Back to the Bethnal Green Weightlifting Club for our second weightlifting session with the brilliant Giles Greenwood. Having ‘mastered’ the snatch at our previous session, this time our aim was to learn the clean and jerk.
Again, Giles took us expertly through the component parts of the lift and time flew by until the end when it was time for the mini competition amongst ourselves.
Now, as I’ve documented at (tedious) length in previous blogs, I’ve got a few arm injuries at the moment. It’s even reached the somewhat embarrassing stage where I have to serve underarm when I’m playing tennis. I’d therefore sworn to myself at the beginning of the session that I would just learn the technique and not take part in any competition.
However, the session had been good, the atmosphere was great and I decided to take part. I wouldn’t go for anything heavy but perhaps just enough to make sure that I was lifting more than the women taking part. Now that probably sounds terrible – but it’s the truth that men are expected to be able to lift more than women.
The only problem was that the women were lifting a lot more using the clean and jerk than they had at the previous session. This went on a lot longer than I would have liked but, finally, the women bowed out at 35kg and the rest of us did our 40kg lift. At which stage Giles came up to me and quietly suggested that I’d done enough. There’s no doubt that he was right. If I had gone on any further, I would either have failed miserably and/or exacerbated an injury.
So, sensibly, I retired at that point. And then spent the rest of the evening regretting it.
Truth is that watching every other man lift more than me really stung. My male pride had been hurt! I didn’t enjoy coming last and, even though I knew it would have been stupid to go on, I was really annoyed with myself for ‘giving up’.
Male pride can be pathetic.
For the record, the top weightlifters were James and Pete from Sport England with 55kg each.
And as always, if you can spare it, please do sponsor my efforts (all in aid of NSPCC, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, Right To Play and Scope) by donating to my fundraising page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DansGoldChallenge. Thank you.