“I wanted you to be the last thing on my mind. I wanted you to be the reason I close my eyes. But I can’t sleep and oh god I wanted to be your high. But everything I said it went unheard. And everything you saw with eyes straight blurred…became our downfall.” – Eden: Gravity
There’s a saying: The barbell does not lie. I have had conversations about certain things that stand out to me about what separates the sport of Weightlifting from other sports. One such characteristic is that there is no luck in this sport. None. You don’t, can’t, accidentally make a Snatch or make a Clean and Jerk. Every single inch must be earned, ever single kilogram. There is no lucky bounce of the ball. If you don’t do exactly what is required of you in that lift, then it will simply fall back to the ground. There have been so many lifts, PR attempts, or in a competition, that I got under the bar. I was right there, felt my arms lock out… and it just falls forward. In your mind you did everything you thought you needed to do. And, no matter how much you analyze it… the lift was missed. A little more energy was spent, and in the next immediate lift you are going to have a little less energy.
“So hear me out. You know everybody talks, girl, and it means nothing till you let it. But if you keep second guessing then there’s only gonna be one end….”
As we walk the path that is our lives there are times when no matter how hard you try, no matter how hard you want it… it just won’t be. Our failures haunt us, regardless of if the failure was our fault or not. As we get older, as we age in mind, body, and spirit… the cost becomes just a little bit more. It takes a little bit more of what you had, because you give more… and it extracts a toll. As we age, we come to understand exactly what goes into our sacrifices. Each defeat stings just a bit more. You feel foolish… because you think you should know better by now.
“But you can leave if you really want to and you can run if you feel you have to. I’ll be fine if you ever ask me. I know it’s hard, but no one said it’s easy. Falling’s easy. But there’s only one way up….”
It’s the same in Weightlifting… the frustration. You know the pulls. You know what needs to happen. The warm up lifts will seem fluid, you may not even miss all the way up to your max. Then it’s time to go for it: just 2 more kilos. That’s all it is. It’s a little heavier, but this isn’t unfamiliar territory…. You feel the bar slightly against your shins as you begin the first pull and your balance begins to shift to your heels. It then travels over your knees and you sweep in with your hips, the balance is slightly back onto your mid-foot. Then you drive as hard as you can, the bar launches with your hips and you begin to fly. The bar will seem to lift effortlessly. You have trained this movement thousands of times. The triple extension feels strong and powerful. So now you begin to pull under the bar. It’s fast. You lift your feet off of the ground and pull as hard as you can, staying mindful to keep the bar close and let it trace up your torso. You hit the bottom, you feel the lockout happen, you land… and for a moment you think you’ve hit the lift. Then, for some reason.. it just tilts a little bit forward, your elbows begin to bend, your balance shifts to your toes… and you have to bail. The bar drops, deadening to the ground in a display of failure. You sit there, disappointed… and wonder: what happened?
“So I been thinking that I think too much and I can’t sleep but I can dream of us. It’s burning down, I gotta drown this out. Cos you said jump and I went first but falling’s always been my downfall….”
Athletes and coaches like to say that those days are our best days. At the time you want to brush that remark aside because you’re pissed and you feel like the outcome should be different. How can you train this much and still fail? Still miss? Then you go home, a bit pissed because you want to keep training… but you’re human, and at some point it has to stop. You replay the lifts over and over, thinking what if I do this? Or what if I do that next time? Maybe this? I need to start to train that position better. Before you know it you begin to grow as an athlete. And, as is customary, eventually you do hit that lift, and others become much easier. It’s because you took the time to acknowledge your failure and grow from it. Allow yourself to be taught by what the barbell is trying to teach you.
“But you can leave if you really want to and you can run if you feel you have to… and I can drink if I feel I have to. I know it’s hard, but I can’t feel like I used to… because I used to defy Gravity.”
After you have analyzed your defeat, whatever it may be in your life, the same lessons hold true here: you have to be open to the lessons, analyze the situation, and build off of it. That’s how you grow, that’s how you become stronger. The most amount of pain comes from the situations you cared for the most. We pour our hearts into our lifts, because anyone that knows Weightlifting knows how difficult it is, and how much is demanded of you to be good at it. At that point the relationship is inevitable. It becomes an extension of who you are. Personally, I don’t believe in luck. I believe in fate. There are lessons to be learned, and the universe will attempt to teach them to you. But, it’s a two-way door. Your heart has to be open and available. There is not random, there are patterns. The gods will speak to you, you have to be available to listen. This world will give you exactly what it is it wants, and what you deserve… as well as what you have earned, in due time. When you teach yourself how to thread the needle, like in Weightlifting, your successful attempts will become more common. When you teach yourself to trust in your abilities, and be patient… the light will come. You must earn your light, just like you must earn your lift. Then someone will watch you hit a lift, or the crowd will… and they will cheer and wonder: how did they do it? They made it look so easy. It’s not. No one who has ever competed in this sport ever had it come easily. When you learn to grow… you can begin to defy gravity.
“Defy gravity…Goodbyes keep dragging me down and I’m fighting gravity. Defying gravity… I tried but I keep falling cos falling’s easy…
But it only brings you down….”