Mary Anne, along with a few other Quantum lifters, recently competed in a weightlifting meet at the Toronto Pro Supershow. She's been consistent in training, worked very hard, and has made incredible progress over the last year and even got to share the podium with the National Champion in her weight class!Mary Anne gives her perspective on the period leading up to and during the contest. For anyone thinking about testing themselves in a competition setting, read this!

Whether it's a regular training day or a max day at the gym, my anxiety levels are always high. The month of April was particularly hard for me. Not only did taking a few weeks set me back in my training physically, but my mindset was just not there. The word "Supershow" was being tossed around at the gym several times but it was the last thing on my mind until Pete sent out an email for the weightlifting team to register. I knew I had two choices. I was to accept this challenge and train even harder knowing that I had not been doing so well, or let my anxiety get the better of me. That same night, I registered.

With Pete's guidance, my weeks leading up to the competition were spent in the gym, not only focusing on technique, but more so on developing my mental focus to overcome my fears. I have to admit, it wasn't easy. Throughout this experience I had a lot more bad days at the gym than good ones. But one thing I can take away from all the training leading up to the competition was accepting that not every day would be a good day. I wasn't going to max out all the time, and there were going to be days where 80% back squats were going to feel like 100%. Accepting this was crucial, because on competition day, I wasn’t going to let my fears of missing a lift get to me. All I could do was trust in everything that I've learned over the past year and just do my best.

The day of competition was a surreal experience. Although this was only my second time competing, this year's experience at Supershow was different. I felt it as soon as I walked onto the platform. As loud as that place got, and as many people as there was, all I felt and saw around me was this incredible light and surge of energy. It was as if everything became white noise, and everyone disappeared. I felt the support of my coaches, my loved ones, my quantum family, and my mom. It was those moments where it no longer mattered if I missed my attempt on a new Clean and Jerk PR, or if I wasn't lifting as much as the other girls in my weight class. I was right where I wanted to be. Mental focus is the most challenging part of any sort of competition. Allowing myself to overcome stress and remain mentally focused throughout the competition was perhaps an even bigger victory than a podium finish!

A heartfelt thank you to my amazing coaches: Peter, Leah, Alastair, you guys always push me beyond my limits and have shown me there is always a door to endless possibilities, and to my amazing teammates for all the support and positive energy. High fives, chest bumps, hugs, I can’t thank you guys enough!