OK so here’s what happened in Feb last year – just before lockdown…
I had already made 2020 resolution to “say yes to everything and work it out later”.
Generally, that worked out well.
(now bear in mind, I’m quite little,
do things like HITT and dancey stuff
so I’m relatively fit… but the boys’ grunty end of the gym, wasn’t my natural habitat).
I agreed to take part in UK’s Strongest woman.
Like most things that make reasonable anecdotes in my life…this was a dare that got out of hand.
Don’t get me wrong,
there wasn’t a Vegan Magnum in hell’s chance that I could win something like that – that wasn’t the challenge.
These athletes train for years.
The challenge was taking part.
And hopefully not look like someone’s mum
who had wandered into the wrong room
looking for the ‘Holiday Spanish for Beginners’ evening class.
So the thing about the novice category.
(which I was clearly in)
is that whatever size, shape, strength, etc – you are all in it together.
Once you have won enough time to be in the ‘proper’ category…
they divide you by weight and it gets a bit fairer.
Safe to say, I was probably the smallest and definitely the oldest.
Some of the women in my category were younger than 2 of my children!
“I may have made a terrible error..”
Although I am no stranger to exercise,
it’s been the sort that
doesn’t make veins stick out of your neck.
or your eyes go bloodshot.
or make you make this noise
There was a great deal of that.
Amy and I had 13 weeks to train for it.
The gist of it:
lifting up really heavy things as many times as possible/
lifting up really heavy things, taking them over there and bringing them back /
pulling really heavy things (a truck) as fast as you can and then running about like a lunatic with bags of sand /
this contraption you lift up and walk round in a circle with until your arms fall off/you fall over (it’s heavy
Obviously, my heavy things were much less heavy than Amy’s.
My cha-cha is more stylish than hers, so it all evens out.
There were five events.
My aim: lift/move/carry the amounts required at least ONCE in the competition.
As Strongwoman competitions go –
this was a rather ridiculous choice of first one
as they were particularly heavy,
Until five weeks before – I could not lift/move/carry those amounts once.
Not any of them actually.
I tried so hard with one of them I dislocated a rib.
That is next-level stubbornness, right?
Two weeks before I could briefly lift some of them albeit in a deranged manner.
1 week before I was never more than 50:50 about doing it at all
2 days before – I threw my toys out of the pram because of the bloody axle bar.
I couldn’t lift the stupid thing above my head.
Was driving me insane.
It doesn’t even look that heavy.
And that event required that I did it as many times as I could in a minute.
I was stuck on number 0.
So there was no point.
I was just going to embarrass myself.
Why did I even think I might be able to do something like that?
Also, my rib hurt, and I was boring myself moaning about it.
Nothing makes you feel older
than dislocating bits of your body trying to lift something off the floor.
Not even going to mention the pelvic floor – but you can probably imagine.
The point of all of this is to persuade you of something.
And I really hope there is a time in the future that you remember this –
when you find yourself wriggling out of something that could be epic.
I know it’s only a competition, but I had so many reasons to not go through with it.
Here were some of them I was considering:
“Couldn’t lift the weights”
“Really should let my rib heal”
“Never did that kind of thing before so I’ll just go and watch”
“I was the only one there for the first time”
“Better to start with a non-UK title one (ffs) with achievable weights”
“Should be there to support Amy as she has an actual chance of winning an actual title. Actually.”
“Was 46, with 3 children and probably should be in a Holiday Spanish for Beginners class and stop making a ridiculous show of myself.
And it would have been understandable, I’d have been totally let off.
But it would have been a TERRIBLE mistake.
Look what a story I would have missed out on.
The memory of taking on a challenge that felt almost definitely achievable.
And trying anyway.
If I had tried, not managed to lift anything at all – I’d still be proud.
That stuff is nerve-wracking.
Just standing in front of people not sure whether you could do a thing.
But I’d worked with experts.
Made a plan.
Prepared as much as I could
And accepted the fact: I might well fail.
That’s the key.
It sounds negative but it isn’t.
If you only ever do things you know you are capable of –
your life will be much smaller than it could be.
Your choices and opportunities will be more limited.
Your experiences will be less varied.
Your time will be less interesting.
Your confidence, pride and self-esteem won’t be anywhere near the levels you deserve to enjoy.
If you are lucky enough to make it to 80 and are sharing stories of your life –
you’ll wish you’d ‘had a go’ at more stuff.
But what about me – how did I get on??
You’ve guessed it… I won the whole thing!!!!
Did I heck?!!!
Of course I didn’t.
Don’t be ridiculous.
The proper category too.
If you know her, you’re not surprised.
She smashed it to pieces.
But I didn’t come last.
In one of the events, I was even in the middle of the scoreboard.
And even if I had have come last –
I was taking part in a competition that, 6 months before, I would have laughed in your face at the idea of!
I had the most incredible day and made wonderful friends and got an insight into a world I never would have known before.
Turns out it’s a really supportive, lovely world.
So that’s a win already isn’t it?
But what about the bloody axle press?
I was aiming for 1.
How many do you reckon?
Do you want to see?
Lots of Love Tanya x
from Wise & Gorgeous
p.s. if you want to work with us on YOUR goals, taking life by the short and curlies – and having the most supportive community behind you.
Our Membership Human Upgrade, is open for a maximum of 15 new members or 7 days (whichever is sooner), from Wednesday.
We don’t know when the doors open again after that.