Breakthrough Spotlight - Angela Meissner
Our Spotlight Member for June is Angela! After recently competing in our Powerlifting Meet, Angela shares about having the courage to work on things that push you out of your comfort zone, the positive energy of training with a team, and the power of just saying YES!
BREAKTHROUGH: Thank you, Ang, for being our spotlight member this month! I wanted to chat with you because you just competed in our powerlifting meet, and it was your first time competing in a full meet with back squat, bench press and deadlift…
BREAKTHROUGH: So, I was curious to hear what your experience was and how you felt about participating?
ANG: I felt really great about the challenge and about saying yes and about overcoming, you know, self-doubt that I could do one of the events, especially the back squat.
ANG: So, I was nervous about it. But I believe in the training. Also, I just think I always want to say yes to the challenges here. I don’t want to not do it. I always get stronger.
BREAKTHROUGH: That is really cool because you have been training for a long time. And I think when someone has been training for a while, you have to look for those opportunities to express your strength… Like, OK, I do all this stuff in my regular program, but then what do I do with all this stuff I practice in my program?
ANG: That is interesting!
BREAKTHROUGH: How can I take my training and do something more with it, right? I think it is really cool when people like you who have this big training background - years and years and years - are still finding new ways to explore the things that you are strong at, as well as practice things you want to improve… Like you mentioned the back squat.
ANG: Yes. I wasn’t sure about my knees, and if they might be sore if I overdo it…
BREAKTHROUGH: So, you were worried about it?
ANG: Yes, I was. I talked to Gene, my partner, and he was like you probably have to do it because you are not working that. And that made a lot of sense to me. You are not working those muscles; that is why the exercise is so hard. And if you practice it, it is probably going to be better for you. That really helped me because it is daunting to believe that you have something in your body that can prevent you from doing it at all. Well, that is not really true, is it? You do it to your level. And that is what the training is about. You know, I am really comfortable with everybody here, the group…
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh good!
ANG: …all our training -even if you guys would have said you have to wear a onesie, that wouldn’t have been a deal breaker…
BREAKTHROUGH: Ha, ha! The old powerlifting singlet! That is good to know! Next time we’ll try onesies!
ANG: Yeah. I don’t care! I was happy we didn’t have to, but at the same time I would have done it! We didn’t have to travel outside our home gym. We didn’t have to participate with people we didn’t know. The comfort level was there.
BREAKTHROUGH: Exactly! We wanted to make participating more accessible to you guys so that more people would try it.
ANG: It made it totally accessible– yeah! I felt stronger in the journey. Although I thought week one was really hard.
BREAKTHROUGH: Week one was really hard!
ANG: Really hard! And I was scared! I was like, I don’t know what they have in store when week one is like this! But every step you just keep building and you just keep saying yes. You don’t miss your training, of course. You make those days.
BREAKTHROUGH: Which you did!
ANG: I did!
BREAKTHROUGH: You were so committed! You didn’t miss a beat!
ANG: I would say it was a really positive experience. Everything I have done with you guys has been a positive experience.
BREAKTHROUGH: Well, thank you! We definitely enjoyed seeing you guys come alive in - not just the day of, but in the training. Like you said, that first week was really hard. But you guys all nailed it! But yes, when I first reviewed the program Caleb wrote, I thought geez, if this is the first day…
ANG: Yeah, if this is the starting point, how hard is it going to get as we go along?!
BREAKTHROUGH: Yes, I knew it would be hard, but you guys could do it. I thought, they are going to have to lock in, get good recovery, get good sleep, get good nutrition…
ANG: You told us that at the beginning and that was true. I have a space in my house. I put my mat out. I did a lot of stretching. That all really helped!
ANG: I threw that in almost immediately because I wasn’t getting the depth that I needed to and wanted to at first.
BREAKTHROUGH: For the squats?
ANG: Yeah, I practiced front squat, which was really difficult, in my training sessions right before we started training for the meet. And it kind of prepared me a little for the back squat. But then, I saw everybody else on the team doing this– especially those who had done it before. I saw the confidence and the desire to push forward that they’ve had. They’ve had some numbers; they have had some experience at least.
BREAKTHROUGH: They know how it feels.
ANG: That was helpful because you know, just the group and the power of the group. Everyone was working at a high level.
BREAKTHROUGH: That is an interesting thing.
ANG: I am not competitive with other people. I am competitive with myself, for sure. I know I will get stronger from my program and especially if I do a meet type of thing, or special team training session.
BREAKTHROUGH: So you find something about having the group…
ANG: Oh, I love everybody! They crack me up; they are really into it. Their enthusiasm, too, is contagious, and I am just as enthusiastic as them because we are all on the same page. It is very supportive.
BREAKTHROUGH: And it’s shared experience, too, which brings people closer together!
ANG: Oh, for sure! It is! It’s something special!
BREAKTHROUGH: It’s really special! I am so glad that you did it, and you did such an amazing job – not just on that day but during the whole course of the training. So, we talk often about our why. What is something that helped you stay connected to why you wanted to participate in the meet?
ANG: It is always to get stronger from where I am at. It is stronger to just say yes!
BREAKTHROUGH: That sounds like that is your mantra right now! Ha, ha! Just say yes! I like it!
ANG: Ha, ha! Yeah, I know. You just say yes and then you get stronger! Just by saying ok I am going to do it!
ANG: So, all the training takes care of it. We are all working to our level, and you don't have to look at other people and be like - they lifted 500 pounds like Jax!!
BREAKTHROUGH: No! I just try to do my best!
ANG: Right! I felt great about everything. My body is feeling stronger, and so I am at a good place right and it is definitely good.
BREAKTHROUGH: Awesome! Thank you for sharing! We appreciate it.
ANG: Anytime! Thank you!