The feeling that I used to experience a lot prior to most of my Judo competitions, which is one of the reasons I took a huge step back from it and switched to weightlifting in the first place.
There are a lot of other reasons that contributed to my early retirement from judo, but having a genuine feeling of fear before competition didn't help. Not just being scared of the competition but I would get an overwhelming feeling of failure, partly due to my awful relationship with food and the weight cuts I used to endure. Mainly being scared that I wouldn't make the weight class and becoming a let down to both me and my coach.
(picture of me at the peak of my mental
struggles and maximum leanness)
Having these similar feelings creep back for weightlifting worried me because I had thought that I had overcame that issue back in 2017. Obviously the issue is still there but is not as prominent as before and can easily be put back in its box with the right mindset and coaching.
Luckily for me my coach picked up on this and switched up my training. Had almost a whole week off full lifts with just 2 weeks until the English and it couldn't have worked better for me.
With a fresh mindset on competing and a fresh body, I was ready to smash the last phase of the taper - PEAK WEEK!
Having the opportunity to train at Performance Ground for the first time allowed me to hit some decent numbers before dialing back the intensity and reducing the weights for the final taper week.
Hitting some relatively decent numbers in the last heavy session without it feeling too heavy gave me a massive boost of confidence and made me think "I really can do this!". All worries of competing almost vanished.
Being an over thinker, its easy for me to get hung up thinking of all possible scenarios before a big event but luckily for me, I was so busy at work during the final week, I had almost forgotten that I was competing on the weekend. This helped the final week fly by and all I had to worry about was getting down to my weight class.
Weight cuts have always been an issue for me, mainly because I'm pretty lean anyway and I put on weight really easily. This is great for building muscle, but not so much for trying to cut down to a weight class.
Cutting 2-3 kg is a lot more do-able now for weightlifting compared with when I used to cut for Judo. Reason being is that I would be competing multiple times a month and sometimes twice on the same weekend for Judo and this resulted in extreme yo-yo dieting and eventually gave me a binge eating disorder.
For weightlifting its much easier as I compete maximum 6 times a year and often have a 6-8 week build up before competition when I would start my cut.
For the English I ended up fitting my cut in around 4 weeks due to Christmas festivities/ my birthday and the excessive amounts of food available. But we got there in the end and weighed in at 54.9 on the morning of the 19th January, feeling rather dehydrated having water cut around 1.5 kg in the final week.
Using re-hydration sachets after weighing in is essential to allow your body to reabsorb as much of the lost electrolytes as possible. For me its stopped my legs from cramping up due to the lack of water and by the time I was ready to compete my body had almost made a full recovery from the lack of water it had been receiving over the last 24 hours.
As competitions go, it is probably my most successful one yet, securing a silver medal and as a result ranking 2nd in the UK for my weight class.