossFit for making this meet possible – the coaches, the judges, the volunteers. It was a great experience and you all made it run seemlessly.

The next 10 days are gonna be big as I get amped for our trip north to Duluth. Aside from hitting the one year anniversary of this blog, the gym, my healthier mind shift, I’ve also got a couple of big announcements I can’t wait to share with you here next week.

As always, thanks for your continued support. It means the world to me.

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