I'm still giddy about it all. This meet played out in ways that I day dream about. Making risky attempts to give yourself a shot at a specific goal for a specific reason.
The first goal of the day was to make weight. I had been hovering around 170 lbs for months. My body really likes it there and it wasn't until two days before the meet that I was able to break that barrier and get down to.... 168.9 lbs. I needed to weigh in at or under 165 lbs. I even tapped out my hot water heater three times the day of in attempts to create a steam room to no avail.
I weighed in at 75.3 kg right under the time wire. I was going to have to be a super for this meet.
The next big goal was to make it to the A session at the American Open. If I was 75 kg, I needed a 172 kg total. As a super (75+kg), I'd have to total 175 kg. Three kilos is a lot when you already knew you'd have to pull some PRs out of your ass anyway. Why the A session? The AO is in Dallas, and if I lift on Sunday my family can come up and watch me lift for the first time. If I'm in the B session, I'll lift on Friday and they're at work.
I told Diane what I'd need to total. We threw some possible weight combinations around (my best so far were 66 and 99, and not in the same meet) and had a good laugh. But both of our brains were churning out strategies to work my way up there.
The snatches were where I was most nervous but ended up turning out the best. At Diane's behest, I was working a new snatch technique for a couple of weeks. And while it felt so much better on my shoulder, I didn't feel like I was yet able to get much power out of it.
Diane would have me take an attempt back stage, then go out and bump up my opener. That happened a couple of times, putting me to open at 69 kg. So my opener became my "new technique" PR. That alone was risky. But I was feeling good and made my next two lifts at 71 kg and 73 kg, both being overall post-surgery PRs. It was like something clicked, and I was able to get some pop out of the new technique, even while thinking about every movement.
The clean and jerk ended up being more dramatic. I missed 94 kg back stage. Which was weird, my jerks have been so ON lately. I got word from Jasha that I was gripping the bar to death. Without time to correct it in the back, I went out at 97 kg and did just fine. Stupid nervous grippy hands. I got two whites and a red on the 97 lift, so we only jumped to 99 kg. That one flew up. We needed 102 kg to make the A session, so hell, let's put it on the bar. I haven't even tried a 102 kg jerk since surgery, but what the hell. And I'll be damned, it felt better than the 99 kg lift.
Hello, A session!
I've found that since surgery my competition mindset has changed a lot in two significant ways.
1) Nerves used to get in my way. I used to hate how nervous I got. And the more annoyed I got with being so nervous, the tenser I got and the less well I performed. Now I look forward to the nerves and use that energy to hone my lifts. These days, weights in competition feel so much lighter than they do in training.
2) My goals and drive are now intrinsic. When I started weightlifting, I was conditioned to regard my progress in terms of how I did in comparison to others. It was all about if I won the local meet or not (not winning was unacceptable to my first coach) and how high I could place at national level meets. Now it's about progressing in some way from one meet to the next. I won the Kono, that's cool, but it was a surprise. I don't know where I placed at Lincoln High, but I was excited to get that 99kg C&J. I took third at Max's Open, but was ELATED because I made a blind leap in lifting faith to reach a specific, personal goal.