Meg is one of my newer members to the Mash Mafia Weightlifting Team. She has a ton of potential. My job as her coach is to bring her confidence up to match that potential. Meg and her boyfriend Frank are great people, and I am blessed to have them both. Now I am introducing all of you to a young lady with insight that can help you all.
Weightlifter Wisdom from Meg
I have been involved with sports my entire life. I have been playing softball for over 20 years now, I danced up until high school, and I was a cheerleader in college. While I haven’t always been the most naturally athletic person in the world, I have a pretty well rounded technical skill resume. Since my Olympic softball dreams have been crushed, I chose to start a new competitive sport at 26, (say whaaat? Who does that?). I converted to weightlifting from recreational bodybuilding a little over a year ago.
In that time, a lot has happened. There have been a lot of tears, sweat, and a little bit of blood. When going through the daily grind of learning a new skill, it is so easy to get wrapped around the axle and lose sight of the big picture. I have been working on rewiring the way I think so that I when I’m struggling, I can step back, breathe, and remember my purpose. It is a slow process. If I were to write a letter to myself a year prior and tell myself how to make the most of this experience, it would look a little like this:
Every day is not a PR day. In training, you have some really good days, and then there are not-so-good days. The not-so-good days are the ones that make you better. Even though you don’t see it, you have torn your body down to a point where it can only grow, and thus making things go up. There are so many factors that can affect your training, and it isn’t the end of the world if you don’t hit a new max. You just have to chalk it up as a learning point and move on.
Don’t let those who are better than you intimidate you. When you are the newbie in a gym full of seasoned lifters, it can be a bit overwhelming. It is especially humbling when half of your teammates are juniors. Those people went through the same process. They just began their journey sooner. If anything, let their huge lifts motivate you to push harder!
Your strength is not a constant linear progression, so don’t get greedy. You bust your ass day in and day out, but your gainz will eventually slow. Don’t get discouraged by this. Some athletes haven’t seen PR weight in months, if not, years. So long as you are making gainz, appreciate them. It’s okay to have an outcome goal, say, post a total of X amount of kilograms, but don’t give yourself a deadline. Work hard, do accessory work, and carve out time for mobility. Take care of yourself. If you become proficient at your skill, the PRs will come.
You can’t step onto the platform as a beginner and expect to lift the weight that elite athletes can lift. Looking back, I would watch videos of people I look up to and get so upset because I wasn’t that strong. But they have something I did not: hours upon countless hours of practice. These people have been working for years, if not over a decade to get where they are. They have been practicing this stuff for so long that it is an inherent skill. While natural strength helps, the Olympic lifts require a lot of technique that trumps natural strength. And stop comparing yourself to others. While it is nice to have a “rabbit” to chase, you are your only true competition.
You are more than capable of achieving great things. Stay positive, stay focused, be humble, you are blessed.
Join the Mash Mafia Online Team and become one of Meg’s Teammates! For more information, click the following link: Mash Mafia Online Weightlifting Team!
I have two more Learn 2 Lifts this Year and both are with my man Zach Even-Esh. We are in New Jersey in two weeks, and then back in North Carolina in October. Find our more below: