Embracing The Process
Embracing the Process of Weightlifting
At the age of 14, I was a different kind of athlete. I never did weight training, all I did was wrestle. I did not realize at that point how important it was to be strong in sports. I always felt weak on the mat and needed to find a way to fix those weaknesses. I started training with Dane the summer after my 9th grade year and went from 106 lbs to 138 lbs in a year. I was feeling strong, and after numerous fights and arguments with my high school wrestling coach, I was ready for a change. While strength training during this time frame, I was olympic weightlifting a lot. Dane, my coach, taught me how to snatch and clean and jerk. He hinted towards competing at a local competition to potentially qualify for a youth national meet. I said yes and really enjoyed myself. It was very similar to wrestling in the aspect that it is an individual sport. I felt like I had full control of the outcome just like I did in wrestling. I have always been super confident in myself, I never doubted my ability and I knew someday I would be a champion, so I took on the challenge of weightlifting. I knew that this was all going to be a long process, but I also knew that I could do something great. The beginning was very fun. I was hitting personal records all the time because I was a new weightlifter and was really learning what it was like to be good. With Dane and I not knowing a ton about the sport at first, it was hard for us to make technical changes. It was also hard to make technical changes because of how stubborn of a person I have always been. I never really ran into any issues training until about 2.5 years into the sport. This was when I really embraced the process of weightlifting.
After 2.5 years, Dane and I gained more knowledge about the sport and better technique, which is when I was able to fix many of my weaknesses. Going on multiple technical cycles helped me to realize that I was performing a lot of the movements wrong. This made training so much harder. The process we had to take to make these corrections was long and difficult, but it was what we had to do in order for me to become a better lifter. During all this training, I competed at a bunch of competitions, one of them being when I won my national title in 2016 and was fortunate enough to represent team USA in Tokyo for the Junior World Championships in 2017. These were all amazing experiences that took a lot of focus and preparation because weightlifting was not just a sport change for me, but it was also a lifestyle change. The way I recovered, ate, and thought changed. It was hard making lifestyle changes because I got so used to the routine that came with the sport of wrestling, but I knew I had to do it in order to achieve what I want to in this sport. At the end of it all the only way to succeed in anything is to embrace the process. Everything you do will either negatively impact that process or positively impact it. Create goals, work hard, and understand that everything takes time.