I am a mental athlete. No, I don’t mean I’m crazy (although that could be easily argued), I mean that my mind can be my biggest supporter or my worst nightmare. My mind often determines if I am going to succeed or fail. It is one of my biggest challenges to overcome as an athlete.
I am generally a risk-adverse person. I over-analyze, over-think, and doubt just about every thought or decision I make. Despite being great at keeping myself alive, these tendencies are a hindrance for a lot of the other things I do, especially olympic lifting.
If you’ve ever been about to pick up a bar loaded with more than you weigh and throw it over your head, you likely know what’s like to have your brain say “Wait! This is a bad idea!” at just the wrong moment.
One of my biggest challenges with lifting has been shutting up the voice in my head.
“This is heavy.” “What if I drop it on myself.” “I can’t do this.”
None of those things are going to help me reach my goal.
Three months ago I hit a snatch PR of 98lbs. The lift was clean. I felt good. My coach was adamant I could make 100lbs.
But I failed. Over and over and over again. I stopped performing the lift correctly. I panicked before I got the bar off the ground, and I baled as soon as the bar got close to my head (which means I definitely could have finished the lift).
Two pounds shouldn’t make that big of a difference. But standing there with my six month goal weight on the bar, I froze. It was too big. Too much. Too heavy.
I finally shut up that voice. I finally believed I could do it. I hit 100lbs. And I know I had more than that in me. 105 is well within my reach. And my goal of snatching my body weight isn’t looking so crazy anymore.
A video posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on