Sometimes it’s hard seeing all these amazing women I post deadlifting, and squatting these huge numbers and don’t get me started on the girls who are benching more than most guys. It’s exhausting just watching them. And with my first meet coming up in 5 weeks (update: My meet story is here) , I began looking at myself and feeling like a little weakling and wonder why even try…

I heard this quote by Jon Acuff that says, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”. It’s a good reminder to those of us who haven’t been doing this for years or who may not have all the resources available to us. We can’t compare our numbers, regardless of how meager they may seem, to the girl who’s been lifting for years. Strength comes with time. And even if you never get to pull over 300lbs or Squat three times your body weight as long as you keep going and keep pushing that's a win in itself.

I talk a big game about being happy with your own process, but I get down too. My first meet and while I'm excited I can’t help thinking that I’m nowhere near competitive, especially in my weight class so why even do the meet… but thanks to my husband and amazing friends, I’ve come to realize it’s not about being competitive. The best advice I’ve been given about this upcoming meet is to make my goals for the meet attainable. So my goal is to get a total. That’s it. Regardless of the amount, I just want a total and to be able to officially say I’m a powerlifter!

So don’t get caught up in what other people are doing. Learn to be happy with your journey and allow yourself to be inspired by these super strong women, they show us that these amazing feats of strength are even possible. Continue to do YOUR best and keep getting stronger and stronger. #UpliftandLiftHeavy

17 comments

  • Robyn: May 13, 2016

    I can’t totally relate. I just did my first competition and I had to do it with an injured hip. I didn’t get to pull any PRs and was surrounded by crazy strong women. But the experience was amazing. It was my first time, and many more to come

  • Vera : May 13, 2016

    I really needed this today. I took time off from lifting but have not been doing it very long. I turned 50 this past year and I got back in to it. I compete tomorrow and I was hard on myself just seeing all the young girls and hoping that I don’t look stupid. However, you reminded me why I am doing this and to own my journey.

    A million thank yous

  • Bridget Donahue: February 25, 2016

    This is just what I needed to read. I am planning to go and watch my first meet this Sunday and am planning on trying to compete in June, but definitely October. While I may not have competitive totals compared to any of the other girls, I am excited because it will prove to myself and all the doubters that I can in fact do this. I competed at my gym back in January and got a total of 280, three months after I started. If I can increase that total any bit then I know that I have succeeded in my progression.

  • Sarah: February 24, 2016

    THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED TO READ!!! I am literally sitting at my computer contemplating signing up for my first meet in May. I’m just getting started and have really only been training in powerlifting for 5 weeks so I am definitely having one of those, “who do I think I am for even considering this” moments. I went and watched my first meet last weekend and it was everything I had hoped it would be. So much encouragement and positive attitudes everywhere. So many different levels of experience and strengths. Truly anyone who puts in the time training can do this, so why not me?! My biggest fear is getting on that platform in front of other people and failing. Will they laugh at me? Will they think, who is this chick who can only put up small numbers? But watching many lifters fail last weekend reinforced it’s not all about making your lift…it’s about getting out there and trying! And not once did I see someone snicker or laugh at someone else for not making their lifts. NOT ONCE!! Nothing but encouragement!
    So thank you for this blog and thank you to everyone else who commented. #upliftandliftheavy !!!!

  • Kelly: February 03, 2016

    While I thank you for this post, I need to thank all the ladies who commented too. I am the opposite, in the sense that I don’t want to compete, no wait, I’m too afraid to compete. I didn’t start this to get strong, or lift heavy, I did it for a cute guy, lol. He saw me doing the leg press and said “and why is it you aren’t lifting” my answer at the time was “lifting what?” I’m the girl who had to carry grocery bags in one at a time, using both hands, but when he pointed to a bar and said “lift that” I figured “I might as well try it and show him I can’t”, great attitude right? There is nothing more annoying than the look of a cute guy gloating because he was right, and then I was hooked. He’s all about breaking records and setting new ones, and the guy is amazing, but I am the only, yes the ONLY girl who lifts at our gym, a little something to compare too would be a good thing, since right now I am comparing my “little” lifts to the guy who has been at this for 4 years and just pulled 715. He’s determined that I will compete this summer. After reading all your comments, maybe I’ll try. Until right now, I was sure other competitors were going to laugh me right out of the event, if even 1 person is as understanding as you ladies are, I might just survive, for me it’s not about numbers, it’s about being able to show up in the first place. :)

  • Lisa: February 03, 2016

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have been a powerlifter for 7 weeks and 3 days lol and I am doing my first meet in June. For a small gal I have a lot of natural strength and ability and am so incredibly proud of my own progress but I still have that self salubrious and feeling that I don’t belong or have no business planning to compete. Hearing this is absolutely what I needed!

  • D'Anna: February 01, 2016

    I so needed to read this today!! My first event is in April, I’ve only been lifting seriously for 18months. It wasn’t easy deciding to sign up and challenge myself to this level. At 48 I realize that I don’t want to regret not doing it while I had the chance. My goal is to make my opener and just to be brave enough to stand on that platform and do myself proud…

  • Tina Marie: January 29, 2016

    What is great about powerlifting is that when you begin, it is competition with yourself… you are constantly working to get stronger, hone technique, become better. Your first meet is the official start to your journey and progression. Not everyone needs to be super competitive in their weight class. More than anything else, we do this for ourselves. It is an amazing accomplishment to finish your first meet, no matter how you do! Even if it doesn’t go as planned, you have the opportunity to rise and do better. That is the magic.

  • Amy: January 28, 2016

    YAY!!! I’m so glad you wrote this, and I’m so glad you are going to compete. I was debating whether or not to do my first Strongwoman competition and many other competitors urged me to do it. When I signed up, still doubtful of my numbers, a competitor said, “you are winning already!” I loved that. The winning is in the love and dedication, in the jumping in and doing it and giving it your all, day after day at the gym and yes, going to meets, too. You keep going back and working at it because you love it. THANK you for this post— I really want to do a powerlifting meet, too, but while my deadlift is good, I had to go waaaaaaaay down in my squat to clean up technique big time. I also have a shoulder issue I need to take care of. But I keep working at it, showing up, doing my light ass squats but working on technique so I can build back up big time. Slow and steady wins the race. Thank you for sharing your story. It is so encouraging to hear others are in the same boat, and we all keep working at it. Thank you also for this blog!!

  • Mimi: January 28, 2016

    This is amazing. I had my first meet back in October and although I kept asking myself “why am I even doing this? I’m not good and my numbers are nothing compared to all these other girls.” I’m glad I did it because I then knew what I needed to work on to get better and be the best I can be. Nobody cares about your numbers at first but that you’re trying.

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