BARBELL REVELATION #1 by Paluna Santamaria

Below is an article by one of my favorite athletes, Paluna Santamaria. Yes, she is another one of my Canadians. All of you by now know that I am close with a lot of my lifters. I sincerely love them for who they are as athletes, but more importantly who they are as people. A lot of you are familiar with Adee, Rebecca, and Hannah, but Paluna isn’t one of my onsite athletes. I wish, but she is one of my online athletes. Over the last year, I have managed to bond just as strongly with some of my Online Athletes as I have with my onsite. People like Hillary, Megan, Grant, Dan, Rachele, and Bud are just like family. There are many of you, but I can’t name you all or the whole article will be names.

Paluna makes some great points in this blog. If you guys will listen, these words of wisdom will keep you sane, help you progress, and will keep you in the game. All of Paluna’s posts and articles are uplifting, encouraging, and informative. These one is magic if you will listen and take to heart. Lastly, Paluna, your words of encouragement to me brought tears to my eyes. I love all of my athletes, and to know that I am really reaching all of you is all the encouragement that I need to continue pushing to be better.


BARBELL REVELATION #1 by Paluna Santamaria

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Some days are hard. I feel down, I feel lonely, I feel lost. This is nothing out of the ordinary. It’s called life.

I go to the gym 6-7 days a week, sometimes I leave feeling better than when I came in, other times the uneasiness doesn’t go away. The only thing that stays constant is that I show up no matter what.

I like being alone in the gym. Some of my best training sessions happen when I’m alone. When I plug my phone into the speaker so I can’t look at it in between sets I feel free. When I can’t video myself I feel free.
Sometimes I dance and make sounds that don’t come out when people are around. I talk to myself out loud. I take forever in between sets. I sit there, I look at the barbell, and I move my arms around, walk around. There are thoughtless moments, so peaceful.
Once in awhile when I approach the barbell questions arise. Why am I here? Do I need to lift this again today? What am I chasing? What happens when I finally hit that snatch goal? What if I never do? Why does it matter?

Few months ago I hit a Clean&Jerk PR that I was starting to think would never happen. I struggled with 8kg below that weight for almost a year. That’s a long fucking time. That’s many inconsistent days. One day I’m 5kg below that goal. Then for weeks, I can’t hit 7kg below that goal. How am I ever going to reach it if I can’t get any consistency in the lighter weights?

These questions would run through my head daily. See, I show up. Every damn day I show up. I take care of my nutrition, I sleep well, and I follow my program. I listen to my coach, I go for walks, I meditate, so you can imagine how I was feeling for a while there.
The bigger questions in my mind were: what is wrong? What am I not doing if I know I have the strength and technique to do this?

I went through all the phases you can imagine. Anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment! I started to believe this was it.

I guess I’m going to lift the same fucking weight for another 30 years of my life, I said once. (Yes, I do plan to lift that much longer).

One day, in one of my training alone sessions I had a barbell revelation. Barbell revelations are not always technique related aha moments. They happen when you are truly in the moment. They come as words, phrases, feelings, sometimes as lack of thought or feeling. You just get a sense of unexplainable clarity.

I had been following Travis Mash’s work for a while but on that day I was finally ready for a change in pace, in mentality, and in approach. The barbell told me to take a leap and I did.

I asked him to be my coach. We don’t live in the same cities and even though this would’ve been a huge no no for me in the past, but this time around I just knew I had to go for it. Shortly after I started my program I had the pleasure of meeting Travis in person and I was happily reassured I made a good decision.

People are put in our lives to teach us something. These teachings can be very subtle or very obvious, and sometimes the lessons are learned long after.

When I hit that PR guess what happened? I shed a few tears, and it took me three days to believe what I accomplished. However, life didn’t change. I just saw it with a different light.

I believe Travis was put in my journey to remind me to have fun, to enjoy the journey, to not mistake passion for obsession, but most importantly, he is teaching me to believe in myself again.

Keep your senses open for these life lessons because they come from where you least expect it. Sometimes people don’t even know how much they help you. You should tell them. We all need to hear how awesome we are. Society already tells us enough that we are wounded and imperfect. Truth is, all we need is a little more trust in each other, a little more faith in that everything will happen when it’s meant to happen, and lastly we need to stop for a moment and listen to Travis’s words: “Don’t forget to have fun” 🙂

Follow Paluna on Instagram @palunamoves

Paluna is a member of the Eat What You Want Team and the Mash Mafia Online Weightlifting Team! Find out more by clicking on the Following links:

Mash Mafia Online Team

Eat & Lift What You Want

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