If you’ve read my previous blogs you’ll know that I’m in the middle of a challenge called My Break 50. I’m doing two challenges – one to stretch my mind by reading 50 books and reviewing them and the other to strengthen my body, by dead lifting 100kgs.
I visit the gym 3 times a week, but I don’t always get to dead lift because the gym section isn’t massive, there are only so many big weights to use between the dead lift, chest press and other lifting areas and there are always a lot of chaps working out which doesn’t leave a lot of space for self-conscious me.
Because we went to the Download festival and had some time of work to prepare/recover from it I hadn’t been to the gym for a couple of weeks and when I was chatting about it to a colleague I said that I was probably going to start struggling at the 85kgs level because I wasn’t strong overall or fit generally. The day after I went to the gym and luckily the weights area was quiet so I had a play. Started on 70kgs as a warm up, did 5 reps, then did 5 more reps at 80kgs and finally moved up to 85kgs and wow did I struggle.
I realised that I’d basically created my own self-fulfilling prophecy, I said out loud that I would struggle and I did. I after thinking about it rationally I came to the conclusion that I struggled because I hadn’t been to the gym for a little while, but the mind is a powerful tool, if the little voice in your head says that you’re struggling you tend to believe it, why would it lie?
So slightly disheartened I shrugged it off and decided to work on other muscles. Then I read an article on the Grrrls Facebook page, for those who don’t know Grrrls is an awesome community (unfortunately just for Girls) where women who lift and do other awesome fitness things can chat to each other across the globe, their aim is to be strong, inspiring and generally rock. The article was about why a lot of the women wear knee high socks when they dead lift, the answer was so they don’t hurt their shins when the barbell scrapes them. I comment that I always wear leggings or tracksuit bottoms, but I’m never come close to scraping my shins. Mini eureka moment – maybe I’m not close enough to the bar!
I visit the gym on Sunday, I push myself and I’m looking red faced and feeling hot and sweaty, there’s already a lady dead lifting so I wait and wait and wait until she’s finally finished, then I hop on.
70kg warm up – 5 reps
80kg slightly less warm up – 5 reps
Decide to take the slightly risky step to miss 85kgs altogether and go straight to 90kgs….and I lift it, no problem!
A giant smile cracks my face, I place my weight gentle on the floor, hop over it and trot to where my husband is, he looks up, I throw my hands in the air, cry out “90, baby” and then run back to my weights. He comes round to take a photo and I complete 4 more reps and feel awesome!
I have to say that I hate the final pic, my face is all bloated and red, I’m pretty sure that I’ve put on a few pounds, but this ginormous face is because I was smiling and lifting at the same time. Think I’m just chunky? I challenge you to lift 198lbs and smile at the same time, see how you fare! Anyway for once I don’t care about being chunky because I can lift over 14stone and it feels epic!
Only 10kgs to go until I hit my target – fancy spurring me on – sponsor my challenge – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Jenireadsandlifts thanks in advance