Saturday, December 30, 2017

When The Benefits are Blurry

It's December 30, 2017.

Looking back on the year, it seems successful for the most part....I suppose. I have written before about my internal struggle with powerlifting. Honestly, I find myself in the middle of the same struggle.

Once upon time, a long time ago, in a land far far away, I went to lactation school. As in, breastfeeding. SPOILER ALERT! I didn't finish. Why? Because my return on investment (ROI) was going to be extremely low. At the time, in order for me to have a real position as a certified lactation consultant (read: hired by a hospital) I'd need to also be a registered nurse, and I had/have zero interest in that. I won't bore you with the geographical details and success rates, and my lack of ability to be able to predict the upswing in interest and activism for breastfeeding at the time, I dropped out. In short, I quit. HOWEVER, I fully support loving and nurturing your babies and if that means breastfeeding for you, then I can still help at a very normal level and I still love it and I will still recommend you to a consultant if necessary.  So, if you are a mother who just had a baby and you need an ear, PLEASE send me message! I very much believe "the village" is the what is missing from society. I'll be your village. End Commercial.

Back to powerlifting. This other passion of mine. This other "pet project" of mine. At what point do you draw the line? At what point do you really look at your ROI and be honest with yourself? (I'm literally about to write an entire paragraph of rhetorical questions). When do you say that you're "good enough" to coach? When are you good enough to handle day of? When do you know enough to write programming? When do you "deserve" enough sponsorship to pay your way to comps? And can you coach and be one of the best at the same time? When is it justified? And is it ever?

At the end of the day, it is all defined by the individual. I can say, that when I was in lactation school, I learned things that I still to this day use to help women nurse their babies and would not trade that for anything in the world. I can say the same for powerlifting.

A moment that stands out to me in particular just happened the other day. I coach my daughter's basketball team and I scheduled practice over the holiday break, because consistency is key! My practice attendance was very low so I had a great opportunity to work one on one more so than normal. We were practicing free throws, and after several misses by all the players, I told them about a "trick". The trick I told them about was having the vision. I told my player, "imagine the ball going in the hoop before you shoot it. See yourself doing it. BUT, it only works, if you believe it". This particular player, believes me, which makes everything easier! I'll be dammed if she didn't shoot that free throw and it swished threw the net! IT WORKS, she exclaimed!

I may have cried. Just a little though. I owe this lesson to powerlifting. There are many things I have learned through this sport that I pour out money and sacrifice to. And I'm taking a giant exhale and saying that it's worth it. While my ROI may not me monetary (for now), it is serving me in the greater scheme of things. And much like the school I dropped out of, I am at times severely underestimating it's value.

As I continue to learn, each day, the most valuable things we have to offer, are what we have to offer to others by way of experience and encouragement. #bethegasoline 

LET'S GO 2018!


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