I did something new today: I participated in my very first powerlifting meet!
It was a great experience; I’m happy that I bit the bullet back in December and signed up for the meet. And I’m really interested in signing up for more meets – wish there were more USAPL-sponsored meets in Wisconsin.
That said, I’m having some mixed feelings about how the meet went. On the one hand, A LOT of awesome things happened:
- I did not throw up at any point. I thought I would be too nervous to eat or that I’d get so nervous I’d toss any cookies I was able to choke down. Not so! I was able to eat breakfast and had snacks throughout the meet to keep energized!
- I PRd on squats (a huge surprise to me), bench (a baby one, but it still counts), and deadlift (my beloved, pride-and-joy deadlifts)!
- When all was said and done, I went 8/9, which is pretty cool for a first meet.
- I met another really awesome raw female powerlifter AND she even competes in the same weight class as me!
- I had the support of a great friend the entire time before and during the meet; she’s an experienced hand at powerlifting meets by this point, so she jumped right in to cheer me on, answer questions, load plates for my warm-up sets….and ask the big kids if they’d let me butt in during their warm-up sets…
- And the beau told me, like, 14 times on the car ride home how proud he was of me for competing and for how well I did.
On the other hand, the meet wasn’t quite what I expected…
I’ve been to a couple other powerlifting meets and, at both of those meets, the lifters were very friendly and supportive; there was a spirit of camaraderie among all of the lifters that was welcoming and friendly. And I’ve read heartfelt Instagram and Facebook posts of lifters leaving meets feeling like family. My first meet experience didn’t feel like this for me.
This was a meet of only 20 lifters and we were in pretty tight quarters, since it was a fairly small gym. Of the 20 lifters, 9 were female and I believe 6 of them were all part of the same powerlifting club. That’s cool and awesome and I wish I had a special gym or club to compare hand calluses with, but these young ladies were cliquey; they stuck to themselves, hogged the equipment when they were warming up, and, frankly, most of them barely made eye contact. On top of that, they were all equipped lifters, which just puts them on a different plane. It’s hard to compare yourself to equipped lifters when you’re a raw lifter.
All in all, I enjoyed the meet; I’m glad I got the chance to put some numbers on the board and set a baseline for myself. I welcome the opportunity to best myself in another meet, but I’m hopeful that future meets are a little more enjoyable.