Answers on a postcard

I had a big old self-doubt day again yesterday. Not quite into “I hate powerlifting!!!!” territory, but I’m a bit fed up with myself at the moment. I started off being cross & down with myself in the morning for my supposed lack of achievements in my life*; then in the evening I was feeling so meh that I just couldn’t put any enthusiasm into my workout & left before finishing it.

I know comparison is the thief of joy, but I feel so rubbish that after 5 years (5 years!) I still can’t squat 100kg or deadlift more than 115kg. I try to do all the things that people say will make you “suck less” (surround myself with high achievers, have a good coach, eat lots of food, train hard [95% of the time, anyhow] etc etc) but I still suck. Sob sob sob.

It doesn’t help my mental state that right now, my day job is hard. As in, every day feels like I’m doing a hard assignment in school, and I leave the office feeling frazzled. Then twice a week I have to go to the gym, and I don’t get home until at least 8.30pm. Add to that the fact that I’m trying to do more tech outreach stuff – this Tuesday I went to Ladies Who Code & didn’t get home until 9.30pm; next week I have Codebar on Wednesday & won’t get home until 10pm – it’s no wonder my brain is fried & I’m feeling down. I feel almost like I do two jobs.

In my sad, self-pitying mood last night I pondered on Facebook why I am still such a mediocre powerlifter after 5 years (5 years!!) of trying, and I got a few nice comments about how inspiring I am to still be plugging away at it after so long. It’s twee and self-indulgent, but comments like that do make me feel better. Even if I’m pretty shit at it, it’s nice to know that my talking about powerlifting inspires others (I actually had a couple of people come up to me at Ladies Who Code to say they remembered/enjoyed my talk about powerlifting, which was ace).

I guess the only thing I can do is keep plugging away at it, eh? Keep on turning up to the gym, training as hard as I can (when I’m not feeling like crap, that is), and try to feel OK with my mad plan to (gasp) not make weight in order to get that 100kg squat. Although if that doesn’t work I’m not sure what other drastic measures I can take 😉

How do you deal when you’re feeling inadequate in your sport/your job/something else? Any confidence-boosting tips?

* If you can call a degree, a good career, friends, a happy relationship and my own house “lack of achievements”!! Sheesh, my brain!

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2 thoughts on “Answers on a postcard

  1. Helen

    Here have a great big cup of Women The Fuck UP. I was going to come on here and basically post your * comment, and then I read that you already had so I’m going down a different route. Not everybody is going to be good at everything they try, it truly sucks when you find something you love (powerlifting for you, strongwoman for me) and then realise you are NEVER actually going to be very good at it. But me turning up for training isn’t “plugging” away at it, that term seems so negative, like you are doing it because you HAVE to and not because you WANT to. You WANT to powerlift, well boo hoo you are never going to be particularly competitive at it but you are still the lucky one as you have discovered something that is good for you and that you also love doing.

    In a slightly nicer mode I’m sorry work feels so difficult at the moment, it’s just a learning curve which is easy to say slightly more difficult when it’s you having to do it. It will click at some point I am sure.

    1. lozette Post author

      Haha harsh, but fair!! TBH I don’t normally respond well to that sort of negative encouragement but you have a point. It’s why I generally try to avoid people who say things like “If you can’t deadlift three plates you’re not worth listening to” etc. Those kind of posts, I just stop reading instead of getting inspired by them, IYKWIM.

      Yeah, I’m lucky, it’s just a bummer when people walk into powerlifting and are able to lift really well right off the bat – and while I try to get inspired by it, it’s hard not to compare yourself.

      I definitely feel like I plug away at it – the term doesn’t have those negative connotations for me. Gonna have to disagree there.

      As for the * stuff… well, that all comes from my upbringing (and I have 6 years of therapy to prove it). All I can say is – never listen to your mother. Sorry mothers.

      As for work – well, TBH I don’t think it will ever feel easy, that’s what coding is all about, after all.

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