posted on December 9, 2021
A few weeks ago, I flew out to Las Vegas to compete in my 16th powerlifting meet. This was the first meet that I’ve had to travel to the other side of the country for, and the first one where I was competing in another timezone. Although there were many challenges that came along with this, this was hands down the most fun I’ve had competing in any meet, and for many reasons, this one meant more to me than any meet I’ve ever competed in. With this being my first meet since my surgery, I felt extremely grateful for my opportunity to compete and do what I love. In training, every rep, set, weight, and training session possessed so much more meaning than it ever had up until this point. Along with this, I was able to experience all of it with my wife right by my side. From the day of my surgery, to my final deadlift of the meet, she was there every step of the way. I truly could not have done it without her. In all honesty, I was fighting holding back my emotions the entire day of the competition. Thinking about what I had been through to get to that point. The second I stepped off of the platform after my last lift of the day, I walked outside, gave Liz a huge hug, and just cried.
After returning home, I took the next week to reflect on the experience. This included all aspects. From the preparation, to the execution, there were many things that I learned and took away.
1)Time change can greatly impact your performance: Whether you’re going west or east, any change in time can throw you out of your routine. All you can do is control what you can and roll with the punches.
2)Plan and control everything that you can: For an event such as this one, you should have your check list ready the week before the competition. This includes your flight schedule, your bags and equipment, your food and water, your approach for the meet, and your plans once you arrive.
3)There will always be things out of your control: It’s absolutely necessary to plan for as much as possible if you want to have a successful competition. However, there are always things that will be out of your control. At the meet, there was a piece of equipment that I had never used before. It threw me off at first, but I stayed calm and trusted myself and everything that I had done up until that point.
4)Even when you’re alone, you’re never alone: Powerlifting is a great community. Although it was only my wife and I at the meet, there were numerous people who were willing to help anyone with whatever they needed. A gentleman who I had only meet once before offered to help me wrap my knees for squatting. There will always be someone there to give you a hand.
5)If you’re serious about competing, you need to travel: Doing local meets are fun and convenient, but getting outside of your comfort zone is where you find what you’re truly made of. The amount of experience and knowledge you gain from doing something like that is absolutely priceless.
I will be taking the next few weeks to enjoy spending time with family and friends over the holidays, then plans will begin for the next competition. I hope you all have a safe and happy Holiday season!
– Curtis Miller