Written by Daniella Melo

My second USAPL Raw Nationals is in the books. I had been training for this meet since I competed at IPF Worlds in June.  I had many goals set and even though I didn’t meet any of them, it feels good to say a bad meet still ended with two gold medals. My prep was the best one I’ve had yet, hitting PRs on every lift, so I was expecting to put up a big total. This is what is challenging about powerlifting. You can hit a PR in the gym, but it might not be there on meet day.

I had traveled to Orlando on Monday morning and competed on Saturday. It was great being there the whole week and worked well since I was water cutting.  Everything was on track to go perfectly and I weighed in just under 84kg. After weigh-ins, I immediately ate a whole bag of salt & vinegar chips and began rehydrating with pedialyte and water. I was feeling great and was happy that Primetime started at 7:00 pm since this is the time I normally train. Right as I was warming up for squats, I started to feel nauseous. Surprisingly though, my squats were feeling great. My opener and second attempt were very smooth, and I decided to reclaim my open American and unofficial world record squat on my third. As soon as I unracked the bar, I knew I had it. It felt great on my back and I had a smooth and confident descent, but on my way up my foot slipped and I lost my balance. I had to take a small step so the bar wouldn't roll off my back. It was so upsetting to miss a lift because of a technicality, especially since it would've been a smooth squat PR. I didn’t let it ruin the rest of my meet, so I accepted it and warmed up for bench.

Bench went smoothly, but by the time deadlifts came I was even more nauseous. I really wanted to hit near a 500lb pull, but it wasn’t there. I went for a perfect third attempt of 215kg/474lbs, but my thumbs ripped and the bar slipped out of my hands. Since then I’ve decided to switch back to mixed grip from hook grip. Although I’m not happy with my performance, I am proud of myself. I placed first in the 84kg open and Teen 3, securing my spot on the Open National team to compete at IPF Worlds summer 2018.

Nationals is my favorite meet because you get to see old friends and make new ones. I had a blast hanging out with my GWPL fam. I have to say thank you to everyone who has supported me, and to GWPL for inspiring me every day.


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