My name is Illianna Degollado, and I have recently become a competitive Olympic weightlifter. I have always been active in sports like basketball, track and cheerleading; but it wasn’t until I started CrossFit where I began to understand strength training. In the past, I have joined gyms like Planet Fitness and Golds, where I would run for 60 minutes on the treadmill, and pretend I knew what I was doing with the dumbbells. I started CrossFit three years ago, and I finally saw the results I always wanted. I had the proper instruction to help me learn step-by-step, and I gained muscle!
CrossFit to Olympic Weightlifting
Last year, I decided to test my abilities, and compete in my first CrossFit competition with other members from my gym. We competed in the Iron Belle hosted by CrossFit Central in downtown Austin, TX. When we entered the gym, I instantly felt my nerves race and doubt filled my mind. I saw what seemed to be Amazonian women sporting crop top t-shirts and six-packs—lifting barbells without any difficulty. My first thoughts were, “Yup, that was fun, time to go now. You’re about to embarrass yourself out there.” But, I wasn’t the only one in the competition, so I needed to buckle down and silence those thoughts. My team and I fought hard and placed third in the competition. Even though we made the podium, I couldn’t help but recall my moment of uncertainty. After the competition, I decided to ask myself, “How do I become better? How do I get stronger?”
During the competition the nerves hit me hard, but why? It was like I lacked confidence. The light bulb came on, that was it, I wasn’t confident in the Olympic Weightlifting movements. After the competition, I decided to commit to Olympic Weightlifting. I have been weightlifting for five months now, and I am so excited to share my journey. I still can’t believe I am able to lift 110lbs over my head—from a girl that couldn’t even do a push-up at one point, it still blows my mind.
I know there are multiple blogs, vlogs, and youtube videos involving health and fitness; but what I hope is to provide another tool for anyone interested in Olympic Weightlifting. I will be posting my experiences, competing in my first weightlifting meet, interviews with seasoned weightlifters, and my nutrition program. I hope to hit all the questions first-timer’s wish to ask, and add another outlet from the traditional work-out regiment.