Kennywood, 1991, I’m standing in line to ride the Phantoms Revenge. You know the excitement you feel, the butterfly’s in your stomach, and the “yea, I can do this” attitude in front of your friends. Well, I was experiencing it all. I get in the roller coaster car, pull the safety guard over my head and push it down so hard it takes my breath away. I can still hear the clicking noise it made going up the first big hill. With the forceful wind on my face, heart racing and the feeling of just enough air in my lungs to continue screaming, and yes, I screamed the whole time. After the ride was over, we got off the ride and we were out of breath, smiling and laughing! What an amazing feeling. I guess this is what thrill seekers search for. Kennywood continues to raise the bar a little more each year with new rides to be better and make every day more exciting. When you think about it, the feelings you get waiting in line and after its over is just as important as the ride itself.
Now, much older yet I find myself in line. This time I am in line to be weighed in for a powerlifting meet. I am feeling excited, butterfly’s and “I can do this” attitude. I go through my gym bag to show all the items I will be using during the competition. As I try to calm down and stop shaking, I remind my self of all the hours of training I have put in for this very competition. Let’s see, I have one singlet (cause we all love wearing those…not), wrist wraps, knee sleeves and 4 pairs of socks. Freddie has shown me that you can still be fashionable and have costume changes during a meet! Everything is approved and its time to get on the scale. Now, I do not know one woman that would get excited about stepping onto a scale and if you do get excited I will have to challenge your sanity.
Everything goes well, I made weight and now it was time to eat good food with good people. I did not sleep very well that night, luckily my husband has been very supportive of my new and exciting venture of becoming a powerlifter, so he was there to join in the insomnia fun. He even went and found the best vending machine pretzels he could at 2 AM in the morning.
As 7 AM approached, we all met as a team to have breakfast and off to meet. For those of you that have never been in a powerlifting meet, it is like waiting in line for that roller coaster ride. The anticipation builds and then all the sudden you hear “PLATFORM READY!”. You then walk onto the platform, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride. Every lifter gets 3 shots at each lift. Your best lift counts so make them all your best! We competed the squat, then the bench, then the deadlift. My favorite and the last lift of the day was the deadlift. I have worked a long time to get to this day. The day when I look at my coach and he will say “Yes Jen, now you may lift 300 lbs.” Here it is, here is the ride. The ride everyone waits in line for, the ride that everyone is afraid to admit they are scared of. I walked onto that platform, took a deep breath, and lifted that bar! Three white lights from the judges equals a good lift. As the announcer says, “AND THE LIFT IS GOOD!!”. I walked off that platform and screamed with excitement.
Even though training for something takes hours and sometimes you may want to quit, don’t stop! Raise that bar just a little more each day. Enjoy every minute we take to achieve something, enjoy the wait in line to get on that platform and how it leaves us feeling afterwards. It’s just amazing!