Updated: Jan 15, 2021
No one owes you shit.
I have been competing powerlifting for about two years now. I have competed in drug tested local and national meets, at 220 & 231 pounds. Through my powerlifting journey I have increased my squat over 130 pounds, my bench over 80 pounds, and my deadlift over 140 pounds. I am looking to total 1800 pounds this year in a raw junior power meet at either weight class. If you want to know more about me, check me out on social media or watch out for more articles coming in the future! Now on with this article!
Powerlifting is a simple sport - Lift the most weight. Yet the journey and mentality associated with it are magnitudes more complex. Polished skills take practice and practice equals time, which, in powerlifting is generally much longer than most may think. Strength takes a long time to build. Powerlifting teaches grit, consistency, and pain. There are no participation trophies, yet participation is rewarded. Heavy, taxing, working your ass off under a barbell type of participation. There are no shortcuts. It’s time to bleed.
A common thing that you hear within respective fitness circles and on the internet I quickly want to touch on is the concept of don’t compare yourself to others because this will take you nowhere and only leave you hurting. Only focus on comparing yourself to yourself. I disagree, sort of. This phrase comes from a good place and in good faith, but misses one of the most important aspects of life: the hierarchical structure of competition. Life is not about participation trophies; it is about your accomplishments and what you leave behind; your trail of blood.
Now you may be thinking, “how is the outlined concept above not representative of competition, especially intrinsically motivated competition?” Well, it is and yet it is not. I did not embark on this mental journey to flush out complete answers. However, my thought process is as follows: Humans are ancient and we fought for our survival. We are a product of and participant of the competitive hierarchy. So why would you shoot to be slightly better than yourself when you can evaluate yourself based upon winners and successful metrics. Can your fragile ego not handle it?
I wanted to bring attention to this because in order to truly push yourself and find out what you’re made of, you need to bleed, you need to fail, and you have to endure pain. You cannot rely on ‘you vs. you’ for the majority of your existence; you will grow complacent and go nowhere. It may be a good place to start to avoid toxic behaviors and learn skills necessary to interact with others efficiently. Yet the overarching concept remains: It will a