Surround yourself with those who you want to emulate. Spend time watching and learning from the best. Absorb all advice, but only use the advice that you need. Pay attention to the small nuances. Champion, world-class strongwomen aren't the strongest. They are the smartest.
Don't get me wrong, champion strongwomen are some strong, badass bitches. But often times, the winner of an event or contest is NOT the strongest. The winner is most likely the overall best athlete who brings the total package. (duh, right?) Strength, speed, technique, and strategy all come into play. If you're not the strongest, often times you can out-speed or out-technique your stronger competitors.
If you've been around long enough, you eventually learn this. But what does this mean for our training? What will give us the edge?
Since competing in USS Nationals last year, and taking 2nd place, I have been focusing more and more on speed and strategy. On paying attention to the times NOT holding an implement. Transitions, how to hold an implement just so, how to put it down (or throw it down), not breathing at the wrong times, starting in a specific stance, etc. etc. etc. Not only that, but getting my mind right and ready to be calm on competition day. A calm mind means that an athlete can depend on far more than adrenaline and strength. Mistakes are made when your mental game isn't on point.
Training for California's Strongest Woman, and competing as one of the smallest in the HUGE heavyweight/superHW division, has given me the opportunity to focus on being the fastest and smartest heavyweight I can be. It has challenged me to learn new implements and to up my conditioning. It has forced me to step back and look at the athletes who makeup my family of strength athletes, and to ask myself what separates me from them. What can I bring that will give me the edge?
The edge is intangible. But from what I can see, those who have it are comfortable being uncomfortable. We fight through the last few seconds. We hit a rep at all costs. We train tirelessly and without immediate reward. We believe we are the best, but push ourselves as if we are the worst. We don't waste a rep, or a step, or an inch of a pull. We have goals and work towards them, often times alone. We make constant sacrifices both physically and emotionally in all areas of our lives. We want it. If we don't get it, we want it more. We know that nothing can beat hard work, no matter how late in the game.
One week out from California's Strongest Woman and I am part of perhaps the largest field of heavyweight and super-heavyweight competitors there has ever been. Our class is stacked. Yet, I have prepared. I have thought about the intangibles, and I will bring a first place performance and give it everything I have.
While I'm there, I will be observing, supporting, and learning from some of the best damn strongwoman athletes in the entire country. What an honor it will be just to compete side by side with so many of the best. The strongwoman sisterhood is amazing, and I can't wait to make history with these women.
All of this, while representing the Belle of the Bar community and the ideals that BOTB was founded on. All bodies are good bodies. Focus on what YOU CAN DO rather than solely on how you appear. Celebrate with each other. Encourage each other. Beat the stereotype. Be your absolute best.
Today I pressed all the things and then pressed other things and then pressed just another couple of things. #axle #cleanAndJerk #cleanAndPress #strongwoman #barbell #circusdumbbell #pressday #overheadpress #jerk #startingStrongman #belleOfTheBar #unitedStatesStrongman #roadToNationals #uss #californiasstrongestwoman #soxbox #thickChick
Many thanks to those who donated to help Belle of the Bar become an official sponsor, and to help us BE THERE!!! Thanks to those who offered advice and input along the way, and of course a HUGE thank you to my coach Becca for giving me the best damn programming and nutrition advice a girl could ask for. I can't wait for you to "handle me" at CSW!! Most importantly, a huge thank you to my husband who puts up with my constant need for gains, my early mornings wake ups, my 3 hour sat/sun trainings, for listening to me gripe about aches and pains, for constantly telling me and making me believe that I'm the best, and for supporting this HUGE cross country trip. <3
I am honored, and I am ready. I'm not sure California is ready for what we are about to bring. ;-) To my fellow competitors, let's make this one for the record books. Can't wait to push each other to new heights!!! <3