Next Saturday is my first Olympic lifting meet. The most common question I’m getting is “oooh, are you nervous?” and the answer is “not really.” I have prepared as well as I know how. My physical training is done; this next week is all about relaxing and getting in the right head space. Dwelling on nerves or imagining worst-case scenarios is probably not the best route.
I’m taking the day off work on Friday for a 9am chiropractor appointment, and a 10am final team training session. Then the whole team travels together on a big 15-passenger van for the 5-hour drive to Lethbridge. Even if we all fail to lift a single kg at the meet, the weekend will surely get a final grade of FUN because we’ve got a great team and a great coach and that drive will be full of laughs (aside to team: big pressure to bring jokes, now).
On Saturday morning, women’s weigh-in is at 8:30am. This means no breakfast and no drinking water until after we’ve made weight. I’m aiming for the 63kg weight class and I THINK I should be fine, but what with it being blueberry season and the logical conclusion to eat a lot of blueberry pancakes lately, who knows! I’m glad we have an early weigh-in, though, as the men’s weigh-in isn’t until 10 or 11.
After weigh-in, we’ll eat and get hydrated. And at some point, I guess I’ll have to eventually get changed into my HORRIFIC onesies. It is a highly unflattering garment, let me tell you.Then some sort of warm up. And then at 10:30am, we lift!
Here is how an Olympic lifting meet works: each athlete gets 3 attempts to get her max snatch and then 3 attempts to get her max clean & jerk. Your total score is the highest successful snatch plus the highest successful clean & jerk. The lifts aren’t back-to-back; the other athletes cycle through their attempts as well. I have 3 goals:
1. To get a total. It’s possible to be unsuccessful on all three attempts of a lift, and therefore not to have a max successful lift. I don’t want this to happen! I haven’t chosen my opening weights yet (i.e., the weight I’ll lift for my first attempt) but I want to choose something low enough that I KNOW I can lift.
2. To hit my PRs. I know I can snatch 41kg and I know I can clean & jerk 53kg. It would be a bit disappointing to miss those numbers on the day it really matters, but historically I perform better under pressure so I’m feeling hopeful that I can hit a 94kg total.
3. This one is a looooong shot but I’d love to qualify for provincials. For my weight class, that’s 101kg, so if I could somehow do 44 and 57 then I could qualify. Or 45 and 56? I don’t really think I can hit 101kg at this meet, but it’s okay, because I have another chance to qualify in October. But still, it’d sure be nice!
From my current best (94kg) to my provincial-qualifying goal (101kg) is 7kg. My friend Kevin has called these “The 7 Angry Kilograms” and he made me this to-do list to count them down. Each kg has a name! I taped it up at my favourite lifting platform, and when I next hit a new PR, I get to cross off the kilogram. Because we’re tapering right now, I haven’t hit any PRs yet.
Six days to go!