Learning From Failure


Last week I talked about how often you should compete. I had to learn my own lesson early in my career. I did my very first meet in December 2012. It didn’t go well, but that’s pretty normal and I’ll write about that in the future. I did my second meet in June 2014. That’s a year and a half after my first one. I actually didn’t know that I would compete again after my first one, but that second meet went really well. My squat, bench, and deadlift improved by 60, 50, and 100lbs since my first meet, respectively. I felt amazing. So of course, I signed up for another meet in November. I let my happiness after the meet blind me to an obvious fact: I couldn’t expect the same sort of progress in 5 months as I got in 18 months. I wasn’t going to be able to add 50lbs to my lifts so quickly, and thinking I could was setting myself up for a disappointing meet.

And that November meet was very, very disappointing. I went 5 or 6 for 9 (I can’t remember exactly) making only 1 squat and deadlift attempt. I hit a minor squat and total PR but overall left that meet feeling extremely frustrated and angry.

Now here’s the point: I got cocky after a good meet, and I competed again way too quickly. I let my ego and pride dictate training and competition decisions, and that did not go well. But I learned a valuable lesson from this, I learned that I need more time between meets, and I learned a lot about what I needed to work on to ensure I never repeated this experience. Because that meet sucked, I sucked, and it was embarrassing to lift so poorly in front of a bunch of people I knew. I decided not to let that happen again, and so far, it hasn’t. I was emotional about it for a while, but I got through that phase and assessed my performance, my preparation, and my mindset going into the meet. And I encourage you to do the same if and when things go wrong.

- Nigel, Kizen Coach (IG @captain.planet)