I thought to use a different title vs hello everyone, here is another blog post condensing everything that has happened over the past half year 🙂 This time, only 5 months have passed since the last one in March 2016.
Though the Asian Weightlifting competition did not work out and therefore no Olympic representation, this year in Rio there are some nice stories and diversity. In some cases, I think, too much emphasis on what a woman is wearing or how she is described, versus her athletic feats and accomplishments, unfortunately. Some examples Ibtihaj Muhammad, and the Egyptian volleyball team.
It has been a while since I competed, and I bombed out at the last two, so this past competition at Emory was more for me to get my confidence back, and help me mentally and emotionally. Shelly Truesdell has been coaching me for a few weeks (she’s been a big help, it makes a difference to have coaching and moral support in person), whenever we both can, and continuing training programming template by Travis Cooper.
We decided on taking conservative attempts, especially for the 1st attempts. This was the first time I had some family and friends (outside of weightlifting) spectating. As usual, there was some drama, such as, an unexpected road block on Emory campus, due to a race. I was going in circles finding the right parking lot near the athletic center where the competition was held. I ended up parking at the visitors parking lot that was the farthest away. A kind stranger also parked in the lot, helped us out by personally driving us to the entrance to the athletic center. With his help, I was able to make it just in time to register and compete. I actually walked very swiftly, but the inner adrenaline helped, in spite of my shaky hands, and I was able to hit 5/6 lifts.
Here is the video compilation of my lifts (embedded Youtube link)
His first match is Friday 9:30am, then another match at 2pm if he wins the first match (inshALLAH!). Semi-finals will be Saturday, and finals Sunday. Weather forecast for this weekend is high chance of rain, weekend schedule is subject to change. Please check this website for tournament schedule and results. Go to “Draws” and then “Men’s Wheelchair A Singles”, which is the division Atif is in. There will also be a doubles one he plays in when they post the draw.
I have not competed for about 1 year, since Korea April 2012, where I represented Pakistan in the Asian Weightlifting Championships. I also learned about today’s competition only a few days ago, so my training cycle was not programmed for this. I also decided not to compete as a 53kg. I decided to move up from a 48kg to 53kg the end of last summer 2012. My current weight is 54kg, and only having a few days to reduce my salt intake (basically dealing with my water retention issues), start better water drinking habits, deal with weight of my training clothes and the weigh in, I decided to not deal with any of it and just go suck it up and compete as a 58kg!
It has been a while in my training since I started hitting 45kg+ in the Snatch again. It has been a slow road to get my confidence back, while increasing the volume & weight of my training. I wanted to make higher weights for the Clean and Jerk as well, but God willing at the next competition.
My result: Snatch 42kg (successful – did not get this one on video), 45kg (missed), 45kg (missed) Clean and Jerk: 53kg (Successful), 56kg (press out on the jerk), 56kg (successful) Total Score: 98kg (216 lb)
Another local meet is being held at the end of April 2013 in the same city 1 hour driving distance from my house, so I hope to try again there.
Inaugural Pakistan Women’s National Weightlifting Championships March 23, 2013
In very exciting news, the Pakistan Weightlifting Federation held their first Women’s weightlifting Championships in Lahore, Pakistan! Mubarak (Congratulations) to all of the ladies who competed! I wish I could have been there in person. You might recognize the person on the wall behind the platform 😉 I couldn’t believe it when I saw, I feel extremely honored! I am happy that women have started competing there, and I hope the participation continues to grow and move forward. Keep a look out for more media from the competition and other updates in this regard. Below are embedded pictures from the album on their Facebook page.
My weightlifting journey started by myself, I was determined to build strength. I did what I could do on my own, finding information on the Internet, such as resources for women’s weightlifting without a traditional commercial gym bias. I could not go heavy, drop weights, or use chalk, let alone, learn how to clean and jerk. Completing my graduate studies, I needed to find a gym outside of my university. I ultimately did find a gym (Crossfit Atlanta) that had weightlifters teaching the Olympic lifts, so I gained support, no longer alone in my efforts. It took over 2 years of training and encouragement from my trainers, because I thought I was not good or strong enough, till I finally had the confidence to compete. My next personal struggle, after achieving a qualifying total, was attending national meets in religious covering. After the IWF ruling and attending national qualifying meets, I learned more about the sport and met other weightlifters in the USA. This led to my memorable experience: attending the 2011 World Weightlifting Championships.