It's very clear that the typical attitude toward the weight room (and Weightlifting as a sport) is that it's a place for men - or women who look like or aspire to be more masculine. It's a nasty stereotype. It has been a really great experience to earn my stripes in both the training room and the platform, and it has really reminded me what a gift it is to have, and to be, a coachable athlete.
As an athlete, it's about being teachable, open to suggestions, tweaks, and drills that often seem either terrible or ridiculous - and trusting that each of these will, in some way (big or small) make you better at what you love to do.
As a coach, the learning never stops either. At least, in my humble opinion, it shouldn't. Each weight lifter is different. From obvious physical differences (height, weight, femur-to-torso ratio, flexibility impairments, coordination challenges...) to psychological differences, to more subtle emotional challenges due to some situation in their personal life. As a coach, you get all of it. Each athlete is a different package. It's up to the coach to get inside that and help foster that potential -and share what we've learned with other coaches. (Yes, sometimes it's through drills that feel ridiculous or terribly difficult.)
This week, I've been able to talk with a couple coaches and athletes, fascinated (and excited) about the idea of a pregnant Olympic Weightlifter. Since I've been cleared (by 3 doctors) to lift as long as it's comfortable, I'm able to continue my training with very little modification. (Trust me, it's not only comfortable, on most days, it's my sanity!)
So, when asked how I lift around an ever-changing center of balance (and a belly that grows by the day), I tried several times to explain it... and failed miserably. I needed a little more 'show' and a lot less 'tell'. So I did something I NEVER do...
I stripped off my shirt and turned on the camera. Here are the results...
Including a slow motion snatch complete with narration by yours truly.
I think I'm actually going to make these videos periodically - call it a weightlifter's version of the weekly pregnancy progression photos. It's really interesting working with a body that, in some places, is already about twice the size it used to be. Even though I used to be much heavier a few years back, the weight acts differently and is distributed differently now... and I still have all that strength that I didn't have when I was 220 and fighting the scale.
I may not be setting any new PRs, but it's a great time to work technique. And - it's working.