The Open Experience Part 2; Travel

Traveling to Competition

Kristen and I had plans to fly out on Thursday evening, get a quick training session in on Friday, then compete on Saturday morning. The flights were pretty miserable-mostly because I was nervous about making weight.

As a former wrestler, I cut weight pretty hard; not because I had to, but because the team needed me to. I never missed weight because I took it very seriously. This same level of seriousness / nervousness came into play here.

It was about 8 hours of travel (almost as much as if we had driven there) delays and non direct flights stretched the trip out quite a bit. I wasn't able to drink much water since water significantly outweighs food. Think about eating an 8 ounce steak vs drinking 8 ounces of water. You’ll get more fuel from the steak.

I still had about 1 lb of sliced chicken breast and 1.5 lb of sweet potatoes from a Chomp Nola bulk order so that was my airport food and also what I ate the next night for dinner and after my last training session. Kristen, being the supportive partner and coach that she is, went on the same diet with me. Though I’m not sure how I felt about that in the moment. On the one hand, if I couldn’t eat donuts and burgers she shouldn’t either. On the other hand, she was eating the only clean, nutrient dense food in the airport and I was a bit hangry. Either way it didn’t matter. She was there to support me and would have gone elsewhere if I’d asked her. I liked her company so I never asked.

We arrived in Orlando, FL and our friend (aka World Class Host) Jenn picked us up from the airport and brought us straight to her house to check weight. I was 1.2kg (2.5lb underweight). Being under is a blessing and a curse. It’s great because you can eat and hydrate and a little bit of the weigh-in anxiety goes away. 

Being underweight isn’t ideal because weight moves weight. The lighter you are, the less you can lift because your body is drained from lack of Hydration & Glucose (energy/fuel). To perform well, our muscles need to be lubricated (hydrated) and your brain must have the sugar it needs to be confident in the lift. What most people don’t realize is that your mind is going to be the limiting factor in almost everything you do physically. If your brain says no, your muscles are useless.

That night, we went out for sushi, a half glass of wine and two shots of Saki. I went to sleep about .4kg over. I felt great. Nervousness and excitement coursed through me. As I lay in bed I tried to preview the events that would take place on Saturday and it was impossible. My meditation game was weak and moreover, I had no idea how I would feel or perform in front of such a large crowd on such a big stage with so many bright lights.

Yet, I fell asleep. Quickly.