Wow. What stories photos can tell.

Last weekend I competed in the Australian Weightlifting Nationals in Hobart. I was competing for the first time in the u58kg category and on paper, had qualified second. That meant that if I lifted my best lifts technically, all going well, I should walk away with a silver medal.

The first picture was my opening Snatch at 62kg – I felt strong and confident. It was 3kg below my current 1RM and the heaviest I’ve ever opened at. In that photo, I knew if I continued to lift like I was, I would be going home with a medal around my neck.

The second photo was my last lift of the day – my 3rd attempt at my Clean and Jerk, attempting 86kg which is 2kg below my current 1RM. Here is the exact moment I realised that I would be leaving with lifts that were well below my current bests, and the result I came there seeking. I ended up tying for 3rd place and getting 4th on count back as the lifter who was awarded 3rd lifted the total before me. I lost to stronger lifters on the day.

The story between these two lifts has mixed emotions attached to it. I felt stronger than I ever have and made weight really easily. What I didn’t expect was a hip injury that I had been battling over the past month to impact me as it did. I struggled to ground and stabilise through my left leg because of it as the weights increased.

As an athlete, you sometimes forget the journey you’ve been on when it comes to getting a result. If it is not the result you had hoped, it’s a natural emotion to feel disappointed and gutted. It’s natural to want to apologise, particularly if you’ve had a team and family supporting you along the way. I wanted that medal for me, yes, but a deeper rooted reason was to show my thanks to the people who had invested in me.

My reaction in that last lift was ‘I’ve let everyone down’ and ‘I lost the battle I was fighting for my team’. Quite clearly, my support team and family were all sitting there saying, ‘Hang on. If you’ve done your best, you couldn’t possibly have let us down’. It’s completely irrational, but it’s an emotional statement which I know i’m not alone in saying.

You then transition through a period where the outcome sinks in, and the emotion sinks out. That’s the time you need to challenge basically whether it’s really the end of the world. And no, it’s not.

Once you actually begin to sit down and logically and rationally and go through that kind of questioning process, you realise you’re much stronger for the journey and the self-concept you have built in the process than from the one outcome itself.

Regardless of the result, your team and your family still love you. I know mine do.

The World still turns around and it’s up to you to decide what steps you take next. Do you throw in the towel because of one disappointing result, or do you use that disappointment to learn and ensure that you won’t be disappointed by the same reasons again?

I know what I’ve chosen. I’ve been on one hell of a journey since I stepped on to the platform 8 months ago. I can’t wait to see where I am and what stories will be told in another 8.

A big thank you to Weightlifting ACT, Michal Dunski, Kylie Lindbeck and the rest of the ACT Team for the support on the day and leading in to the event as well as Harriet Walker and Bron Galloway for making the trek down to Hobart to be there alongside me as well as my coach Matt Owen for ensuring that I’m the strongest I’ve ever been. There are many other people who were also part of this journey including the team Functional Fitness Australia and I’d like to thank you for the continued support. Bring on the next comp 🙂