Competing in Oceania 2014 January 12 2015
This Australia trip was one of the most memorable and exciting experiences I had, met a lot of awesome people and enjoyed great food! This all began because I had the dream and belief to begin this powerlifting journey. I knew that I would not start just to compete locally but to try to take on the world.
I was very privileged to be coached by the president of powerlifting Singapore, Mr Tan Say Yong. The whole training cycle went pretty well and I managed to break my Squat PR and of course setting the Asian record.
Making weight also went well this time and I’m glad I started early. I started counting my macronutrients 10 weeks out from my meet. My goal was to keep my weight 2.5kg away from 59kg, knowing that the remaining weight would most likely be shed after water loading. But that came the tricky part, the reason is because I had to water load on the plane and did not have enough water. I tried asking for more water every single time the stewardess walked by, till a point where she saw my insanely high amount of desire for more cups of water she decided to give me two bottles of 1.5 liters of water. That’s when I knew I was saved!
After touching down at Australia and settling down in our service apartment, we immediately hunted for a place that we could get our hands on some groceries. Staying at a service apartment was also something that I was truly grateful and blessed for, the reason was that we could cook our own food and could control our sodium intake for the very last day of water loading.
The tension slowly grew and it finally came meet day, the day I’ve prepared for the entire two years for. Started my warm ups and to my surprise, the bar felt super heavy. That’s when the tension built up even more, I was nervous to the point that I failed my 160kg warm up and even scraped Say’s knees. I told myself to stay focused and not be affected by it. The first attempt went pretty okay, and that kind of helped me with the nervousness. I knew I was in the game. Second attempt went and looked even more stable and finally came the third. I knew the Philippine boy was one that couldn’t be beaten easily so the mindset that I brought to my third was to never stop grinding and I got it, the Asian Record! Crazy grinder but it was all worth it.
Next up, the bench press, that was when I realized that my legs was cramping. That’s where I destroyed my doubt by telling myself to focus on my cues and technique rather than the pain. First attempt and second attempt flew up and the third left me a little disappointed. The ascend off my chest was fast but I kinda lost tightness at the top, that caused me my lift.
Deadlifts was next and I was ready to crush it! It is the lift where I will make my statement, the lift that will allow me to pull away from my opponents. Surprisingly, my calves cramped up and caused me to lose my balance and I fell backward. At the point of time, everything just froze, I was shocked. It took me two seconds to tell myself all is good, time to get it on my second. The second attempt came and I was ready to smash it, the very moment the commentator said that the bar is loaded, I stomped out and was ready to rip the bar. As the bar left the ground I felt a little unbalanced again, but I managed to lock it out. For that very brief second, I was relieved, but before the down command was given, I fell forward.
This is when everything felt even more real, the Asian squat record was on the line, I could be disqualified from the competition that I’ve prepared so hard for, all the money I’ve saved, everyone that is supporting me. All those thoughts came into my mind, but Say managed to calm me down with some deep breathing techniques. That made me felt a lot better, I also did some shadowing of the deadlift movement and realized that I should move my feet closer and point my toes in. That’s what I did, went up to the bar set up, this time a little more composed, got tight and I got the lift. I immediately fell to the floor and broke into tears. I did it! I’ve completed the competition, I finally have a fighting chance at the title. The Philippines boy was next, just making a 2.5kg increase from his 2nd which he smoked to tie and eventually beat me by wilks. Looking at him set up gave me butterflies in my tummy. When he started to pull, my confidence began dropping a little. But, the bar did not leave the ground. That’s where I punched my fist and thought to myself “Yes! I did it”.
After all that crazy emotion, I set down and thought to myself, this is one of the best yet one of the worst performances I had. It was the best because I got the title and managed to overcome the pressure and tension of the third deadlift, which most thought I would’ve failed. But it wasn’t a good performance because my deadlift and bench were so far away from what I aimed to do, I didn’t come in with a good total and it fell short of my goal by 22.5kg. It didn’t feel good but, I was glad that I pulled though.
Once again, I want to thank everyone that sent me well wishes though the different social media platforms, every encouragement from you guys really allowed me to draw motivation and courage from them. My journey will not just stop here, I will be coming back for more, I will try to bring a bigger total next time. So, that’s the end of the blog post and I hope you guys enjoyed it!