Relentless Detroit Recap

Posted by Becca Abrahams on

Relentless was three weeks ago. I always try to do a meet recap because it gives me a record of the lessons I've learned and there are many each training cycle.

Honestly, I've been dreading doing this because I am pretty disappointed with my meet performance. My meet performance is one thing, and the experience of Relentless is something completely different. Every Relentless event and meet is a richly rewarding experience and this one was no different.

In the wake of recent events which included our Hope Kid, Vito passing away this week, my disappointments feel so incredibly superficial. My heart is heavy for their family, but I am thankful for the opportunity we had to reach into their lives. I am incredibly thankful that through Relentless, this amazing family came into our lives and impacted us so very much.

If you are unfamiliar with Relentless, it is an organization which unites powerlifters and families of kids battling life threatening illnesses. So far over a million dollars has been raised to help these deserving families, but what's more, it has built a strong community between the lifters and Relentless families and has held out hope and healing to those that need it. Relentless is so much more than powerlifting meet, and so much more than a fundraiser. It truly is a lifestyle, and being a part of this community has definitely given me a purpose to my training.

Relentless is a fundraiser and a community, but it is a legit UPA powerlifting meet. Lifters from all over the country who have spent the past few months dedicated to their training, fundraising and supporting Relentless traveled to Detroit to make this an event a special day for these families.


Our family(all 7 of us!) arrived on Wednesday in order to have some time to get settled prior to Friday weigh ins. Cutting weight is never fun and this was no exception, but I managed to survive and come in five pounds under with plenty of time to spare.

After weigh ins on Friday morning, we had an AMAZING breakfast at Kate's Place in Detroit which had the MOST EXCELLENT biscuits and gravy.

After breakfast, I hung out with my team and watched the guys compete.

My husband had a great meet! Oh and we ate. I rehydrated pretty quickly and managed to get some rest which I needed as I tried to prepare physically and mentally for meet day on Saturday.

Saturday we were up bright and early and back to the venue (Kirby Church) for the rules meeting. This had been a pretty challenging training cycle. I am not sure I felt "ready", but it was time to show up regardless of my feelings.  I had three goals for my personal meet performance: 1)turn my squat around and be satisfied with even the smallest PR; 2) Qualify for XPC finals; 3)1000 lb total. 
My squat warmups felt okay and I opened with 350. I was incredibly nervous but Rob Luyando and team Mecca Barbell did a great job of calming my nerves and wrapping my knees and keeping me focused. As I unracked my opener, I felt a little shaky but smoked it and went onto grind out 370 on my second attempt (a one-pound meet PR). I went to 380 on my third attempt, but it just wasn't there. Honestly, I was overjoyed by that one pound PR. 
A one pound PR probably sounds pretty silly. It was a step in the right direction, a step that has taken me nearly two years and 5 meets, lots of tears, struggle and frustrating training cycles. 
Bench was next and I hit my opener of 180 easily, nailed 195, and went to 205 for my third attempt. I was pretty tenative and missed the lift.  Missing that third attempt really messed with my head. I realized I was not going to end up with the total I wanted, started to get really tired and lost motivation. 
 Deadlift warmups all felt off and much heavier than they should have. I cut my deadlift warmups at 335. My deadlift opener of 385, which had felt easy for weeks upon weeks in the gym felt like a third attempt. With two attempts to go, I tried to pysch myself up. I was fried mentally and physically and  I just didn't have anything left and missed my second and third attempts. 
I was pretty bummed about my performance because I know that I am capable of more.  I was super excited to see my teammates have amazingly successful days. It is hard to feel sorry for yourself while you are surrounded by the love and support of the Relentless kids, families, and friends. To them, it doesn't matter whether you deadlift a hundred or a thousand pounds, they are just thankful for your presence and your support. 
Post meet reflection was hard. I have to remember that I did accomplish two of three of my goals. I could point to a number of factors that may have impacted this training cycle but I don't really believe in excuses. The reality is that this was the first meet I've had in which I wasn't able to add to my total. I put my heart and passion into my training and so this was difficult. 
Am I disappointed? Of course. But that total, its just a number. It's not a big deal.  Who you are as a person, the legacy you're leaving, the mark you leave on others lives...those are the things that matter. There will be other powerlifting meets, other training cycles. There are changes that will be made, new goals that will be set. Nothing is final. 
Moving forward I will make the changes I need to make to better manage my weight, recover better, work on my mental game and build confidence under the bar. My next meet will be the XPC finals in March 2015. I am excited to get back to training. 
However, the experience of Relentless, that is once again life-changing. I want to specifically thank those who helped us to raise money and hope for some very deserving families. Over $200K was raised for this event alone. Thank you especially to Turning Point Church for your generous support again. This community of people is like none other than I have ever experienced and I could not be more thankful for the opportunities I have had. Thank you to my team and those who supported and encouraged me.


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