Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What sets your soul on fire?

I have many things that I like, love, obsess over. Here are a few in no particular order:

1. Celebrity Biographies. I really dig reading about athletes and musicians specifically......

Image result for carly simon boy in the tree     Image result for john popper suck and blow  Image result for anthony kiedis scar tissue

Image result for ronda rousey my fight your fight  Image result for drew barrymore wildflower

These are some of my recent faves. Such good reads.

2.  Sunshine. Don't worry....I always wear sunblock AND reapply! I get recharged by the sun. I could lay in the sun all damn day.

3. Family and Friends. I'm totally obsessed with My People. My Tribe. They are carefully selected. Each one has the ability to make me laugh, cry, and strive to be a better person. I'm constantly learning from them, loving them, and enjoying life with them.

My tribe knows who they are. No pic needed :)
4. S4M1.....I have written a statement here a dozen times and erased it. No words do them justice.

unbelievably cute

5. This guy is a like, love, AND obsess. Sam. Not Dwight.

Gives me daily likes, loves, and support

What is setting my soul on fire these days? What is getting me all excited? What is my google search stuck on???????

Power Lifting

I've been making the switch from CrossFit to Powerlifting over the last few months. It felt weird at first. I have focused on CF for 3 years and still enjoy it. I love the people I have met, the skills I have gained - all that made it hard to think about something else. I still do CF a few times a week - but my primary focus is Power Lifting. I really like it and am finally feeling like a real one! I Powerlift 3 days a week and I am getting stronger everyday. Mentally and Physically. I'm connecting with other powerlifters online and through social media which is tons of fun. There are so many strong girls out there!!!!! 

My most recent Back Squat at 250x2!!!!

I love to be inspired and I love to inspire others. The easiest way for me to do that is through this blog and Instagram (@liftwithann).  I hope you enjoy reading about me and my happenings as much as I enjoy doing them!  So my summer will have lots of relaxing, family, friends, sun, and fun.......and TONS of powerlifting! Find what sets your soul on fire and dive right in!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Tarra Oravec: Car selfies and heavy ass lifting!

I like social media for allowing me to be inspired and hopefully inspire others. What I REALLY like it for is the stalking abilities. It's no secret I love Streaky (Jenn Yates). I have interviewed her a few times. My husband met her (so jealous). We plan on meeting one day SOOOON!

Still jealous I couldn't be there
I began my girl crush on Streaky when she was killing the CrossFit game. She is now killing the Power Lifting game - no no, I did not start PL just because of her.

so strong

 In my quest to soak up as much bad ass and heavy lifting chicks as I could I stumbled on Tarra. Her Instagram is chalk full of car selfies, insane back squats, and even crazier benches (@t_rexx1250). I really liked seeing a girl my size (but not for long! she is moving down a weight class!!!!) lifting heavy. When I say heavy, I mean it. Check out her bio from Elite FTS:

Tarra Oravec is an elite competitive powerlifter and has a top 10 All-Time total with 1200 pounds at 181 in the raw with wraps division. Her best meet lifts are a 435 squat, a 280 bench and a 500 pound deadlift. Tarra won Champion of Champions at RUM 8 in 2014. She has a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. Currently she is working for a nonprofit organization in the city of Pittsburgh providing housing and case management to those in the homeless arena that frequently cycle through other systems (justice, mental health, drug and alcohol, etc).

She is the real deal and it's awesome to follow her journey. One day I noticed she tagged Streaky (@streaky_yates_) in a post. I could not believe my cyber stalking was about to collide! So much easier for me ;)  Tarra is using Streaky for nutrition and to cut a weight class. Both Tarra and Streaky have been great about answering questions and encouraging me along this lift heavy path. So great to have some strong ladies to look up to!

Car Selfie + mermaid hair = swoon
Here's what Tarra had to say:
1. What does your off day look like? What do you like to do other than pick things up and put them down?

 "Off" days.  I have 4 of those, so I usually relax, go shopping, catch up on meal prep, exciting adult things, ya know....or MAYBE i'll do some light cardio at the park, like walking.  I just live life, because lifting is not life.

2. What does your training day look like? Where are you training? Multiple times a day? With friends or alone?

I train Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evening starting at 8:30pm with my team at Keyhole Barbell in Apollo, PA.  The gym is in an old church, and it's just for us, so it's pretty cool.  There are about 15 weirdos that make up our "team" and I hate them all equally....I joke, of course.

3. What advice do you have for women looking to lift heavy shit?

Advice for women looking to lift heavy shit....just do it.  Seek out help from the best, not your 180lb boyfriend that knows nothing about lifting.  If you want to be serious about it, seek out help from the best in the business.  Everyone is really awesome and always willing to help, just ask.  I cannot stress enough, the importance of getting with a coach and following a legitimate program.

4. Favorite movie? 

I wish I could even answer this, I have no idea.  I love all kinds of different movies, but I can never remember the names!

5. What was your take-away from your most recent Power Lifting meet?

This past meet was a really interesting experience for me.  I would say the take away was learning to accept that sometimes you have to take a step backwards in order to take two steps forward.  I competed at a lighter weight, and lost some strength, but I am confident that with a little time to train at a lower bodyweight, I can bring my numbers up and above my total at 181.

6. What is your focus on now? Do you have goals set?

My focus right now is really getting on track 100% with my diet and losing the remaining 10lbs to get within the range I need to be to train for a meet at 165.  My goal is 1200+ at 165 in August.

7. What has changed for your new meal plan? Flexible dieting, Macros....?
My most recent meal plan was through Jenn Streaky Yates.  It's probably the best meal plan and guidance I've ever received.  Going forward I may try out something new.  I think it's important to experiment with different things, so that you know what works best for you.  I made a lot of progress with my relationship with food over the past few months, but I think I may be ready to venture into trying something new.  

8. What is your favorite cereal?

Hands down, Sprinkled Donut Crunch.

I'm gonna need to try this!

9. What is the question you get asked most?

"How do you pronounce your name?" - it's TARR-RUH

10. Who do you look up to? Who are you DYING to meet?

This question is always interesting for me to answer.  I think the person I look up to most is probably my mom, and then weirdly enough, my CEO and every single co-worker I work with.  I work in the social services, and my agency is truly something special.  I admire and look up to every person I work with, especially my boss, because she is the epitome of what my field represents. 

11. Any vacations planned?

I just took a vacation to San Diego, but I do plan to go back to California for Boss of Bosses 2 in August!

12. Morning person or night owl?
I don't even know how it's possible, but I am neither.  I hate mornings, and I get tired by like 1am.  The struggle is real.

13. Do you have a motto or a saying that gets you through the tough workouts?

I just do it.  Even on my worst days, I just do it.  Do you want to be the best?  That's the only question you should ever have to ask yourself.  I only train 3 days a week, so I have to make those training sessions count.

14. What has changed now that you are a EliteFTS athlete?

Hm. Well, I feel like a lot more eyes are on me, but for the most part, I'm just doing what I've always done.  I think it's helped me grow a little bit and is helping me figure out who I am and what exactly I have to contribute to women in the sport.  I like being a part of something bigger than myself.  EliteFTS is very special.  My teammates are all talented lifters/coaches who are very knowledgeable, and are always willing to pass on what they know to the lifting community.

15. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years I'll be 28.  Professionally, I would like to be in a supervisory role, or doing individual therapy with clients through an outpatient practice.  In terms of powerlifting, I definitely want to have an all-time World Record.  Eventually, I think I want to help coach/teach powerlifting and learn more about diet.  I'm very interested in the nutrition aspect of things, and I would love to help people in that area some day if I ever earn the credentials.

16. What music gets you pumped?

Is this a serious question?  Rap, duh.

17. How did you know this was for you? Was there a moment that you fell in love with the weights?

I have been a competitive athlete for my entire life, so competing comes naturally to me.  Honestly, most of the sports I've competed in came naturally to me, that's why I did them; it wasn't because I loved them.  I would say powerlifting was the same in the beginning, I simply excelled at it, so I continued to do it.  The more I compete and the further along I get in my powerlifting career, the more I recognize what it means to me and what role it plays in my life.  I like to be the best at everything, and I will never settle for mediocrity.  I think powerlifting is a sport that is in constant motion.  There will always be someone who is stronger than you, so it really keeps your momentum going.  You should never get complacent; there is always someone out there gunning for your spot.

18. What is your favorite guilty pleasure? Food, sweats on the couch? :)

My favorite guilty pleasure? I'm SUCH a home body.  I would choose sweats and hanging out at home over just about anything, any day of the week.

390 and 400 pull

220 Bench for 5

Thanks Tarra!!!!!  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Remember me?

Man, it's been a while. So much has been going on that I just haven't had a second to write, but I've had tons of blog posts running through my head!

This month has been crazy! I was supposed to do my first big power lifting meet this month. I have been training a lot:

Good thing for videos, how else would you guys know I'm really training? I do love to train, but I have no clue what I'm doing so I rely heavily on my Programmer and Coach Chris Riley and my husband. I can follow a plan EXACTLY, but if you put me in a gym and said "do an arm workout" I'd be lost.

Like this?

Following a plan is my strength. I love to be coached, I will do exactly what is written and what I'm told. It's not great when I fail though. It's hard on me mentally and I also don't know what I'm supposed to do. Decrease the weight? Cry? Try again? Cry some more?

Who am I?
Well, long story short......no meet was had. My dad went into the ICU and I spent the week driving to see him each day and the emotional turmoil was OOC. He is doing better and continues to make progress. Thank goodness! My husband decided for me (I can't make those decisions without guilt) that I would not be lifting. I was not focused. I was not physically ready.

So wouldn't you know it....CFA came in and saved the day! Coach Mary scheduled a CrossFit Total - the perfect setting to test out what the meet would have been for me.

Saturday Mock Meet/CF Total:

Weigh in: 177.6 (thank you RP Strength)

Bench: 125#
Back Squat: 250#

Deadlift: 310#

All three felt great. All three were PRs. I am one happy girl! My total was 685. I need 820 for Raw Nationals. Don't worry guys - I'm gonna get there!!!!!

AND I'M BACK!!!!!!