Dan Dalenberg | Atlantic City Meet Write Up Part 3 | Lessons Learned

Doing a three part write up for a (really) bad meet performance is painful. I need to find some silver linings here though and think through lessons learned. My performance was poor but there are definitely things to learn from it.

Be a Professional

I won’t sugarcoat it or pretend like I have never thrown a tantrum in the gym. I’ve thrown belts, thrown down deadlifts, yelled incoherently and been a generally insufferable jerk at times. I’ve done it at a meet too and all it did was make me look like a child. I had an awful meet in fall of 2011 and completely lost my shit. It was stupid and immature.

I was pretty surly on Saturday. After squatting I was definitely disappointed and then was pretty angry with myself after missing my 2nd bench. I felt myself losing my temper, let out a one sentence rant and separated myself from people to cool off. I needed a minute to get some air and calm down. I was in a bad mood the rest of the day but I didn’t lose it.

Losing my temper and throwing a fit would have been pointless. Numerous people had traveled significant distances to help me and my team out. I had more than one guy introduce himself and mention that he reads my log. Losing it in front of these people just makes me look a baby and I lose their respect. I won’t claim that my behavior was perfect but I did my best to stay as calm as I could and not be distraction to the other lifters.

Appreciate your Help

At the end of meet I was sitting by myself not wanting anything to do with anyone and Scott came up to say bye. I kind of mumbled thanks and let him start to walk away. Keep in mind he was 2 days out from neck surgery, had a very pregnant wife along with him and is generally looking at some stressful stuff in the coming weeks. In spite of all that, he drove down to Atlantic City to help me lift weights. Thankfully I realized that quickly and called him back over for a proper thank you and good bye.

That’s just one example. My handler came all the way from Michigan with me, Danny Bellmore a 10 hour drive from Maine.

I mentioned this in part 2 and it is worth repeating. Appreciate your help and be ready to step up and do the exact same thing for them when it is their day on the platform. I can’t always afford to pay for every single meal and take care of every last detail, but I will be there to return the favor when the time comes.

Let Yourself Care… but not too much

I’m pissed about my performance. I was two missed lifts away from winning the overall and winning the $1000 best lifter prize. If my 825 squat had been deep enough and I locked out the 490 bench I would have had a 2005 total- good enough to win it all. That leaves an awful taste in my mouth. I’m embarrassed about how I did and wish I could have a do over.

I should be disappointed! I totaled 2000 or more 2 meets in a row and had a very good training cycle. I was set up to have a very good day and did not perform. I put a lot of money into this meet as well as countless hours of preparation. I trained for 6 months and then sucked. To top it off I won’t get a shot at redemption for another 25 and a half weeks (yes, I absolutely already know exactly how far out the Arnold is.)

It sucks and is irritating but I can’t keep feeling bad about it. It’s just lifting weights. It is a hobby that I really enjoy and thankfully came out of the meet without anything that will prevent me from competing again. The only thing I can do now is let that performance be a reminder to be better- a reminder to improve and not let it happen again if I can help it. It’s time to move forward and get better.

Point the Blame Where it Belongs

It belongs with me. It is no one’s fault but my own that I did not perform well. I had everything I needed and I own my performance. Pointing fingers will do nothing but alienate the people that are there to help me. Making stupid excuses about equipment or meet conditions isn’t doing me any favors. I’ve done around 30 meets. I’ve used countless different bars, benches and platforms. Yes, it can and does have an effect but not a huge one like what I experienced on Saturday. Gene runs good meets with high quality equipment. His equipment had nothing to do with my poor lifting. I would like to get a bigger squat bar so I can train with exactly what we will be using on the platform but the slightly bigger bar definitely didn’t make me squat high.

Now its time to plan for the future

Now that this meet is over, it’s time to get better and smarter. 25 weeks until I get another shot.


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Daniel Dalenberg

Dan Dalenberg is a pro level raw and equipped powerlifter with elite totals in the 220, 242 and 275 class. Best official raw meet lifts include an 804 squat, 507 bench press, 715 dead lift and 2006 total. Best equipped lifts include an 950 squat, 715 bench, 735 deadlift and 2400 total at 242. Dan has been training under Brian's guidance using the 10/20/Life methodology since late 2010.
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