If you've followed my log or Instagram (@mickey.belaineh), you'd know that I've been dealing with some chronic hip issues that eventually got to the point where I couldn't train without pain. Not only that, but I began to experience low back pain-- which was alarming because I had never had low back issues in my entire training life.

After Raw Nationals 2016, I connected with my Physical Therapist and went to have an Orthopedic doctor check if anything was seriously injured/structurally wrong. Luckily, my spine looked perfectly fine-- the low back issues were stemming from my hips, which everyone (including the doc) said were some of the tightest hips they had ever encountered. Guess I should get a medal?

Long story long, I got cleared from Physical Therapy Training 2 months ago (just a couple months before the competition) and for the first time in a while, I'm enjoying training again. I'm not in any real "pain" (just typical PL stuff), and I'm making progress. I didn't feel mentally or emotionally ready to compete just yet. Additionally, my body just got back to feeling good again. Taking a long-term mentality and looking at what I want to achieve in Powerlifting, it seemed to me that competing at the Arnold would've been for pride & ego rather than something that would benefit my Powerlifting career/journey.