Faye Jordan competing at the IPF Western European Championships
Western European Powerlifting Championships – La Manga, Spain, September 2015
By Faye Jordan
This was the biggest competition I have ever done, it is a massive honour to be picked to represent Great Britain, for the 2nd time this year, and this time in a 3 lift event, and only my 3rd fully equipped meet. To say I was nervous was an understatement, especially as I had/have a back injury that had caused me to bomb out at the English Championships just a few weeks prior. So it was all about being cautious, getting the lifts in, getting a total, and walking away afterwards.
But before we get on to the lifting, I need to say a little bit about the venue. It was a truly amazing place, just beautiful, fantastic accommodation, and outdoor swimming pools just meters from our apartment. I have never been anywhere so wonderful, pure bliss… shame we had to go lift weights really! Ha.
So anyway, down to business. Day 1 was the 74kg and 83kg guys, we had 4 lifters in these groups, Bernie & Will (from Scotland) in the 74’s, and Jas and Shaun (from England) in the 83’s. The conditions for these guys was tough, it was soooo hot, their suits got so wet with sweat that they were over stretching, making the lifting HARD! It was not a good day for the Scottish guys, both of them bombing out, Will on his squats through lack of depth, and Bernie on the bench, just couldn’t get the ping off the bottom. Gutted for these guys, but they took it like pro’s, gutted but gracious. Jas and Shaun did better both securing totals, by their own standards they were not amazing, but finished nevertheless.
Day 2 was us ladies and the 105kg men. So there was Me (Faye) and Ellie in the 63kg weight class, Kelly on the 84+, and Jake in the 105kg’s. Again it was hot, but not quite as bad as the day before, but regardless our Head Coach, Joe, insisted on dropping our opener’s a fraction just to make sure we got those totals in, a nice firm call from the team Gaffa! Although we did have to then put my squat up a bit as there were some technical problems going on in the warm up room… like I forgot how to squat after a month of not doing it! Gave the boss a bit of a heart attack I think, but pulled off 3 beautiful lifts on the platform, they got better with more weight on… so no need to fret Joe, I had it covered! Haha. Benching did not go so well, I couldn’t arch up enough in my shirt to make the shirt work, as soon as I did my back seized up, so had to bench press raw… sad times, this was the only lift I was confident on! So this change destroyed my total, but a total nevertheless. And then on to the deadliffts, again a VERY light opener of 100kg, but just had to see how my back held out. Then jumped to 120kg, but failed it on a technicality as I did not put my shoulder back enough at the top, kicking myself for this one, silly mistake, so had to nail it on the 3rd lift, which I did, it was easy, and I was not too sore afterwards, so a successful trip. It is kind of embarrassing to lift so little on a European stage, but injuries and ego just don’t work together!
The others in my group did very well, Ellie securing Silver in the 63’s, Kelly Gold in the 84+ and Jake Silver in the 105’s, it is a pleasure to lift with such talent, and give me much to aspire to.
After the lifting was done it was time to relax with a cocktail or 2 and enjoy the sun, had such a great time, the rest of the team were wicked fun, and got to meet lots of people from the other nations too, the surrounding were fabulous, I felt like a proper athlete!
I wanna give a shout out to one of my GB team mates who was at the competition for more personal reasons. After losing his daughter at the age of 20 to epilepsy just a few weeks beforehand, Bernie still came to lift despite not having the best pre comp preparation (to say the least!), but manage to be strong enough to turn the trip into a positive and came to raise money for Epilepsy Scotland in the aim to help other families not have to experience a loss like his has. Such a chilled, down to earth guy, massive fucking respect. Just have a think, could you get up on stage and put your body through the insanity of and equipped powerlifting meet under those circumstances..? Sure as hell don’t think I could! Here is the link to his Just Giving page in memory of he daughter Hayley, please if you can help, share and donate, it is all about awareness.
And this kind brings me on the some thanks, to the whole team, I think the guys worked harder helping us girls in and out of our suits on day 2 than they did lifting themselves! There were some emotional moments! Joe and Sasha, our awesome coaches, for pretty much holding my hand through my first 3 lift international, and of course to Arun for the selection in the first place, and everyone involved in running and organising the comp, and finally a special thanks the Peter Moorhead from Celebrate Health and Fitness for his kind sponsorship to help me get there! Was fantastic. I want to go back, missing it already!