I attended the CF Hickory Liftmas in July Weightlifting Meet on July 8th, 2017. At first, my purpose of going was to coach 2 female lifters from the gym in the meet. The first was my girlfriend, Amanda, who was competing in her first ever lifting competition of any sort. The other lifter was Bre competing in her first comeback meet in after 18 months. But after arriving at the meet, I was asked to jump in and referee which ended up being a first for me after becoming a certified referee. This threw a little bit of a wrench in the morning but the girls handled the potential stressor in stride and kept positive attitudes.
Judging a weightlifting meet was much more stressful than I had ever expected. I have coached numerous lifts and have let lifters know that they had lifts that were both good and bad, but this was an entirely different feeling. I felt bad turning down some of the lifts that were completed as they would definitely considered “training makes” but had to be turned down due to soft elbows or not waiting for a down signal. I felt bad because a lot of the lifters in this meet were newer lifters with most of them having this being their first meet ever. However, the number one thing I kept telling myself was that regardless of my feelings I had to keep the integrity of the competition as a priority. I even was forced to red-light Bre on one of her attempts but luckily I was the only red and she got the lift.
It was super rewarding to have a hand in the entire process of helping Bre and Amanda through this meet. I haven’t had the opportunity until now to coach weightlifters through their entire training cycle, seeing the day-to-day grind in person every day and then the culmination of the meet. It was awesome to see it all come together to a successful meet for both of them and I cannot wait until the next one!