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Rainhill Reflections

Competition complete.

Five WODs in five days.

All scores have been submitted. We wait patiently for the judges to review the video footage and announce the athlete leaderboard.

Before they do, I will take the time to reflect on the week and pick out prominent events that particularly tested me and situations where I felt most confident/enjoyed.

Firstly, I'll talk about the pre-comp nerves and how they sat with me throughout the week. I won't lie, I felt nervous being kept in the dark; waiting until the morning of each day. I like to prepare myself by strategising how I might approach something. I do this with most things but it eases as I become more confident in my delivery or performance. With no competition experience, I was clueless to how to tackle. I would look at the workout and not be able to visualise or preempt what would be most taxing. This was tough and had it have been an in-person comp, just given one moment to contend, I think I'd crumble.

Even though I had the nerves and was shocked to place in the middle category, I was chilled in my ability, as I had gone into the competition with no comparison or expectation. This 'relaxed' feeling obviously pushed my strengths; I HATE rowing, however in the seeding I placed 70th out of 230 competitors and 2nd in the Kennedy category (of 75) as the fastest to complete the distance and skips. I rode high on this, feeling like I might not be the complete novice I thought I was.

Fatigue from day 1 and 2 set in and the pressure of trying to get that perfect execution of a workout appeared. Day 3 was where my competitiveness and my frustrations on lack of ability and experience shone through. The mindset that I was attempting to channel became distant and I put pressure on something that was supposed to be fun. This happened again on day 4. The expectations I put on myself to get a good result was becoming unattainable and I was snappy and short with both myself and Matt (my partner in crime). Matt came to support me everyday to judge, film and cheer me on and I can say that I may not have seemed very appreciative but I 100% loved him being part of it all.

Short vs long

Can't say I had a game-plan for any workout but I knew I would have more chance at endurance that being technical or powerful. Everything I have worked strength and conditioning have all improved dramatically since I began training in April. I forget the fact that it's only been a short duration of training, especially when it comes to Olympic lifting and grasping the movement patterns and skill in just a few months.

Confidence in my ability was lightly scattered on the surface of someone who works very much by staying within the lines. I like being instructed. I like having targets and that is when I will perform at my best. I must say that my friend and coach (now in a mandatory position to write up my programmes, offer guidance and reassure me when I lose ma shit) definitely passed on brilliant insight and experience to help me through each workout. He even used Facetime to shout at me!

What I have learnt:

Accept that the first attempt is the only one. Let it go instead of dwelling on how you could have scored a few more reps or the environment or equipment wasn't quite right.

Be kind to myself and celebrate the successes. The competitiveness in me will probably always be fiery. I have work to do on how to channel it to be positive rather than it displaying characteristics of my personality that I come away not proud of.

Other takeaways:

Warm up properly - practice with equipment and get heart rate up!

Accept the things that are out of my control.

Play the game with what you have.

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