Last weekend, I had the honor of competing for the 🇹🇭 Thai National Powerlifting Team 🇹🇭 in my first-ever international competition.
I earned my spot on the National Team at my last comp in 2020, and was invited to compete at Worlds in 2021, but due to COVID travel restrictions for Thailand, I decided not to go. So this meet feels like it was a suuuuper long time in the making.
In between the 2020 comp and this meet, I ended up changing coaches three times (eek) and had major surgery earlier this year (hysterectomy) which required 3 months off training for recovery, and then starting with the empty barbell again, so I have had some huge upheavals in terms of training just in the last 9 months.
I knew, going into this meet, that I was not in any position to break any of my old personal records, and that I just wanted to have fun, remind myself how to compete, represent Thailand well, and appreciate every moment of being able to compete on an international platform.
The Stars Aligned
Given all of the things that could have happened, absolutely everything worked out perfectly for this meet:
⭐️ The Invite: After having (unexpected) major surgery earlier this year (hysterectomy), I did not expect to be competing until next year, but when this opportunity came up, I couldn’t say no!
⭐️ The Prep: This was my first meet prep with my new coach, @alyssahope_prs. Her style is VERY different to any other coaches that I’ve worked with and I did my absolute best to just trust the process and see how it worked. I did exactly what she asked for (and nothing else) and she did not steer me wrong. I felt the most confident and most empowered to make good choices than any other meet I’ve competed at!
⭐️ The Day: In this 8-day meet, my flight happened to be on a Sunday, on a 3-day weekend for Alex, in a country that’s easy enough for us to get to that he could actually come with me and still only miss one day of work. So I got to share this awesome opportunity with my number 1 supporter too!
⭐️ My Weight: Even though I had no plans to compete this calendar year, I had already been sloooowly cutting weight that I gained post surgery (because I was physically uncomfortable up around 66kg). So my cut back down to 63 (weighed in at 61.5) was smooth and easy.
⭐️ The Timing: Big meets can happen at any time of year (next year’s meet seems to be right in the middle of our summer break, so it’s unlikely I’ll be able to compete). But, this one was at the perfect time: towards the end of the semester, just after a few major projects in my business wrapped up and right before the semester break begins (so the perfect time to be able to fully step away for a few days).
⭐️ The Support: I have never competed in a team like this – having the support of our Head Coach (@peter__rts) and Federation leaders (@oporkasem & @keenthammathataree) leading up to the event, and on the day was absolutely amazing. Could not have asked for a more professional, caring & supportive team.
⭐️ The Team: having so many other team members in the crowd (@paltkobkk @praneepascoe @trainedbyeric) cheering me on and @ssaritagfit85 competing in the same flight made the whole event feel so special. So grateful to be part of this team!
⭐️ Last Minute Adjustments: The Taipei team volunteered to spot and load for our session and they were absolute pros. Feeling secure with a spotter during squat and getting the perfect handoff for bench was amazing!
⭐️ The Food: The venue made it easy to get the right food for me to stay on track with my diet before the comp. Plus, the actual start of the meet was a little delayed and I was one of the first to get weighed in (due to a perfect lot number), so I had a lot of time to eat & rest before squat (I think we ended up almost 3-hours after weigh in before we actually started lifting).
☝️ A Day of Firsts…
So many “firsts” on this day…
✅ First time competing with the Thai National Team (best. team. ever.)
✅ First time competing at an international level meet with international judging (IPF)
✅ First time flying (while cutting weight) for a competition (am I a real athlete now?)
✅ First time competing alongside so many people from so many different countries (I think it was something like 29 countries from across Asia)
✅ First comp since my surgery in March
✅ First comp heading home with 5(!) medals
✅ First international meet with 27 white lights, 9 for 9, a perfect day!
✅ First time watching my teammates crush World Records, one after another, in person with absolutely incredible performances from @praneepascoe @oporkasem @ssaritagfit85
🌈 Although these are in no way anywhere near my personal best numbers, they are all still higher than anything I’ve hit in training since surgery.
Overall, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day!
🦄 Went 9 for 9 and got 27 white lights
Squat: 87.5 / 92.5 / 97.5 🥈 (post-surgery PR)
Bench: 52.5 / 55 / 57.5 🥈(more in the tank)
Deadlift: 102.5 / 110 / 115 🥈 (post-surgery PR)
Total: 270 🥈BW: 61.5 (M1)
Silver medal 🥈 for all lifts & total
Given all of the changes in the last few years, plus the fact that I hadn’t competed since 2020, there was a lot of pressure and stress leading up to this meet, but I stayed focused on what I need to do to be successful and I made it happen.
Every lift got ⚪️⚪️⚪️ making this my second perfect meet with 27 white lights (here’s the story of the first time I got all whites).
Watch me lift!
We pulled the live stream & edited only my lifts together here. It’s 6 mins and then 10 mins is the medal ceremony, which is lovely!
🇹🇭 So grateful for this opportunity & can’t wait for the next! 💙