Anyone who is competitive in a sport, event etc., knows what it’s like to train hard for a competition and come up short. For many people, they sacrifice so much from their daily lives towards this goal. The sacrifices can be socially and physically exhausting . But what happens when you put all of that work in and the day comes, and then you don’t show up ?
Well let me tell you a thing or two. In my short time in raw powerlifting, I have faced this barrier. I signed up for a meet in December of 2017 for a meet in February of 2018. I had been training and training since October of 2017 preparing for this meet . When it came time for it to be meet day , it was all but a disaster . On February 24th 2018, the day of my meet, I was ready to go. But what I did not know was that it was going to be a day that I’d soon like to forget . After warming up , I felt okay , but not great . I had a solid nights sleep and plenty of carbohydrates in me . I thought I’d shake it and be ready once they called my name for squats . My squats were only the beginning of this not so ideal day ahead . They misloaded the bar and I about fell over . After that error was fixed , they loaded it correctly . I took my opener, which was 485 and it had been a drop in the bucket during prep. I looked up and all of lights were off (2/3 lights to get the lift ). The judges shook their heads and they said I was way too high . I shook it off and thought it was just nerves . So I decided to stick with the same weight my next attempt .
A few moments later, it was my turn to squat again and I walked up to the platform . I set myself up better and tried to focus in on the weight . As I unracked the weight, it was just very heavy . I went down and came up; I knew instantly that it was too high . They were in my head at this point . I looked up and there were zero lights. I was so frustrated and flustered as I walked to the attempts table. As I walked over, my dad came in and it was his birthday . He had come to watch me compete . He said “ what’s going on?” I replied “I’m one lift away from bombing out..” he replied “What?!” . I explained to to him what had happened . I could instantly tell that he was very sad and he could see the same in me . So I got myself together and did my best to get my mind right . On my last attempt of squats I stayed with 485. I looked out and Louie Simmons who had mentored me at Westside Barbell during my time working there yelled “COME ON GREYSON LETS GO!!” . The next thing I heard was the announcer say, “Let’s go guys, he needs this to stay in the meet!! Lets cheer him on!” My nerves were even higher and I was determined I was going to drop this squat lower than I’ve ever gone before . As I went down I just felt fatigued and I tried to get up …it just wasn’t there. I missed the lift and the spotters took the bar as I came up . I had bombed out of the meet . I was in disgust and pure disbelief. I honestly was embarrassed and disgraced . I did this in front of guys I’ve trained with and people who have mentored me . They let me finish the meet and switch to push /pull. The rest was like the latter .
I went home and celebrated my dad’s birthday, but I was so disgusted and frustrated with myself . I prayed a lot and asked God for guidance . I know that powerlifting is such a small aspect of my life . But it still means a lot to me . So the next week I became frustrated and very persistent in my training . My training partner Michael and I had been on an off with workouts . We finally got on the same schedule and we were cruising . We decided to sign up for a meet in Columbus on April 7th, 2018, this past weekend, to be exact . We had prepared and trained extremely hard up for this meet . Michael is an ex division one athlete with strength that many dream about . He is a passionate guy who loves his family . He brings that fire and drive every single day . We were ready and focused . The last meet was behind us . We took our openers on squat and deadlifts then bench press as well. I actually missed my opener on deadlifts, but I wasn’t shaken by it, because it’s the one lift I know is always there for me personally .
Flash back to last weekend . Michael and I weigh in at the gym . We both were ready to go and I could tell Mike was very anxious. He had his two kids and wife with him along with some bags under his eyes . But he said he was ready to roll the next morning . We showed up at the meet and did our thing . Squats came around and he smoked his opener and I smoked mine . That put a huge belt of confidence around me . I finished 2/3 on squats and just missed 540. It was already a huge turn around . My mindset was determined this time . It was on to bench where I under performed and went 1/3. I made a few mistakes with positioning and my butt popped up a few times . I shook it off and we were ready for deadlifts . I walked out ready to open and I absolutely crushed my triple body weight opener of 600 for my opener . It felt fast and I could tell that deadlifts were on. There was a total I was after that would give me an elite (pro status ), as well as an invitation to compete in the 2019’ Arnold classic . I went straight for this 645 attempt . It felt strong and easy as I pulled it up . But I received zero lights and they called me for hitching . I was very frustrated , but I knew that this was the adversity that I needed to face . Mike just missed 600 twice at the knees. I was bummed out for him , but being the great person he is , he cheered me on and wanted me to pull this weight . I walked up on my 3rd attempt and said a little prayer . Somehow ..someway, that bar flew up and the judges gave me all three white lights, which gave me the total I needed to qualify for elite and the Arnold Classic . I was full of so many emotions and feelings. This was huge for me considering I had bombed out of that meet just 5 weeks ago . Truthfully, I was mentally exhausted. I wasn’t sure what was gonna happen . But I knew I had to compete right away . I received best lifter and 1st place in my class, as well. It was a great day for Mike, too; he received 2nd place with a huge total. Even more impressive was the fact that he had left over 100lbs on the board.
My point is that no matter your circumstances, you’ve gotta keep showing up and believing in yourself . Whether it’s in a competition or daily life , keep doing the things you need to do to get you where you wanna go . It will pay off and it’s always a process . For me, it’s always just trusting that God has a plan and His plan is perfect in His timing . So if you’re lacking motivation or you’re on the fence about getting back into the gym or reaching out to the job of your dreams, then just do it . You’ve got it inside of you . You’re called for so much more in your life . You have meaning and purpose . This story is so small and may not mean much to some , but it means a lot to me . You will
always learn and you will always learn about yourself . You will learn that you are resilient and you can bounce back from adversity . Adversity is the brother to success . So go get what your worth and stop complaining that you’ve got it bad . It all within the mindset and what you speak . Life and death is held within the tongue . Speak life and positivity over the situations and people in your life . I guarantee you will see a difference .