I can’t believe it’s been a year already. It’s been a year since my early morning trial workout with Morgen and even more notably it’s been a year since I walked into a Wednesday evening Powerlifting Team training for the first time. Folks were working on the bench press. I was all sorts of lost, but Coach Sampson explained it to me and I gave it a try. I mean, you get to lay down, it couldn’t be that bad! (It wasn’t
At the time I had only lifted casually at the YWCA after spending most of the year recovering from some minor hip issues. I would deadlift and squat alone; sending videos of my progress to a couple of friends who would do their best to help me virtually. They were my safety net, but I knew I wasn’t going to get anywhere without stepping out of my comfort zone. This time I would finally have to commit. Enter Solcana.
It’s hard to put into words all that I have gained in this last year, but when I have the opportunity to talk about what powerlifting – and Solcana – have done for me there are three main points that come to mind: taking up space, taking care of my body & mind, the power of community.
As a woman, I have been socialized to take up as little space as possible – physically, that won’t work in powerlifting. Opening up your chest is key to safely executing the lifts. This concept alone has changed how I walk through the world (it’s also improved my posture!) It has been a physical reminder that I do not need to shrink my body to fit a mold of what is acceptable or good. My body is just fine the way it is.
I’ve never been great at taking care of myself. I’m a nurturer and problem-solver. I like stepping in to fix the problem and make things easier for everyone else. However, you can’t pour from an empty cup – something I’ve learned the hard way a few times. Powerlifting is just as mental as it is physical. If I don’t take time to stop overthinking and clear my head, I will walk up to the bar only to fail. At the same time, if I don’t make a conscious effort to care for my body in between training days, I will not make any progress. I am worth the time and effort it takes to help my body and mind feel good, even if I still have trouble remembering it.
As for community, I’ve always been somewhat of a lone wolf, so adjusting to being around these incredibly supportive people has been a bit weird. Honestly, I am still not used to folks cheering me on to help me get through those last few reps, but wow does it feel good. When I picked up a barbell for the first time, the thought of competing never crossed my mind. But here we are, one year later, and I’ve stood on a platform twice to pick up heavy objects in front of other people (with plans to do it again very soon.) I would have never done that without the support of my teammates.
It’s hard not to get caught up in numbers, or comparisons, but even on my hardest days I can look back at those moments and recognize all that I have gained as a Solcana athlete (whew, still getting used to athlete, too!)
I’m a constant work in progress, and I am so grateful to be here.