HEADSTRONG

So here it is, my throwback to competing at the European Equipped Championships Powerlifting. Let’s get ready to rumble!

Tuesday
Trainer and coach Wim together with assistant coach Joost de Groot picked me up. For every day I was staying there I decided to pack a bag. What’s a girl to do without all her stuff? I’m used to take half of the house with me if I leave it for a couple of days. Including my weighing scale and all the food I can carry for a whole village. Coach Wim took my scale out of the bag with the message: there is no room for it in the car.  Like really…….!!! Oh Lord…how will I survive this journey starting like this.

After a nice roadtrip from +/- 7 hours we arrived in Pilsen, Czech Republic. I met all the other lifters from the Dutch team and was ready to unpack my bags. Get settled in my hotel room and roar for the first athlete that would be on the platform on Wednesday.


Wednesday

Early in the morning I went to weigh myself. Good results: Still in my weight class! Coach comforted me by saying that everything would turn out right and I should JUST EAT. I managed to be less strict with cutting down on my big appetite. Cause the scale showed me that there was enough room left to eat & drink for the day.
After lunch I installed myself in the competition area. Seeing all the lifters from different countries was an epic experience. I realized that the language we all speak “together” is Powerlifting and that brought such a variety of people at the same time and place. I was nervous to see @sandrawildeman compete because I wanted her to succeed. And so she did!! She showed me what a fight looks like when things get heavy and what determination is supposed to be.

Input: set the bar high
Outcome: get the job done

Needless to say that I got more excited to have my own meet. But do I still know how to squat? Am I really prepared for this? What If I am not able to hit depth in my suit? And will I manage to get on the platform on time with the knee wraps? All these thoughts crossed my mind.


Seeing the equipped lifters shuffle their way up the ramp, trying to walk the stairs and lifters get carried on and off the platform amazed me. It looked like I need to walk a mile before I get up there. CAUSE WHO’S GOING TO CARRY ME? I went to bed on time hoping that meet day didn’t came too early.

Thursday
Woke up feeling good! Eager to save up energy for the big day 2morrow. All this waiting feels like forever. Why am I feeling so restless and tired at the same time? And then it hit me…. All the impressions cost energy too and I want to hold on to it for the meet.

First and for most I decided to enjoy this day to the fullest and even indulge on some good food.
My taste buds needed some P-food: Pizza, Pasta or Potatoes. Also known as CARBS. It was a blast to do so. Coach asked me what time I needed him in the lobby on meet day. We agreed on 6.30 in the morning, before that I had a date with the scale again. I packed my bags before bedtime and made sure I took some much needed quality time with myself.

Friday: MEETday
This is the day I was waiting for. And my oh my….I’m ready! I went to date the scale and….81.92KG is what it said.

Time to EAT. After that Wim and I did the clothing check and I could get the official weigh in: BOOM 82.25KG I got to eat some more, not too much cause that would only get in the way during lifting.


All I could think of was: How do I make sure that all the pieces come together? The answer was simple: trust the force and myself. 

The adrenaline kicked in….and when we started with the warm up it all felt like a dream and at one moment unreal: Am I really standing here?  I noticed I was getting more and more relaxed. Coach Wim, assisted by Joost, only needed to tell me what to do; 4 reps, 3, reps 2, (get in suit), 1 rep etc.  

After seeing all the other competitions the days before I was concerned If I would hit depth. They were very strict on that. I didn’t want to leave any doubt or room for error. This al so counts for my walk out. I wanted it to be strong. The weeks before I practiced my steps over and over again. Yes…even with an empty bar.

At the third squat attempt my wrist wrap came loose before I could walk out. It took me 10 seconds to adjust it again. With only 8 seconds on the clock I managed to walk out and get the squat command in the remaining two seconds on the clock. According to some people (and especially my sister) who watched the meet that was really nerve wrecking. I didn’t  feel that stressed at the moment. I was confident with staying relaxed and focused on my steps. During this all I heard Wim on the background: take your time, little steps. Of course I’ll be more cautious next time with my supportive gear. After the third squat I finally had the feeling I really was in the competition. It felt like M A G I C.

Bench-press went well and I am very pleased with the results. Looking back at my first equipped meet this is such an improvement. All the hours working on my bench payed off.

Deadlifts treated me very kind. I was dead set on giving it my all. And so I did. I felt very strong on all the attempts. And I knew I could improve myself and former achievements. That was what I dreamed of and this dream resulted in a ? medal in my weight class on this lift. I still can’t believe it.

What an adventure my trip to Pilsen, Czech Republic was. I would not have missed it for anything in the world. It was more than I could hope for and ever see myself doing. Being back and looking at all the footage, evaluating  the meet: I would not have it any other way. Slow and steady wins the race.

Video all attempts, click here!

A big thank you to everyone who supported and rooted for me. A special thank you to @powerliften for the organization. Al so to Wim and Joost for sticking by me. @Ilyscious for standing by me (even from a distance). It’s way too kind and I appreciate it very much.

NEXT STOP: ………

 

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