A Lesson in Adversity

A Lesson in Adversity

Apr 28, 2013


So yesterday I competed in a local, non sanctioned meet that my dad and I like to do as tune up for Worlds, or just to get a fun low pressure meet in. It’s usually a decent sized meet (up to 100 lifters) and typically run fairly well. Over the years of lifting, both my dad and I have grown very accustomed to USAPL/IPF caliber meets. They are run efficiently, have great staff and equipment, and most of the time you know what you are going to get. So we know doing a non sanctioned meet we run the risk of not having the caliber of a meet we are used to. The way we look at it, it’s good to do those other types of meets sometimes. It can really teach you a lesson in adversity. Well, this meet did just that. We learned a lot of lessons in adversity.
My day started off with the realization that the scale I’ve been weighing myself on for the past 9 months or so is about 2lbs lighter than it’s supposed to be. So that threw my psyche off. Here I had thought I was about 2lbs below my weight class for Worlds when in reality I was right at weight. I know it’s better than being overweight; however, it still throws you off a little bit mentally. Next, we were told we would be in the 2nd flight and that lifting would start at 9:15. My Dad and I time our warm ups very precisely (future article to come about that) and both of us hate being rushed. So we like to give ourselves plenty of time. We verified multiple times that we were going to be starting at 9:15. We continued to plan our warm ups based on that. Well, 9:15 rolled around and they were nowhere close to starting lifting! So we slowed our warm-ups down, added extra ones in, trying to stay warm, and finally at close to 10:00 lifting finally started! It came time for my last warm up in a shirt (285lb) and I thought to myself, “Man that felt heavier than it should have!” But I tried to brush it off and think positive. All the while, my dad is telling me to have fun and remember “Positive things happen to positive people.” So first flight ends and we think it’s time for our flight to start and they announce they are taking a 15 minute break in between flights! As a lifter, you all know how frustrating that is! Especially when you are warmed up, in a shirt and ready to go! Well, they did take a break, however I don’t think it ended being as long as they said it was going to be. We were able to get that rushed along a little bit. There were 5 people in our flight, my Dad and I being 2 of the 5. I think that goes without saying, everyone knows how hard it is to be in a small flight. Top that off with my dad helping to handle me and I was helping handle him. Lucky for us they weren’t watching a clock too closely! Next struggle was the equipment. It was the same in the warm-up room, so we kind of knew what we were getting in to. Both my dad and I are used to training on adjustable upright benches that are the same dimensions as ER racks used at national and international meets. Well these benches at the meet were your typical gym benches, VERY narrow, very high and one rack height fits all. People that know me know that I am not very tall and my arms are pretty short. I can’t reach the bar on benches like that and I use the bar to push against to get myself set up with my arch. When you can’t reach the bar it makes it very hard to get set up in the way you are used to. Then when you have a higher, more narrow bench than you are used to, that doesn’t feel right either. Plus the pad on the bench was so slippery it made it extremely difficult to get your shoulders set. But we did the best we could under the circumstances, and we made it work. My poor Dad was picking off for me in his bench shirt and since I couldn’t reach the bar, I was absolutely no help to him! Then he had to hold the bar over me a little longer so I can get set the best I can before I can really grab on to it! Haha He was a trooper and luckily we’ve had to do this before, but it still feels so foreign when it’s so different from what you are used to. So my first attempt was 315lbs. I brought it down to my chest and the judge forgot to give me a press command for a good couple seconds (not kidding) which seemed like a lifetime when you are holding that much weight motionless on your chest and trying to stay tight. It was long enough for my dad to look at the judge with the look of “hey are you gonna give her a press command yet?” Haha I finally got a press command and grinded it out. I got up and thought to myself, man that feel rough and heavy. It’s never a good feeling when you get off the bench thinking your opener was close to your top end! Haha So I played it conservative and just went up to 325 for a second attempt. That felt a little better, but still heavier than I wanted it to be. I continued to play it conservative and went 335 for a 3rd attempt and that felt better than the first two! Each attempted I tweaked the shirt a little more. Pulled the sleeves and neckline down just a little more, etc. Now this was my first time really playing with the Katana and I quickly realized just how different the Katana is from the F6 that I’ve been wearing for the past 8-9 years! So after successfully completing my 3rd attempt I asked for a 4th attempt. Since it’s a local non sanctioned meet, they allow 4th attempts if you are successful on your first 3. I mainly wanted that 4th attempt so I could play with the shirt a little more and really get more used to the groove and feel of it! So I called for 345lb on my 4th attempt. I went out and pushed that with more ease than any other attempt. It felt really good and like I had more in me! I even kind of wanted a 5th attempt! Haha I even ended the day having a little more fun and did a bench your bodyweight competition. The girls only had to do half their body weight so that made it easier for us. I benched 75lbs for 74 reps and won!
All in all, I chalk that meet up to a good day with a lot of learning experiences. It’s a really good feeling knowing that, even if things go wrong I can still be very successful. Heck, on a day where virtually nothing went right or as planned I still managed to have a PR (at this bodyweight) day and learn a lot! Adversity isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a tool and building block to stronger, more well rounded and versatile athletes. The most important thing is to have a good mindset and don’t let one bad thing over come you. You overcome it and use it to fuel you and push you to more success! I think mental strength is harder to obtain the physical strength. You can go to the gym everyday and get stronger just by being there. But mental strength is something that comes more slowly and not always as natural. It takes experiences like this to make you mentally strong. A true champion is one who has physical strength and mental strength and knows exactly how to use them together in the right situations!



Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Please follow and like us:


  1. 74 reps with 75lbs???? I don’t think I’d be able to do that! Nice job Devan! I like what you dad says about positive things happen to positive people. Its so simple and he’s right!

  2. Narrow benches,high rack hmmn you train at LA Fitness?LOL. I used to train there and know what you are saying. I also get stronger or more confident as the attempts go and the weight seems to move better each successful attempt. Nice way to finish the meet with 74 reps!!!

© 2012-2018 IronAuthority All Rights Reserved

Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email