It’s been a real learning curve for me this week, having finished my first week of my new programme.
I’ve begun to learn new exercises. No weight at all has been a challenge. I’ve done sets of 20 (my previous maximum number of reps in a set was 10). I’ve rejigged the gym. I’ve driven to collect tyres (to use as blocks for deadlifts). I’ve made a mess of things. I’ve felt triumphant. It’s been a rollercoaster.
I wanted to pick up on something that I mention in the video that I’ve been thinking about a lot recently. This is the fact that all of the areas of our life are interlinked.
Stephen Covey, in an appendix to his book ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ talks about the facets of our lives that we need to look after and to be in balance to be truly effective people as being the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional.
More and more I’m appreciating that powerlifting, and anything else I do, requires energy from, and contributes to the energy I have available, for all of these areas. Given this is a powerlifting blog, let’s focus on the powerlifting:
Physical – this is hopefully fairly evident, lifting heavy weights requires physical effort.
Mental – this has been the most prevalent force for me this week. Learning new movement patterns. Remembering when to pause and for how long. Determining how much to load the bar with (which wasn’t a lot!). I have found it mentally challenging and stimulating in equal measure.
Spiritual – Covey is at pains to point out that this isn’t about a particular religious outlook on life, but rather a feeling of peace, stillness, oneness. I get this through my training. The focus required is so strong that, in terms of Covey’s definition, it is a spiritual experience.
Emotional – powerlifting covers both my emotional desires (do well at a competition, lift more than last week, lift with better technique…) and relationships – predominantly for me as someone who trains alone at home, this is my coach and those I interact with online. But powerlifting is certainly an emotional game.
These are my thoughts on powerlifting but I could just as easily go through and talk about how my job requires an input from all of these areas, as well as my family life.
I agree with Covey, that in order to be truly effective we need to be in balance physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, and powerlifting helps me to achieve that. Are there any aspects of the sport that you find plays into these that I’ve missed? And do you feel like you have adequate balance in your life right now? If not, what will you do about it?