Monday, March 23, 2015

Being a Coachable Athlete, A Teachable Coach, And, Well, Pregnant

It's pretty interesting being a woman in the weight room.

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!)

I get their fascination. The (ridiculous) controversy of pregnant women working out (especially lifting heavy weights) drives many into silence, or pressures others to spend 9 months living in a bubble of fear and "what if".

 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.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see the upcoming videos. You are so inspiring. Congratulations to you two!