Competing in a weight class sport – an observation (Sarah)
I have been competing in powerlifting for a few years now. I has been great fun, a fantastic learning experience and something I hope to be doing for the foreseeable future. The most recent competition in July time was the only time (apart from newbie nerves!) I felt anxious or unsure.
I have never had any body image issues thankfully and I would think of myself as a confident level-headed person. I’ve been weighing myself almost every day for the past 3 years, which may sound excessive but for me I have found it to be the best way to track and measure long term progress.
In the months leading up to the July competition, life was busy. There were sad things, happy things, new things and lots of travel. I decided a few weeks out I wouldn’t try to make the 57kg weight class – the weight class I have competed in for the past 2 years. Although I made the decision not to diet or do a weight cut, I still felt bummed out that the scale was not moving. In my mind I was thinking, I shouldn’t be going back up a weight class after working so hard to get down a weight class!
I tried to keep my mind on training and food prep in those few weeks, but I started to worry about my bodyweight. I was worried what other people would think (I know, it’s silly!) but I was nearly 5kg over the weight class, sure I was close to missing the next weight class! Just to add, I’m not competitive in any weight class so there really is no reason for me to cut down, its just personal preference.
So, the morning of the competition I weighed in at 62.2kg and I had an absolute ball! I hit an all-time squat PR, a couple of Scallo’s came to watch and a few of my great pals from SDSC were there. All of that is why I compete in powerlifting, I really enjoy it.
It was from a chat with Dave on the day of the competition, about weight class sports and him setting me straight about my own mind that day, that got me thinking of how easily I could have got myself into a negative frame of mind, possibly leading to some form of body image issue.
Its important for me now to keep my focus on the reasons I’m in this sport. I’m training consistently again and I’m feeling fit and strong. I’m looking forward to some more big lifts and lots of fun at the next one in October!