I spent August driving my dog and my belongings from California to New York. This wasn’t the average road trip as I was training for a weightlifting competition in September. This is the culmination of all of my work, enjoy!


September 12, 2018

For those of you that don’t know about USA Weightlifting, it is a national organization for weightlifters to compete in the Snatch and the Clean and Jerk.  You start competing for total in local meets. If your total is good enough, you move on to the American Open Series, then Finals, then Nationals. The very best of the very best of these competitors go on to the Olympics!

Now, now, I’m definitely not that good and I don’t intend to be but I qualified for the American Open Series in 2017 but didn’t compete 😦 so I was super excited for 2018. There are three American Open Series events every year and in 2018 they were in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Las Vegas.  My friends and family are in the Bay Area so I invited my mother, her twin, Grace, my very best friend, Sarah and my good friend Olivia to watch me compete.

Coach Brian and I arrived on Wednesday morning and we went to a buffet at the Cosmopolitan. The interior looked like it was straight out of Alice in Wonderland’s tea party! I had been weighing in at 47kg all week so I splurged a little bit and got some sprinkles with ice cream hehe.

My mother, her sister and Olivia arrived on Saturday night and we took the tram to dinner at a Tequila Taqueria’s in Bally’s. I didn’t eat too much because I knew I had to make weight at 49kg in the morning but I enjoyed (kinda) watching everybody drink their margaritas.



Did I mention that Olivia is an amazing hairstylist and I desperately needed her to do my hair for the competition? I hadn’t seen her since before the road trip and I couldn’t go out on stage with my hair a mess.

Sarah arrived in time for my hair cut and I was so excited to see her, we chatted a little too long, whoooops.

Weigh in was early in the morning so I went to sleep as Olivia bleached and colored my hair.  Yes, I am sleeping in these photos. How did I breathe sleeping like that? Not sure.



September 13, 2018

IMG_0076The morning of the big event, I thought it would be smart to wait until the very last minute to weight in. I woke up at 7 AM to text messages from my coach at 5 AM to get up and weigh in.

I met Coach to weigh in and I was 50kg!

I don’t know how I had gained 2kg in two days.  I had an hour to lose 1 kg. I drank coffee and spit in a cup and went back down to weigh in.

49.5kg with 20 minutes until weigh in cut off.

I exhaled all of my air, I ran in place, I did handstands but still, 49.5 kg.

I would not be competing in the American Open Series.

IMG_0077 As I left the weigh in room, there was a woman crying because, I assume, she also did not make weight.

I made it to my mom’s room before I broke down crying. It was unfortunate that I was unable to lift for my friends and family but their love and support was paramount that morning.

How silly I was to be so confident in my body and my weight that I could eat ice cream with sprinkles without consequence.

In retrospect, I realize that my diet had been fully controlled for the past month without additives or salt and the buffet food was salted and caused me to retain water. But it still was a hard pill to swallow.

My lovely best friend, Sarah had flown out for 12 hours to watch me lift but as I did not lift, she immediately flew out. Sad 😦

My mother, aunt, Olivia and I enjoyed lunch at RA Sushi and I was finally able to indulge in some mojitos! They were a delicious way to send off my mother and aunt.



Olivia and I went and took a million selfies by the pool. Here are my favorites.



It had been a long time since I was able to go out and let loose. Olivia and I went to Downtown Vegas. I had never been down there before so it was cool to see what else was around. We saw an opera singer sing Argentina at Don’t Tell Mama, the Griffin, then Commonwealth, then a couple more bars in casinos and I definitely had to switch to water early. Everyone that goes to Vegas and plans to stay on the strip should seriously make the time to head to Downtown.

It was an unforgettable night to say the least!

September 14, 2018

By Friday, the sting of my failure had faded and Olivia and I took more selfies by the pool.


Friday evening, my father flew into Vegas with his wife, Mari. It was exciting to see them for the first time since July. They really liked playing craps and slots!





To our delight, Coach Brian joined Olivia and me for drinks at the same bar we went to the night before because, well, it was a cool bar.

September 15, 2018

Throughout the weekend, I was dipping in and out of the weightlifting competition to see my friends from home lift. I even ran into an Instagram friend, @retrowombat!IMG_2680

The final event of Vegas was the Mr. Olympia convention. I’m not sure what I thought was going to happen but I was not expecting a fitness rave! I got lots of free goodies and drank much too much pre-workout. After dancing with a blow up unicorn, I decided it was time to fly back to New York.



Published by sweetnattydee

Travelling the world, one yoga pose selfie at a time.

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