I’ve got a lot of shit on my plate right now (hahahaha, I made a pun).
I’ve got four babies to deliver in the next four weeks, I’m going to a conference in Toronto for a week with a few thousand other midwives (and pinkhairedchickenmama, yay), my kids have alltheendoftheschoolyearshit and I’m renovating my kitchen. I’m basically shoehorning in building ikea cabinets and installing paneling and painting and rearranging stuff in boxes in between everything else I’m doing.
So, I’ve not been the best about getting into the gym, but I’m using my time wisely — to set goals. I had superfastnewbiegains like a lot of beginning powerlifters and got real excited about what might be possible for my future. But I’m trying to adjust my expectations and set up something a little bit more realistic. I also don’t have a competition to go to before next year, so I won’t be able to gauge my progress by how I perform at a meet. That’s ok, because it helps discourage me from trying to pile on too fast.
I have a love affair with the 45lb plates. I like to give them a little squeeze every time I put one on a bar. If I ever do competition, I think I’ll feel the same way about the reds, maybe even more so. But for now, I’m in the land of the imperial at the YMCA and so I’ve set my goals by those plates.
I want to bench 135, or one plate.
I want to squat 225, or two plates.
and I want to deadlift 315, or three plates.
That just seems, well, so neat and tidy, doesn’t it?
Those goals are different levels of achievable. Deadlifting 235 right now feels like I am using every last bit of energy and reserve and willpower to reach the top. Benching 115 for three feels heavy but solid on the first and then mighty shaky by the third. And squatting 150 feels like I could do a ton more, but I’m inching up slowly because I don’t have a great spotter available to me and dumping the weights on the safety bar would not only earn me the side-eye of all of the Y employees, it would be embarrassing, which is much worse.
I weigh 265 lbs. So those aren’t huge goals for my body size, but I’m also an old lady. You’ve got to climb your own hill. Also, I’m coming to respect that some of my goals won’t be achievable for five years or more because that is how powerlifting works. (WATCH OUT M2 LIFTERS 2022. YOUR ASS IS GRASS).
So, maybe I can hit these goals by next spring? Or at least some of them?
It’s really hard to judge what I should be able to do by looking at other people. There just aren’t that many fat old lady powerlifters. I’m occupying a weird space right now. I think my training weights would break two of the three state records for women my age and size and yet, I’m nowhere near being competitive (or even qualifying) for nationals. And the meets tend to have just four or five women total, not even in my age and weight class. So, I start with my plate goals. Then, maybe when I meet them, I can set the bar higher (hahaha, another pun), and go for 1, 2, 3 red plates. That would be impressive.
One other little thing: the black belt. I’m going tomorrow to my dojo to watch the black belt testing — judo, jujutsu, and iaido. My martial art is iaido, which is a kind of inner martial art that uses both wooden and metal swords to cultivate strength, balance, self-control, focus, and agility. I’m an ikkyu, which is the last stage before shodan, or first black belt. I’m setting my intention right here and now — I’m looking forward to the future and earning that shodan for myself. It’s going to take a ton of work, but I have time this summer. After the four babies, I have eight weeks of only quarter-time work. Eight weeks is not enough time to earn a shodan and not enough time for my plate-stacking, but it is enough time to set focus, set intention, and get a running start. I commit to training in iaido 4-5 times a week and lifting 4 times a week. I will sleep and eat well. I will stretch and practice good self care. I can do it.