Over the last several months I have been sharing parts of my journey back to the powerlifting platform. In 2005, after a pectoralis tendon tear while prepping for a competition, I had felt forced away from the sport prematurely. However at the time it gave me an opportunity to assess the balance in my life.
This change of direction at the time was both a very difficult challenge and at the same time a total blessing.
Since leaving the sport and refocusing on other parts of my life a number of significant things happened:
- I got married
- I improved my business and career focus
- I got hired into management at a high profile facility (and doubled my income within the first year in the position).
- I fixed my body and learned how to run again and develop other skill sets that turned me into a better trainer and coach.
- I attended a meditation retreat, and remained completely silent for over 10 consecutive days.
- I became a Dad.
- I studied under some industry leaders to develop areas of my knowledge base that supported a more holistic approach to fitness and well being.
- I developed systems and philosophies in not only training, but also life coaching, intuition, fitness mentorship, and self discovery.
The above are just the highlights of a very long list of things that helped me evolved since putting down the NEED to be “competitive”.
Jumping forward to 2016 a part of me still wanted to comeback and register a total even if it was just for one last time. It was my way of saying, “everything is okay, and I can still do this”. I also wanted to demonstrate it can be done safely with the right mindset, and I can do it while sacrificing far less then I did in the past. On Aug 28, I humbly stepped up to register an official total as a Masters athlete since the incident happened over a decade ago.
I totalled 7 kg short of a regional qualifier, hit a Masters personal best in the squat and had some great moments to share with my family and friends. However, it wasn’t so much about the numbers although this sport is truly a numbers game.
I just wanted to do it because I loved it and knew all along I could go back and leave the stage on my own terms. So with that, it was a tremendous success despite the struggles I had with the bench press, which ironically was the lift I got injured in several years ago.
The next day I felt a strange sense of peace, as if almost a void was now created in my heart to be filled with something new once again!
Some memories came back to be while on this journey of sitting in a waiting room shortly after the injury saying to my friend, “some good must come from this experience.”
While in recovery I realized how lucky I was as the accident could have been far worse. I noticed other patients waiting to see the surgeon where suffering far more than I was just to maintain a reasonable quality of life. I soon realized that there was more to competing then just chasing numbers for status or ego driven measures.
This was a huge lesson in Gratitude among other many lessons.
Now with the meet a couple weeks behind me I also realized something that I didn’t noticed before. I applied my principles to this comeback journey!
This is what I learned:
- Sometimes we just need to SIGN UP in order to completely SHOW UP (DA Guiding Principle #1). Sometimes it just drives us to work harder when we have a timeline and target to chase in the process.
- If we put our health, well-being, loved ones etc. of highest priority over competition but integrated within the process, we are more likely to make wiser choices. And we are able to enjoy the experience with less chance for regretful setbacks. (DA Guiding Principle #2). In the deadlift I knew I could do more but my body was just saying “no”… so I listened.
- If we commit fully enough and focus in, a certain level of consistancy leads to greater learning opportunities that not only carry over to our lives, but also provide us with wisdom to share to others through real experiences. (DA Guiding Principle #3).
- When there is even just the slightest bit of discomfort in the process we will be also pressed to learn something new about ourselves. (DA Guiding Principal #4). Specializing in powerlifting was a real challenge for me since I have grown to love other components of fitness. But I stuck it out.
- If we don’t get truly intimate with WHY we are taking on any challenge or task, little of anything we do seems to make any sense or seem worth all the fuss. (DA Guiding Principle #5). I big motivator for me was to be a living example for my son. He was not born when I competed before and it wasn’t until he came into my life that I wanted to compete for him to see.
At the time, when training for the competition the idea of working the principles was in the back of my head but not until I started writing about it didn’t I realize I was experiencing it in real life application once again.
This does not mean I am saying we all need to compete to achieve our desired goals. But I feel that it asks us to just play the game with eyes opened and a full heart. If something does not excite you, move to something that does! Find it! Then apply yourself to it and see what happens.
I believe that we sometimes get stuck for a reason. We are coming to a place in life where we get to discover more about who we really are if we are willing to play the game. Once we surrender to this process we may get drawn into some really amazing experiences.
I believe we all have great stories to share and we don’t need to be elite level athletes to appreciate the outcome of playing full on.
Thank you for following along, if even just for a moment to read this article.
I look forward to what comes next!
Thanks for sharing your journey Brian and what you learned along the way. It’s awesome how you lived out your guiding principles as you prepped and competed. You definitely walk your talk and that’s inspiring.
Thanks for the feedback!
It had been a lot of fun and I encourage more stories from others as well.
Sending healthy vibes your way!