I just got done deboning two chickens, bathing a 3 year old, ridding the carseats of pee and vomit, doing laundry and making pies for both my strongman husband and my little girl’s leap program teacher. I am beat, but all I can think about is May. By May I need to be 170 lbs and keep my strength to compete against a woman I watched take Nationals by ambush. She also is young, beautiful, humble and a fellow athlete in the trainstrongman.com group.
Alot of people do not know my background, because at least every six months I get that “Woah you are that girl in the vomit video” and then I have to acknowledge it. At one time I was determined it would stop my lifting, but as luck should have it, I continued and managed a PL world record (since beaten, obviously) and a husband. The husband actually stopped my PL lifting via childbirth. It was a secret blessing none the less, although the training stopped much longer due to some complications.
The point of writing any log or article, or what have you is to point out a topic but first I had to lay out some background.
I went to my first nationals this year. Very different. I took home 12th place. Not the finish I anticipated. Nor wanted. I was a pretty chunky 180. It is okay though. I have competed against some strong females before, so it wasn’t anything new. It was however, something to chew on.
Only one of the other 180’s was a mother, that I am aware of. I have alot of responsiblities. I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a nurse and lastly, a strongwoman. I get to train 3 – 4 times a week, and to make that happen I have to set up my schedule a month ahead to fit around my on call schedule, work, her therapy, her school. I have to also…. actually, take that back WE have to determine who is priority in lifting- as of late, it has been me; now it is Michael. I find myself often jealous of those who go to the gym on a whim, twice a day and without worrying about a 8:30 pm bedtime for a kid. I use to have that. I actually remember watching a single mother of a 6 year old child lift over 5 years ago. I had no comprehension of her struggles to make it happen. I actually apoligized to her a couple months ago, for being so miserable to her. I often hear the verbage “be kind to others, you do not know their struggle.” I cringed just then. Facebook is a great place to acknowledge your struggles, and let others acknowledge them for you. I am often ridiculed for my upfront and brash opinion of most things, but the most for my lack of compassion apparently. See, not many know I have been a nurse 13 years. Six years in hospice. Six in medically fragile children. BOTH dear to my heart. Every patient was dear to me in some manner, mainly because they actually did struggle. People in hospice struggle with dying, not having the ability to say goodbye or even as simple as not getting to have that great pie in the diner across town. People with medically fragile children struggled with knowing that their kid would be forever different and with that, the struggle to give them everything to try to avoid that. Struggle is NOT being able to NOT go to nationals. Struggle is not being able to buy the SBD sleeves. Struggle is NOT the 8th rep. Struggle is having to give up training for the above reasons. Struggle is not getting to train because you are being deployed. Struggle is selling all you own to provide for your kids instead of training. I actually was happy to see a lifter sell their lifting shoes to raise money for nationals. I was also happy to see a lifter turn down an invite because he had to save for his family. Props and priorities. What we do is a hobby. I know we all want to feel like a “beast” or a “wolf” or whatever animal you feel you resemble the most, but what we do is pick stuff up, and put it down. It is a hobby. A stress relief. A welcomed object to focus on for 60 minutes. NO more. It doesn’t pay the bills. It won’t. Nor will powerlifting, bodybuilding or any other non professional sport (unless you own a gym). I actually did not intend to write this as to explain why being a parent (and more specifically a mother, because I know this firsthand) and a lifter was difficult, but it appears that way. I intended to give props, and so-
Props to you mothers, you fathers, you foster parents and adoptive parents. You get up every morning and work your jobs, keep your promises to that little and still make it work. Props for not having an excuse. Props for the 4 hours of sleep and the PR. Props for making it to a competition and doing it all on your own. There is a lack of acknowledgement (once on my part) for all you do. Picking up vomit, to school plays and fundraisers you make it work. GO YOU. There should never be a special award for participating as a parent (but that is another article/story/blog) but know that myself, at least a handful of other mothers and fathers secretly admire you just for training, let alone competing. You are amazing and one day, when that little knows the difference between a carb and a fat OR how to circus dumbell with correct form it will be a thank you in its own right.