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Last March, Minnesota had its State weightlifting meet and I qualified to compete. I was very nervous going into the meet. There was many great competitors and it was the biggest crowd I had ever lifted in front of. On top of that, I had to make sure that I made my weight class, which was fifty six kilos. I got to the competition at 7:30 and my weigh in wasn't until 8:30. Even though it was only an hour to wait it felt like I was without food and water for hours and hours. To make this worse I had some doubt in myself. I really didn't know if was the best I could , but when the time came I made weigh. Which was a huge relief.


My session for lifting was at 10:30 so I started warming up at 9:45. First was snatch, I did really good on those. I went three for three, making all of my lifts made me feel very hopeful for placing in the competition. Then started clean and jerk. I opened up at fifty seven kilos. There I sat waiting for them to call my name finally the on the loudspeaker I heard “ Braxton Ulrich you have one minute.” As I walked up to the my heart felt it was going to beat right out of my chest and I had butterflies in my stomach. I grabbed the bar set my back and pulled; I caught the weight in a squat and stood up. Now it was time for the jerk. I dipped down and pressed it up but the weight was too much and it came crashing down. A little x was wrote next to my attempt on the board.


While discouraged by my performance on my first attempt, I still thought that I could make the next one. I had to follow myself which means I got two minutes between instead of one. I took my time finally once again I was walking up to the bar. I got set, pulled and caught it. I stood up, but it was harder than last time to do so. I could hear my whole family and my coach cheering for me. I dipped the weight and jerked it this time getting it over my head before my elbow gave out and I had to drop it. Another little x next to that attempt on the board. One more and I would be out of the competition,  it was now time for my third attempt.


Once again I had to follow myself, I had two more minutes to sit and think. A brain with two minutes to think and self doubt creeping in can make two minutes like an eternity. The whole time every insecurity and all self doubt I had in myself came out. I thought “ Am I even good enough to be here? Can I make this? Am I strong enough?” When the time came for me to lift I was deep in a pit. I grabbed the bar set my back and pulled, I caught the weight in a squat and tried to stand up, but I couldn't do it. As my legs strained to pull myself out of the bottom, my self doubt pulled me deeper and deeper until I had to drop it. A hush fell over the crowd as they all realised I had just “Bombed Out.” After changing my Mom was the first to greet me with a hug and a kiss telling me it was all okay as long as I gave it my all. That got me thinking “ Did I really give it my best.” After a long time thinking I finally a decision.


I was taking my sport as an afterthought and if I really want to excel and not have the same feeling next year, I needed to start taking training and practice serious. I started to eat better and get to bed at a good time. Every single practice after that I gave it my all no matter how much I didn't want to do it or how tired I was, because I knew that was the only way to get better. I still have about six months until this years state and I plan to get even better until that day, and when that day comes I will not lose again.






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