2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year for me. I have had the chance to compete internationally as a powerlifter, I have graduated and started my new job.
In January, I was invited to the GB team squad training which was sandwiched in between my first semester final year university exams. From the training, I was selected to go to the European Classic Championships in Estonia in March. I came third overall in the Junior u47kg category at the European Classic Champs with a silver medal in the deadlift which was also a Junior British deadlift record of 120kg. Under a week later, I competed at the British Universities Championship where I came first in the u47kg category despite feeling horrifically fatigued from being Estonia having travelled back only a few days before. I learnt that doing two competitions less than a week apart is something I do not want to do again – it’s too much!
From March to June, I was training, completing my final year project/dissertation and revising for my second semester final year exams at university. I completed my final university exams in June and a few days later, I flew off to Texas to compete at the World Classic Championships. Training for Worlds, completing my dissertation and revising for my finals all simultaneously was extremely challenging but I’m thankful for the opportunities given to me. At the World Classic Champs, I came fourth in the Junior u47kg category and I achieved a bronze medal in the deadlift, breaking the Junior British record again with 125kg. I was so unbelievably proud to be on the podium at Worlds as I didn’t expect it! After Worlds, I travelled to New York to visit my cousin for a few days which was an opportunity of a life time and a trip I will treasure forever.
Once I returned from New York, I had approximately six weeks until the All England Championships. After being on such a high from all the excitement, I did feel an anti-climax coming home which I think affected my training. In July, I graduated from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours BSc in Computer Science. I was so proud of myself for achieving a First after such a busy few months. In August, I competed and came first at the All England Championships but I took a different approach to the competition. I allowed myself to be more relaxed and enjoyed it a lot more as a result. After the competition, I went to Mallorca with my family for a much needed holiday.
In September, I moved to London and started my graduate job. It was hard to adjust to a new environment, a desk job and to training after a day at work. Subsequently, a back niggle gradually came on and despite de-loading, it became more of an injury. Although, I did reduce the weight I was lifting, I wanted to compete at the British Classic Championships in October as it was my last competition as a Junior. I came third at this competition and my deadlift was 15kg below my personal best due to my back. I was content with new personal best for my squat and bench. I also had my powerlifting club, my mum, my sister and my coach travel to Newcastle to support me which meant the world.
Since my last competition, I have been working on my mobility and trying to correct my APT (Anterior Pelvic Tilt) among other postural issues. I believe that this is the reason I have had muscular problems /pains with my back in the past. At the end of November, after four years my boyfriend and I parted ways which was hard but everything happens for a reason. I spent December building up my training slowly again. I also enjoyed the festive indulgences with friends, creating a month of memories so as to end 2016 on a high.
2016 – you were a crazy year, full of ups and downs but definitely a year to be remembered.