Confessions of an Olympic Weightlifter

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by TARYN HAGGERSTONE

My name is Taryn Haggerstone, and I’d like to make a confession (well, a couple, actually).

First Confession: I think I’m addicted to Olympic Weightlifting…

In 2012 I decided to give this thing called “Olympic Weightlifting” a try, and at that point I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In the two years since then, lifting has become a huge part of my life of my life to the point where it has altered the way I think, act and make decisions.

Confession #2: When I’m training I feel like a bottomless pit.

Brined & BBQ's Pork chop with Home-Made Prawn Curry **all made by my Brother-in-law, a very good cook who also  likes to pick heavy things up and put them down for hours (i.e. is a lifter/Crossfitter)
Looking back I think it’s a good thing I wasn’t into weightlifting while I was at University, as I’m pretty sure I would have starved (or eaten my way into debt). The harder the program is the more “bottomless” I become. When I’m lifting really heavy/doing lots of volume, there are usually at least two nights/week where my stomach wakes me up.

Confession #3: I need to sleep. A lot.

Until recently I seemed to be able to get by on very little (or none), and no matter how tired I was, napping just didn’t happen (even in University). Since I started lifting however, if I don’t get at least a solid 7-8 hours of sleep (or more), chances are I will be

  • cranky
  • a useless zombie, or
  • napping.

Cranky and Napping

Confession #4: My shoulders/traps keep outgrowing things.

Given that weightlifters often joke about having “too much booty (and legs) in the pants,” I fully expected that I’d have to sacrifice a pair or two of jeans to the sport. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was that my traps might get too big for my sports bras or that I’d outgrow my jackets.
Traps

Confession #5: Either I have a really bad memory, or my perception of what’s “muscular” and “big” has been seriously altered.

At my first competition (Seafest 2012), I remember seeing this one guy, Justin Ott, and thinking he was absolutely huge. And I don’t just mean big, I’m talking gigantor sized. But then a couple of months ago I ran into the same guy and it was like “No way….that’s him?! But…Oh…”

Confession #6: I get more upset about missed lifts than not fitting into my clothes.

Screenshot_2014-02-18-12-19-25_1
In high school I struggled a lot with body image; if I didn’t fit into my jeans, I was devastated.

And to be honest it still isn’t a good feeling even today (especially since I hate shopping), but if it comes down to a few inches on my legs or a couple kilos on my lifts, I know which one I’d take.

I can’t remember the last time I cried about not fitting into my pants, but I can remember the last time I cried over a barbell.

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