This weekend we had 7 lifters including myself attend ECG camp in Virginia beach. Over the next few weeks I will be posting the things that each one of us got from our experience at camp. Andre will be sharing his camp experience
This past weekend, along with six others from the PFP Barbell team, I attended the East Coast Gold “Add to the Atmosphere” Weightlifting Camp in Virginia Beach. After seeing the agenda, I think we all knew it was not going to be an easy weekend but I know I underestimated how much “embrace the grind” would be needed.
First off, it was hot! The gym had no A/C, which isn’t much a surprise but it wasn’t something I considered while planning. I spent about 10 years living the Hampton Roads, VA area and I am certainly familiar with the Summertime humidity but my workout “uniform” is sweatpants and a sweatshirt and has been for several years now. I knew it would be hot but since I didn’t consider the possibility of a gym with no A/C, I simply brought what I normally exercise in.
The camp started on Friday evening, which is when I drove down from Pittsburgh. Even during the evening time, simply put, that first session was grueling. Of course, being the first session, everyone (including myself) was “full of piss and vinegar.” It was chaotic, electric and exhausting right from the start. My “sweatsuit” gained immediate attention which, ironically, is the opposite of its purpose (which is simplicity). During this first session, I decided I was going to exercise being comfortable with discomfort.
This idea of being comfortable while uncomfortable came up in a conversation between Coach Leo and a teammate of mine. Thinking back, although I was not directly involved in the discussion, I think this talk planted a seed which helped me stay motivated on several occasions during the weekend.
Because a ripped callus can affect training, I usually take care of my hands. I was proud of the fact that it had been close to a year since I had a callus tear. Well, referring back to the chaos and “piss and vinegar” during the first session, I was lifting without any chalk (not sure it would have helped anyway) and mid-session of the very first day of lifting, my hand was torn. I was annoyed but knew I couldn’t let me affect me too much. We finished that first session on Friday and I was totally exhausted.
On Saturday, we had three full sessions to work through. After the one session on Friday evening, I wasn’t sure how this was going to be possible. We got some rest and showed up Saturday morning. We were all moving a bit sluggish at first but amazingly, after stretching out and warming up, I felt ok to start our first session on Saturday. One of the coaches said it shouldn’t be as high-paced as the first session but after starting session two, it felt a whole lot like the first session.. Hot, grueling and my hands continued to get worse. As miserable as it was, during the first two sessions, the outstanding coaching staff provided couple of weightlifting queues that were immediately useful. I knew the pain was worth it.
We continued the cycle of finishing a session and wondering how continuing could even be possible. It was so hot, our hands were smoked, we ached all over.. Somehow, it just happened. I finished the weekend with a wealth of things to work on and am excited to continue
growth in the sport. Sure, quitting crossed my mind more times than I’d like to admit but I like getting to that place every now and then. It’s where I continue to learn about myself.
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