Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Heave Ho, Heave Ho! It's Off to A Powerlifting Contest I Go!

We have been able to have spiritual discussions, make contacts, benefit the community, maintain our fitness, and pursue a hobby all at once through our gym ministry. This morning I had 11 guys in the gym for training- some Francophone, some Anglophone, students and teachers, traders, policemen. Brittney has also had a number of ladies training, especially since we changed our times to 6-8 am for the guys and 5:15-6:30 pm for the ladies. On Saturday, I was able to take part in the Southwest Regional Powerlifting Competition. It was a good chance for me to meet others who are interested in strength training, do some "advertising" for our gym, and also have some fun. The contest started around 1:30 (close to the announced time of 12:00). There were 11 contestants. When I saw the size of some of the guys there, my only aim was to finish above last place. I was there for the contacts and to give some exposure to our gym, but the competitive streak in me didn't want to end up in last place. (Sorry for the fuzzy pictures- I used my phone).

We had three events- Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift. In each we were allowed three attempts. The first event was Squat, my weakest event. I watched as some of the guys lifted 400+ pounds, to my 300.When the next event, Bench Press, came around, I felt I would do a bit better, and was glad to get 308 pounds to equal my personal best. One of the guys came out with an opening weight a little too heavy for him. He missed it his first and second tries. I pulled him over and gave him some advice- "Tighten up your back, plant your feet firmly on the ground, and EXPLODE!" He went up and--- nailed it! He was pretty happy and I think I made a friend. One of the guys was incredibly strong, though he did not do the Squat. He benched 396 pounds!

After the two events, I was surprised to realize that I was in the running! I felt pretty good then about my chances to at least place, as the last event, the deadlift, is my best. I did 396 easily, 440 also, then my last lift- 484 pounds. As always, I said a quick prayer, and then "addressed the bar." By this time, I had a lot of the spectators cheering me on, as I had surprised them since many of the other guys were bigger and more muscular looking than me. I puuulllleeeed, got the weight up, felt my grip slipping, held on and placed the bar back down- DONE! I was pretty happy to set a new personal best. One of my gym guys, George, a friend of Frederick's and fellow policeman was blown away. In the end, I got 2nd place, a little credibility for our gym, made some friends and contacts, met some other strength athletes, and had a lot of fun!


The competition reminded me of an important spiritual lesson- you win such an event, not in the competition hall, but in the training room, when you are doing the long, hard sets, paying the price of the pain, and keeping your focus. If you wait till the competition, you are finished. It's the same thing in life- our end is determined right now. There will be a Great Day one day, and we want to be ready- to be able to say that we fought the good fight, that we finished the race, that we pressed on, that we held on, that we will here our Coach say- well done good and faithful servant!

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