Well, its been two weeks since Master’s Worlds. I decided against killing myself to make my weight class and so competed with the open women, 45-49. I came in fourth overall, but have to say, I was pretty pleased with my performance.
For a lot of reasons (coaching an after school sport, caring for a sick dog, biting off more than I can chew as usual), my training was just not where I wanted it to be. I had a hard time with my technique leading up to the games and had a really hard time with throws that are usually easy. I think I figured out what was going on in the nick of time, but still had a “meh” performance on weight over bar, both hammers, and stones. Could have done better on everything, but traveling across the country and competing in the desert for two days tends to take its toll on you and as I always tell my competitors, don’t ever count on having your best performance at a national or world championship. You’ll do fine just to show up and not disqualify yourself.
Sound crazy? I’ve seen it happen a lot. Peaking is hard and sometimes, we just don’t know where we’re at. Throw in some nerves and travel stress and you’re going to see poor decisions mixed with poor recovery and maybe a nagging injury or two. Seasoned competitors are always better at this, but it takes a lot of time and practice to stand on the national or world stage and not completely screw everything up.
So, anyway, what the heck happened to my training? I made some dumb decisions, that’s what. Bodybuilding has been great for my joints, but I really let the power training sit on the back burner for too long. Many will argue for days about whether or not this is a valid thought, but I know this: when I don’t do full body power movements, I lose the coordination that allows me to fully extend my entire body and transfer all that power into the weights I’m throwing. I also get slow. Aside from good technique, acceleration is the most important aspect of a good throw. Looking at my videos, I lacked speed as well as that continuous extension from my hips into my upper body.
Some power cleans and snatches and of course, more squats, should help contribute to getting me moving faster and more completely, but I mainly need to be more cognizant of how I’m moving when I’m practicing. One thing I’ve seen happen with a lot of people is that they feel that the movement they are doing is correct and so continue doing it the same way. All it takes is to watch yourself on video to realize how slow or very wrong you are moving. If you train by yourself, or if you are trying to correct someone else’s movement, video is an extremely valuable tool. Many years ago while practicing my stone throws, I was certain I looked like a stone throwing Baryshnikov. Unfortunately, the video showed something more like one of the dancing hippos in Fantasia.
Speaking of dancing hippos, I have had a hard time keeping my weight from creeping up again after my figure show in June. I honestly thought I would be able to hang out at 155 for the remainder of eternity, but the truth is, when the script changes, I have a hard time maintaining the practices that should keep me on track. My gym workouts changed, my cardio changed, and I’m not sure how to classify 2 hours of throwing practice. I also have a hard time paying attention to my diet when I’m running from one activity to the other. And so the scale is sitting firmly above 160 and I’m kind of mad about that.
So, here we are. Time to focus. Time to get back on track. Time to be the athlete I want to be and in the body I want to be in. This is no one’s responsibility but my own. Let’s see if I can get my act together before Christmas.
“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt