Monday, February 25, 2008

The Power & the Glory (part III)

Nic Unsworth-Smith was, amongst many other things, an International level powerlifter that I knew from the gym I worked out at. He asked me why I was looking upset at my final figure comp, and I said I was over bodybuilding. I loved to go to the gym and push myself and get strong and fit, but I found competition day a huge anti climax; there was no physical competition, no sweating and bleeding. He suggested that I should give powerlifting a go, and after he explained what powerlifting was I simply said “I can do that”. There are so many times those 4 little words have gotten me in to a lot of trouble, and this was to be no different.

I started training with Nic in December 2005, I had to learn how to squat, bench and deadlift with corrrect technique, however I progressed very quickly in the first few months. Coming in to my first competition the following April I was given a very rude, and painful, awakening when Nic introduced the “equipment.” Impossibly tight suits, belts wraps and bench shirts. Today I have fine white scars on my arms and legs left over from a couple of years of wearing this gear. This was a far cry from sequenced bikinis and high heels. This was pain, adrenalin, fear and exhilaration all rolled into one. That feeling of walking out onto the platform for my first competition squat wearing a squat suit, knee wraps, power belt, weightlifting shoes and chalk is one I will carry with me forever; this was competition, this was what I was meant to do! Within the first 12 months of being a competitive powerlifter I qualified to compete at the Nationals Titles.

The period following May 2007 was a very significant learning and development phase for me. Despite 18 months of lifting I was still eating like a figure competitor, and was severely struggling with the demands of training, work and life in general. I was fatigued all the time and my recovery was appalling. Enter an exercise physiologist, Liz Nelson, who ‘broke me out of food jail’ and bought a refreshing scientific factual perspective to nutrition. Within one week I had more energy and vitality. I remember walking down the street feeling like I was walking on air. I couldn’t believe how incorrectly an intelligent and experienced athlete like me had been eating; I was a new person. The first competition Liz mentored me through was a crucial one for my lifting career as I was selected in the Australian Team for the Commonwealth Titles. My lifting career is forging ahead, and I have some very exciting competitions coming up in 2008. I have also decided to leave my professional career to follow my dream in fitness.
Over the past 8 years I have pushed myself to extraordinary lengths to achieve my ideal body and GI Jane abs. I have felt lost, out of control and frustrated for months and months on end at times. I gained and lost those abs more many times that I ever should have. However as I sit here and write this I can truly say that I now have balance, wisdom, and an acceptance of self.

I have told my story to share my journey and to provide hope.


little rene said...

I loved reading those three installments Lisa! Thanks for sharing a very inspirational story :)

Lisa said...

Hi! I am pleased you enjoyed it...I have plenty moreto ocme to.


Magda said...

Hi Lisa,

I'm where you were and trying to get to where you are now (writing this with a tear in my eye). But I havent given up hope. Thanks for sharing your very inspiring story and I look forward to reading more.


Shar said...

Great post Lisa, had me waitimg for part 3!!

What a great place to be.

Shar x

Lisa said...

Hi Magda, I have read the pain in your blog. I am pleased you are posting again and if I can helo in amyway just ask.

Hi Shar, thanks for commenting. I am in a great place, and my next post will be about balance and things I do daily to keep it. I am hoping this may provide some inspiration around positive choices.

Lyndsay said...

Thank you Lisa! Ooohh, Looking forward to the next instalment!

Raechelle said...

Great story-thanks for sharing...I hear ya' on the anti-climax of competing-I haven't even done it yet but my husband and I have discussed this aspect-I still want to do it since I haven't done it before and don't want to regret never trying-but it's really good to know ahead of time (after reading so many blogs similar to yours) about the "after the comp" syndrome".
PS-I think something is wrong with your page-I'm seeing a whole bunch of Photobucket boxes on the right side that say "the image or video has been moved or deleted".
Looking forward to more stories!

Combat Girl said...

Hi Lisa,

What happened to you yesterday?

I love the fact that you were strong enough to get through all of that crap and come out on top. You are an inspiration and by sharing your story hopefully others will also find the strength and become the best they can be (including myself!!).


Lisa said...

Hi Lyndsay, part IV tomorrow.

Raechelle...just doing a bit f blog maintenance - all sorted now. As long as you are prepared for the post comp blues you are miles ahead.

Theo, I had your number on my work mobile and only took my personal I didn't have your number. I will be back a lot this year and we wil catch up then. Promise!


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