Coach's Note: I've been bugging this athlete, (let's call them) Cris, lately to share their story. I've been inspired by their progress in such a short period of time and I think a lot of you will relate to their story. Cris hates being the center of attention and couldn't imagine putting themselves out there on video. They finally relented and let me share their story on the blog. Here is the story of their fitness journey, in their words:
When I got started at Power Grid, I was scared of two things:
I guess I avoided going to a gym like Power Grid mostly because of the first one. The second one is in my control, right? I’ve done all kinds of classes and even some bootcamps at Lake Merritt.
In Foundations, I was one on one with a coach. I tried a group and liked it, but my work schedule meant I could mostly come in around 10 am. So I signed up for the ID program after the first month.
We did some barbell stuff in Foundations. There were deadlifts, cleans and snatches (I still can’t always tell you the difference, but they’re both hard, and the coach demonstrates what he wants me to do anyway. I’ll get it someday.) But when I started ID, the coach started putting weight on the bar.
The weights at Power Grid look big. They’re rubber and you’re supposed to drop them. In fact–funny story–the first time I lifted a weight over my head, the coach said, “Now drop it on the ground.” and I just couldn’t. All those years of hearing “don’t drop your weights!” and my parental instinct kicked in, and I set the bar down gently. The coach just smiled and asked me to do it again, and then MADE me drop the bar from overhead. He said there’s no real value in lowering the weight slowly on that lift, and the safest thing I could do if the weight got too heavy was just to drop it. So we practiced dropping it a few more times. It felt GOOD. Sometimes (don’t tell the coach) I look forward to Power Grid JUST so I can drop something. This always happens at the end of a hard day when my boss is in one of her moods–go figure.
Then we deadlifted. In a deadlift, you pick up a heavy weight from the floor to your hips. You just stand up with it, and when you do it right, you feel it in your butt instead of your back. It took me awhile to really get it, but on my third time deadlifting, I actually lifted 150 pounds! I didn’t know what the coach had on the bar. I just went through my little drill to get my butt in the right position, and he said “now stand up”, and I did. Then he asked me, “How much do you think you just lifted?” I had no idea. 150 pounds seems crazy to me.
What happened next was scarier still: we walked over to a whiteboard and he wrote my name on it, with “150 DL” beside it (that means one-hundred-fifty pound deadlift.) The board said “PRs” at the top. Afterwords, coach put his fist out gesturing his proud acknowledgment. My fist met his for a solid "bump". Yup, I'm that person now.
Next time: double-unders. Now THERE’S a story.