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A Few Thoughts On My First Olympic Weightlifting Competition

[I drafted this in April right after the meet, but decided against posting it at the time.  It's unfinished, but now that I have three meets under my belt, I've decided that it's nice to have a record of the first.]

I had debated losing some weight before the competition to ensure myself a spot in the lowest weight class.  I decided against partly out of laziness and partly because, even in that weight class, my numbers aren't anything special.  I was doing this first competition purely for fun and for the experience; I didn't need to put that kind of pressure on myself.

I had also steeled myself for the fact that 1) I would probably be going first and 2) I would probably be making all three of my snatch attempts before my competitors even started.  In that regard, I was happily wrong.  There was a young girl there to qualify for youth nationals.  Her weights were, of course, lower than mine, so she went first and performed her three snatches before anyone else was called.  And, there was a woman whose numbers were in the ballpark of my numbers, and she went before me for her first attempt, too.

After her lift - a no rep because her coach hadn't told her that she needed to wait for the down signal - my name was called.  I opened with 35kg (~77lb).  This was a bit conservative, but I wanted to ensure that I scored at all, and sometimes missing a lift throws me off for a while.  I didn't want to miss the first and then be in a funk the rest of the day. 

I walked out.  The platform was lit so that the audience was dark to me.  I could still recognize faces, but I was too focused to be self conscious.  I picked a point in the back to focus on, set up, took a breath, and made my first lift.  Making that lift felt really good.  After that, I was able to relax a bit knowing that I wouldn't totally bomb out on the snatch.  

The coach for the girl who had gone before me kept changing her numbers - I believe in an attempt to have me go twice in a row - but it didn't work.  I had planned on 3kg jump from 35, and that's what I went with.  The second lift went up like the first.

My final attempt was 41kg.  This would have put me two pounds or so below my current snatch pr.  I didn't make it, but was generally pleased with 38.  As much as doing the math for kilograms was annoying, having the numbers be kind of meaningless was nice to me.  In retrospect, I would've started a little higher.  I don't mind that I missed a lift in the 90's; that's still new territory for me, but I should have had an attempt in the high 80's because that I would have gotten.  

My clean and jerk strategy was a bit better.  I started conservatively at 44kg.  I then hit 48, and then 50.  My 48kg attempt should not have counted, but two out of three judges gave it to me.  50kg was technically a PR for me.  I can clean a good deal more, but I struggle with the jerk.  It's a mental thing.  Anyway, I was very happy that I was aggressive enough to hit it - and that one, at least, was a clean lift.



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