When I started back to lifting after being cleared from mono, one of my deadlift sessions called for me to work up to a double at 315. At that point in time 315 was the most I’d ever pulled and when I wrote 2×315 in my notebook I was on the verge of panic. I’ve always held myself to a high mental standard and have always hated failing at what is expected of me by either myself or others. I worked through the sets leading up to 315 and then loaded up the weights. It felt like a monster standing in front of me.
I had to take a lap around the gym’s track and get my head on right without looking at the weight. About halfway around I began justifying why I could succeed. I’d pulled 315 before. There was no reason why I couldn’t pull it again, and certainly no reason why I couldn’t pull it twice if I could pull it once. I walked back to the bar (which seemed like far less of a monster), took my stance, and pulled. It went up once, stopped dead at the bottom, and went up again. Red in the face I sat down with a feeling of victory swelling in me.
The only thing that could stop me from pulling that double was my own mindset. It seemed like such a daunting task when I wrote it in my notebook, but a daunting task is not an indomitable task. It is a challenge, and how you come away from that challenge is going to affect your mindset in subsequent events. Even if I’d walked up to that bar and only pulled a single, I would have tied my all time 1RM after months off of serious deadlifting and if I had missed then I’d know where I stand in terms of strength and would better know how to move forward with my training.
It all comes down to remembering that no matter your sport or event an attempt is only an attempt. Whether you succeed or fail you should come away having learned something that you can take with you to make your next attempt or competition better.