The Failed Water Cut

Six liters. I had to drink six liters between waking up at 4:00 AM and touching down in California at 11 AM. No big deal, except for the whole airport, flight, driving deal.  I did it, though, no problem. Even despite almost missing my flight, because I had to get a taxi back to my car at the airport, due to forgetting an essential item.

I landed in California and adventured for the day to keep my mind off of the fact that I was hungry and parched. Around 2:00 PM I weighed in on the meet scale, 176. I thought, well damn, that'll be cake. Fast forward to checking into the hotel. I began cutting at 6 PM.  Four hours later, the scale still read 174. At this point, I was trying to be mentally tough, but I just didn't have it in me. Then, 11:30 PM, because  I don't ever just give up that easy, still, 174.0. I decide to go to sleep for a little, saying to myself, if it moves at all, I will get up and push through. I wake up at 2:30 AM, 174.2.

Dani Overcash: Boss of Bosses 3 — My First Meet Representing elitefts

Could I have gotten in the shower at this point? Sure. Did it really matter? No. The fact that I even showed up to compete in this meet says everything. I don't like to back out of things that I say I'm going to do. I had a lot to prove, not to other people, just to myself. I could probably list through all of the reasons why I SHOULDN'T have competed at all. They're not excuses, they are facts.  Here's one.

The Setback

August 2nd was the day I realized that my super annoying back injury wasn't something that a simple adjustment at the chiropractor was going to fix. The peaking cycle called for 90%, which was around 415. I noticed something was a little off during warming up, but I'm not one to really care much, so I proceeded. It wasn't until I hit 365 for a shaky single that I thought maybe something was up. I was right. I only did 365 one more time just to see if I was being a baby, nope, it really freaking hurt. I spent the weeks leading up to the meet not loading any weight on my back. No squats, no deadlifts, nothing. I went to the chiropractor multiple times a week, begrudgingly did my bracing, I even went and got a deep tissue massage. I was actually under the impression there was a good chance I would be doing bench only at this meet. So, I was fairly excited when squats brought me no pain in the warm-up room.

The Meet

Ah, the meet. I guess I should talk about how that went. Well, I will keep it short, because what is even more important is what I gained from the experience.

Squats went okay I guess, all things considered: 375, 402, 424 fail.

Bench, lol. So, the importance of having a handler that knows you and your bench, really came into play. 242, 264, 275 (dump). My handler lifted me out, but actually didn't stay with me to let the bar settle, so I ended up never having control of it and it literally just kept drifting and I dumped it on my stomach. He was easily forgiven after buying me some birthday drinks. But really, I'm just extremely grateful for his help and support all day, I couldn't have asked for anything more.

A video posted by Tarra Oravec (@t_rexx1250) on

Ah, deadlifts.  418, 451, 485 fail.

A video posted by Tarra Oravec (@t_rexx1250) on

What I Learned

  1. I'm at the point where I need a coach. A coach who can give me the support, guidance, and honestly, attention that I need for training. I am an athlete, not a coach, and I fully recognize that.
  2. I need a coach who knows me to be with me at meets.
  3. I have the most amazing friends and support system. I'm not sure I realized just how many awesome people I have in my life, until this weekend.
  4. I, of course, can do things on my own, but no one should ever have to do this shit alone. I had a lot of pride going into this, and a lot of things I had to prove to myself. For me, this meet was me, doing something new and venturing into the unknown,  and literally falling flat  on my face. Sure, 1100 isn't too bad of a total, except it's something I totaled almost 2 years ago.
  5. Never ignore injuries. Meh, I will probably never actually listen to this.

This weekend I cried more tears than I thought were possible. It was emotional, the entire thing, from start to finish. But, it's something I had to do, for me. I don't regret doing it at all. If I regret anything, it's just that I didn't ask for enough help. I fell, hard, and no one was there to pick me up. Instead, this weekend, I had to do that for myself. I had to pick myself up and keep going when things went wrong. I had to be confident for myself, because I couldn't get that from anyone else.

And so, I encourage anyone who doubts themselves or their abilities to do whatever they need to do, for them. I admit that maybe this wasn't my best idea to date, but I had to do it to learn, and learning is what I did this past weekend. I learned to trust myself. I learned what I need and don't need. I certainly don't need someone to hold my hand, I know what I'm doing, but I do need someone there, along for the ride with me. And maybe this me, realizing that's what I always had all along.

What's Next?

Now, I will take a few weeks off and focus on being a normal human. I have a lot of things to sort through in my personal life. Like, a lot. A lot of things going on in my life that are out of my control. I have this terrible feeling that something is legitimately wrong with my back, and so, I will be getting that checked out too. I plan to get back into running, because I actually really love running. I plan to lose this last 10ish pounds, to solidify my spot in the 165 class. And then, when I am ready, I mean really ready to tackle another meet, I will pick one.

WATCH: Tarra Oravec Joins Team Elitefts