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Learning from your Misses
Aimee Anaya Everett

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I used to not think about other people’s training so much—about their mental state and struggles, or the fact that their minds may be racing during training as well. It’s not because I am some selfish bitch who doesn’t care about my teammates, I simply didn’t think that anyone else struggled as I do. I was oblivious.

It took me a lot of years to learn to relax in the gym, to learn that a missed lift wasn’t the end of my world as I know it, but a chance to make things right. When you fuck up you’re not supposed to turn and walk away from your mistake. The right thing to do is to fix it. To make it right. If you fuck up in life and do everything you can to make it right, why would you not apply the same rules to your life on the platform? I learned through a lot of misses, a lot of tears, and a lot of tantrums, that I was not making things right when I missed. I was taking that fuck-up and fucking it up worse. A miss would follow a miss would follow a miss would result in tears and a devastating workout, where nothing was accomplished except a lot of tears and frustrations. Nothing learned. Nothing gained.

Now that I have taken a step back from my own training and am using that time and energy to help my athletes and teammates, I have seen the emotions I was oblivious to before. I have noticed the tears and the frustrations, and the miss after miss. I realize that the hard lessons I learned are now something I need to teach to them. I see them spinning in circles of defeat and allowing the mistake they make in a lift define their training session. I see this because it once was me.

When something bad happens while the barbell is in your hand, I believe you have three choices: You can either let it define you, destroy you, or strengthen you. When you allow a mistake to define or destroy you, you are not giving yourself the opportunity to let the mistake strengthen you. I believe that you need to take ALL you learn during practice and use it to strengthen you. To make it right. We have to remember when we release that bar after a miss that what defines us is how strong we rise after falling. We forget that, and soon we have taken all those misses, all those mistakes, and allowed them to define our training, our cycle, or path. And then we see a competition is around the corner and we are out of time. And we regret not taking the chance to make it right sooner. Buddha said, “the trouble is you think you have time.” Ya, you think you have time until there is none left. You have to make it right now, not later. There isn’t a whole lot of time for later.

I admit my level of obsession on the platform, and my level of crazy and weirdness, is above the national average, but I am comfortable with that. Why? Because it has made me let go of the misses and learn how to make it right. Because I realized I need to prove that I exist. And if I hide in my misses, in my mistakes, I am not proving anything. As someone once said, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.” You can’t move on to your next lift if you are living in your last miss.


Aimee Anaya Everett is a national champion weightlifter and co-owner of Catalyst Athletics.

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8 Comments
TJ 2013-02-06
Just wanted to say thanks for this...It went way beyond the platform for me. I won't get into it mainly bc it doesn't matter, but I am hoping this puts me on the right track with things coming my way. All of you at Catalyst Athletics have really been amazing in one way or another for me. You have gotten me back into a competitive sport, training harder than ever, and through the BS I have had to go through with dedicating myself to weightlifting in a globo gym/CrossFit community brought me back to where I belong as an athlete. So this really is a crappy whiney bitch message that is written from the East Coast letting you know that your reach may far outstretch what you thought. Thanks
Matt Foreman 2013-02-07
Great post Aimee, and I totally agree. You learn a lot about your own lifting when you start coaching other people.
Spenco 2013-02-10
One thing I have learned from my misses is that the bins go out on a Tuesday night.
Kelly 2013-02-11
LOL, I read the headline and was totally prepared to send this article to my non-weightlifting husband because he needs to learn a little from his strong, weightlifting "misses"...but seriously - great article and great advice! I said something similar to one of my Crossfit classes last week.
Carol 2013-02-27
I broke my leg snatching about a month ago. I have been in a cast and non weight bearing since jan 30th. the gym is a big part of my life, so not being there has sucked! I recently started going and working on upper body. Reading this has really inspired me to do what I can now and come back stronger than ever. I will not let this injury defeat or define me. Thank you!
Joe 2014-01-15
Great timing for this article. Todays session was in my 10%...My bottom 10% that is. Thanks for posting this, its a good read.
Annia Velazquez 2014-09-17
I am so glad to have joined catalystathletic all the article are amazing and not to mention the videos at the gym wow! Wiseman
sara 2014-09-18
Thank you so much for this article. I know I am guilty of wanting to yell at the top of my lungs on those misses. There are times that I just want to kick the shit out of something but instead I take a deep breath, get focused and realize that I'm going to get back at it, work on technique and attack it the next time around. Just like from Henry Rollins 'The Iron', "There is no better way to fight a weakness than strength."
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