Olympic Weightlifting: Plateau Not Big Enough for Littlest Lim

Written by Nicole Lim

My initial training with Cal Strength made my lifts shoot up like a stack of illegal firecrackers on the fourth of July and boy oh boy was I hungry for more.  I executed every practice with diligence and ferocity.  I held my own with the big boys five to six days a week, occasionally twice a day, for three years.  Then I was stuck.  Stuck like Indiana Jones in a pit of quick sand.  I hadn’t PR’d my lifts in 18 months and after grinding day in and day out the realization that I was stagnant broke my heart.  I was burned out, tired, and hopeless.  My capacity and time for a podium finish was running out. I was losing my mojo, girls...  Luckily, Indiana Jones always had a vine or a sidekick or a fine lady to bail him out.  And I had all of that.  *cue Indiana Jones theme music*  My teammates, my coach, my friends, my followers.  They all told me that my lifting was bigger than me trying to bringing home medals.  They reminded me that with or without PR’s, I inspire women to be healthy and lift all over the world!  Suddenly I was inspired! It was like a circle.. of... INSPIRATION! 

I fell in love with the most impossible, monotonous, soul-destroying sport and I wasn’t going to give up.  I sat down with Dave and discussed what we could do differently to get my heiny off the plateau and back to climbing the Mount Everest of kilos.  With some research, we altered my program to accommodate the physiology of small women.   After three months of testing, I finally PR’d and by a considerable amount.  Just like that, I felt like I was back on track with the rest of the best 48’s in the nation.  And back to the grind I went, day in and day out, like gravity and I never even had a fight.  In weightlifting, we can’t always rely on the numbers, the PR’s, or the medals to keep us going.  We have to dig and find the little things that put our game on par with barbell.

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