The waiting game…

To read the first part of this story, click here

A continuation…

Despite getting loads of emails and letters from thousands of my fans requesting a new blog post, I kept putting off writing this until I had enough news. OK, maybe not thousands, but I do have like 2 fans and I promise one of them isn’t my mother.

I was hoping that I would have news about both the powerlifting competition and the manager’s job interview I went for last week, BUT due to something that is super top-secret, private and confidential, we won’t find out who has gotten the job for another few days. (It’s actually not top-secret, it’s just that really lame procedures have to be followed and I don’t think I can discuss them and I thought ‘top-secret’ would sound a bit more dramatic and cool.)

The competition

So anyways, the competition results… I WON!!!

Just kidding, I didn’t win…*cries uncontrollably*.

Ah no, I didn’t win in my category but I did come 3rd and I’m actually really, really happy about that! I got a score of 225 which is an improvement of 17.5 on my score from the last competition, so happy days! The score is in kilograms so even though an improvement of 17.5 doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s quite a bit when it’s a score measured in ‘kgs’.

I’m not going to lie, I was in a bit of heap just before my category started lifting. I was freezing cold and every one of my muscles started to cease up like…I don’t know, something that ceases up a lot…

Even after doing my warm-up lifts, I was still the same, so in the end, I went into the changing room to where there was a tiny electric heater in the corner and I just knelt in front of that for 10 minutes like a little camper in the woods trying to keep warm by the fire.

At the risk of boring you all, I’ll just skip the small talk and get to the good shtuff.

For those of you who might not know what the story is with powerlifting, you do 3 of each of the 3 lifts in a competition. So 9 lifts in total. The lifts are squat (or shquat as I like to say), bench press and deadlift. All going well, you increase the weight each time you lift.

Starting with my fave (it’s not my fave), we have the squat. I lifted 70kgs 72.5kgs and 75kgs. Overall I was happy with this BUT I would like to have lifted 80kgs for my third lift, but that’s just me, always the critic!

For the second lift, we had the bench press. I was very, very nervous about this as I find this to be the lift that is progressing the slowest for me. The heaviest I had benched before the competition was 42.5kgs so I had come to terms with the fact that I was going to fail my third lift if I had to go heavier than that! Surprisingly, this was not the case and I benched 40kgs, 42.5kgs and wait for it… 45kgs! I know it doesn’t seem like a lot, but when I saw myself actually lifting the bar back up, it was like the greatest moment of my life. (How sad is that?)

Fair enough, a bit of strength had a part to play in it but I think it was definitely a mixture of knowing I was being watched, the sound of people cheering for me (I didn’t even know most of them so I was really grateful for their support) and just pure, thick stubbornness that made that bar go back up! Whatever it was, it worked. So say nathin’!

Last but not least we had the deadlift. I had planned to open with 100kgs but my coach (also one of the judges) said to me days before the competition not to open with a difficult lift and that he would just sit there at the competition, shake his head and roll his eyes at me if I failed my first deadlift! So in the end, he managed to get into my head and I changed my opening deadlift to 95kgs. He was right though. YES Joe, I said it.

My deadlifts were 95kgs, 102.5kgs and 105kgs. I had hoped to get to 110kgs but I hit a bit of a block during training when I hurt my lower back. Onwards and upwards though, there’s always next time! Look at me, being all inspirational again.

Although I didn’t win, I have taken many positives from the competition. I lost the weight necessary to get into the -63kg category, I added 17.5 to my previous score, I am the only person from my category who didn’t fail a lift (no bitchiness intended, I am just grasping at straws here people) and I got a new personal best in the bench press and deadlift.

Not bad for a day’s work!

The future

I only had the chat with my coach the other day, but he told me that I am now training for an open qualifying competition that will be on in either April or May this year. If I reach the standard (250), I will qualify for the IPF Nationals in July 2018. (You really wouldn’t want to be an impatient person.) Because of the constantly rising standards among powerlifters, the competition standard may very well rise again, meaning I will have to compete again and get a higher score in order to qualify. No pressure.

I am absolutely loving powerlifting. It might be a slow process but you can’t compare the feeling of getting stronger and better (kind of) and believe it or not, although I haven’t done any cardio in God knows how long and I’m using powerlifting as my only method of exercise (plus a few walks and weights here and there) I am managing to maintain my weight. Either that or I am losing all my muscle weight and am slowly turning back into a blob…

The moral of the story is, cardio is not the answer to everything. I used to run like a mad yoke thinking it was the only way I would lose or maintain my weight, but it’s a myth in most cases. Don’t be afraid of weights. Unless someone is throwing one at you, then you can be afraid… and go back to running.

The burning question

Just in case anyone was wondering since my last post, yes I did go to Eddie Rocket’s. Not only did I absolutely demolish a chocolate milkshake, I also knocked back a chicken burger, bacon/cheese fries and an ice-cream cookie sandwich… and no, not one single f*ck was given that day.

J.

My 2017 so far

WELL! I’m new enough to this whole blogging thing and I haven’t got the biggest following, so I spent the last few days wrecking my own head trying to think of the perfect topic to post about hoping that people might like to read it.

After days of thinking way too hard about it, of course I couldn’t come up with the perfect topic, so instead, I’m just going to write about the past week or so and what has been going on for me…

The Hobby.

Well, the first item on the ol’ agenda is… I have been training for a novice powerlifting competition (squats, bench & deadlifting) for the past 5 months or so and it’s all happening this Sunday.  I took part in my first competition back in August after about 2 months training and I really, really enjoyed it. (Although I didn’t win and came nowhere near it either. Yeah, yeah winning isn’t everything blah blah blah…)

BTW, please don’t mistake my sarcasm for me being an a**hole, it can’t be helped.

After a lot of trying and failing, over the years I have come to terms with the fact that I am not naturally good at any group or team sport so instead, I am just going to compete against myself in powerlifting, whether I am any good or not!! Although I’m being trained by the best in the business (just in case you’re reading this Joe), I am by no means a brilliant lifter when it comes to the weight I lift or the form I have. Despite this, I am always improving so even though I won’t be the best competitor there, I know I will do better than last time and that’s a win in itself!

Woah, I was actually quite inspirational there. I should write a book.

So anyway, luckily enough, I managed to lose the weight I needed to in order to get into the category I want to be in for the competition, so that has been one highlight of 2017 so far for me!! Couldn’t believe it when I stepped on the scales and saw that I was down. I actually nearly hugged a stranger. All that aside, after the competition on Sunday, I am 100% going to Eddie Rocket’s in town and I am going to absolutely demolish a chocolate milkshake. Pretty sure the weight won’t be long going back on me then but it will be so worth it…

Just a little side-note about the weight loss thing…

This might not be the way it works for everyone but it’s just a simple bit of advice… Even though I have been told this a thousand times, it took me a long time to follow it myself; you can go to the gym as many times as you want, but if you are eating too much of the wrong things and too little of the right things, you’re not going to lose all the weight you want to lose. I’m just going on what I’ve been told, but it makes sense. Exercise is the easy part, having a good diet is the challenge! (Well it is for me anyways… apple tart you b*stard.)

The Job.

So about work. Going to make this a quick one. I work in Carpetright. It’s a carpet shop. (Hard to believe, I know.) There’s more to it than one would think. I will never again underestimate what a job entails… So anyways, I’ve been with the company for over seven months now and to cut a long story short, (no carpet pun intended), the manager’s position in the store I work in became vacant recently and I went for the job. I had an interview on Thursday with my regional manager and it actually went really well. Now, when I say it went well, I mean we had a good long chat and a few laughs and he told me he “enjoyed the interview” BUT, that doesn’t mean I’ll get the job! I have only been in the business for seven months and there are others to be considered too…. Anyways, I find out early next week what the shtory is, but either way I will still have a job so I am not going to worry myself about it. I think I already used up all of my worry and anxiety during the days leading up to the interview…

That wasn’t as short as it should have been. My bad.

I’d like to think I have some tips to give about interviews but I don’t really. (How helpful am I?) The only thing that comes to mind is ‘be yourself’. Unless you’re a complete d*ck, then be someone else… and no that’s not supposed to be ‘duck’.

I know it sounds clichéd, but I actually think that by me just being myself I was able to talk more naturally and come across more genuine than if I was trying too hard to be ‘managerial’. He probably thinks I’m a pure mad yoke now after the interview but sure look it, at least if I do get the job, I know I will have gotten it by being nobody else but me.

Well that’s the craic from my week. For anyone who is interested, I will be posting next week about the competition results and also about the outcome of the interview (good or bad.) For those of you not interested, why are you here?? Just kidding… don’t leave me.

Have a great day.

J.

To read what happened next, click here

What to expect…

Well. This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this and I feel as if I have a lot to say. I don’t want to make this messy so I’ll keep it short. I want to use this website/blog to share my experiences when I do the things I love (and some that I won’t). Expect to read a lot of things about music, animals, food, the gym, power-lifting, my weight-loss journey and any adventures I embark upon. There may be the odd fashion/make-up post but I haven’t got much experience in that! If I can help someone with what I have to say or even just get a laugh out of someone, then I’ll be happy!

J.