As mentioned in prior posts, I decided to do a kettlebell competition in Michigan.
Reason 1: Because my kiddo needed to see his grandparents.
Reason 2: Because I wanted to see my friend, after all she's made several trips to see me.
Reason 3: If I'm going to go back to Michigan than it might as well be something I train for, prepare for, and do something completely different. Start a new tradition.
I thought it would be easy, fun, maybe a little nerve wracking. I was told there would be many newbies doing what I was doing at the comp and I would fit in just fine. Then the roster came out and I discovered, I was the ONLY person out of three weight classes doing my event. 90+ people were competing and I was the only newbie. This psyched me out beyond measure. Then I discovered my weight wasn't where the roster said I should be. This made me upset and defeated. As a person who doesn't care about weight, I was incredibly annoyed by that.
Then the travel day arrived, I discovered people weren't going to be there that I thought would be. Conversations with the inlaws and the husband left me bamfoozeled. Traffic came to a standstill so I thought we'd miss the afternoon plans. Driving past my moms exit on the interstate hit me like a ton of bricks AND I had PMS to boot. Then my credit cards wouldn't work at the check in counter. To say my emotions were out of control is an understatement. To say I was embarrassed, is an understatement. But little did I know at the time, this was only the beginning.
I seriously just wanted to turn around and go back home. I wanted to forget the whole thing and began to totally psych myself out about the competition. Then things started to improve. The boy went off with his grandparents, My bestie and I went for a great dinner, my coach arrived, his wife texted me a pep-talk.
The next morning came!! As I was waiting in line for chocolate covered coffee, I noticed a lady with a Kettlebell shirt and asked if she knew where the event was. Next thing I know I'm dragged out of coffee line (but wait, I neeeeeddd that chocolate)
She tells me that she just got back from a competition in Russia where she was on team USA but that she started once too and could tell I was a newbie. She shows me the venue and I about throw up. <coffee. need. coffee> an entire ballroom turned in to seats, judges tables, cameras, platforms, bright lights, and Kettlebells. Signs were everywhere for the "world championship"... People would be filling those seats from all over the world. Seriously what the heck was I doing there. I didn't belong...
I totally freaked, nothing like any competition or event I'd ever done. Then this sweet Kettlebell lady takes me in to the hotel restaurant to meet her "team". She says I'm family now. Turns out the entire flippin restaurant was her team and she announces for all to hear in her loudest voice:
"Everyone, stop eating you need to meet this girl. It is her first time, she is doing the 8kg long cycle and she is a little freaked out, make her comfortable"
Oh My GOD!!!! If you know me at all, you know this was the equivalent of mentally, throwing me under a bus and then pelting me with stones. All I could do was laugh and smile but inside, I wanted to hide. Crawl under a rock and never return.
The lobby Starbucks guy ends up taking seriously 45 minutes to move two people through the line and make my drink. He was the sloth from Zootopia! Really, the irony and humor and lessons circling in my head at this point were hilarious. While walking away from that coffee counter, I told myself that I would never ever ever put myself through this again. My hormones now raging, PMS emotions in full force, and I had one hour to be on the stage. To do a ten minute workout that I'd trained for three months to accomplish.
Then I get in the elevator with who happens to be the world champion from Russia. He told me to calm down and remember my training. Apparently my face was showing that I was freaked out.
I didn't like this side of me at all. I'm the happy girl, find the positive girl, feel in control girl. But something about that moment, in that place, left me feeling completely and totally empty. Yet I knew I had to get up on that platform. I had to do this and say I did it. I had to overcome every fear, demon, and annoying thought in my head. I couldn't let Michigan defeat me.
Go time!! I get on the platform, I'm doing great. Every rep is counting, I'm flying through, feeling good. Nothing hurt, my hand didn't go numb like in practice. I'm watching the clock. 3 minutes pass, then 5 minutes. Then six minutes pass. I'm not even sweating, and I realize I'm on pace to finish with a 30rep PR and take first place! It is time to switch arms. I panic and drop the bell.
Yup at six minutes it was over. Three months of training, 24hrs of mental torture, and I drop the Kettlebell in front of all those people. That was that. THE END!
I told myself to go find that rock and hide again. Take me back to my happy CrossFit place. I don't belong here!!
In my life and my concept of Falling in Happy with self, I've put myself out there, done the uncomfortable, stepped out of my bubble for growth, but I try to have my mind right. Remember what really matters. What is the worst can happen? Blah blah blah. If something doesn't bring me joy than it isn't worth my time. If it does, then why not do it again? This one threw me a whammy. I felt it was worth my time, I thought it would bring me joy, I expected a different experience and I challenged myself because I could.
But this sucked! I won't lie, it was horrible. I kept saying, if only there were a do-over. If I could try again. Or if I had signed up for more than one event at least, I could redeem myself in the next one. Coach comes up to me and says: "There's another in Atlanta at a CrossFit box next month. You should come"
Seriously? I can redeem myself, get my head right and be in a CrossFit box where I feel more at home. I could challenge myself with more than one event and not let the Kettlebell destroy me. Why didn't you tell me this before? Why wasn't that my first competition? I realized my coach must have found joy in this whole thing because a week later I get a note asking me if I'm excited for the next one.
Oh heck yes!!!! I mean it isn't even an option at this point. I have to try again. Right?
Okay so back to Michigan... That 24hrs was truly terrible for me. Emotionally, mentally, physically exhausting. And the funniest part was, because I was the only person in my weight class, I got a first place medal.
But then I got my son back from the inlaws, had an amazing day with my bestie at a beautiful park, and got to see family.
<Back up a few hours>
En route to seeing family, I was in a hurry and banged my head on a dresser in the hotel room. As in damaged a nerve, had a bloody gash, black eye, kind of head bang. In that moment as I'm lying on the bed with bloody cloth in hand and my teen by my side, I realized what was truly important in this world. And it certainly wasn't that place, a dropped Kettlebell, or all of the drama leading up to that moment. I realized how grateful and thankful I should be and in that moment of pain, the whole weekend became more clear than any of the three months leading up to it.
Life is short, the unexpected happens, challenges happen, and if you are a woman, PMS will creep at the worst times but what really matters is the people you spend time with and how you live while doing so. That weekend, I didn't shine my happy light, but this is a new weekend and I'll shine with everything I've got because I need it. The world needs it. And life isn't defined by what goes wrong, it is defined by what you do about it.