Competition Ready Part 1: The Decision to Compete

Posted on by Jordana Kagan
Filed in Competition

This is part one of a three part series covering some of the experiences Jordana was kind enough to share in her quest to become competition ready for her first competition – ever. This first installment will give you insight to the spark that started her on this journey…

Jordana working the kettlebell

Jordana making it look easy

“You will compete in Kettlebell competition. It’s in August. You are strong. You will lift.” These were the instructions that I received from Alex, an enormous Russian tank of a man, and kettlebell competitor. I stared at him, incredulous. I had never competed before, but inside I was glowing with pride. I knew that I was strong. I knew that I wanted to prove myself and I needed a professional to validate that ambition.

I have always been competitive, sometimes to a fault, but my drive was limited to beating my personal bests. I had never competed against others in anything official. What mattered was that I was reaching my goals and progressing to higher achievements. Attaining the next level of strength, speed and athleticism was my drug of choice.

The desire to be a contender was tempered by several injuries and the fear of re-injury. I had to advance at my own pace-though, on several occasions, I pushed myself too far too fast and suffered relapses that derailed my training for weeks, and at one point, several months. Undeterred, I found new ways to train, and new goals to reach. Inevitably, I was stronger and more motivated. I feel very blessed that with each year I get stronger and leaner, despite the various recurring injuries.

One herniated disc is painfully enough now imagine having two at the same time

In my determination to outperform myself, I decided to try kettlebells back in April of 2007. I had just finished a year of excruciating physical therapy for two herniated disks, and I was determined not to stagnate. Instead I fell in love. Granted, I was still extremely weak and the 15 pound bell was more than enough. But I knew it wouldn’t stay that way, so I bought a set of 6 bells ranging from 15-40 pounds and kept them in my home studio.

I played with them off and on, depending on the month’s goal. (At one point I had forfeited kettlebells completely in pursuit of a triathlon. Unfortunately, my back went into spasms 6 weeks into training and I landed in rehab again.) By the time I met Alex I was warming up with the 20 and working out with the 30. I loved my training. I loved seeing results. But I wanted to DO something. Alex’s words were like a lifeline. His confidence in my skills was permission to push myself to the next level, to test myself against others. I was thrilled at the prospect of seeing how my successes measured against athletes who were just as devoted to achieving excellence. I was determined to rank and set a benchmark so I would know how to improve for the future.

Read the entire series:
Competition Ready Part 2: Training
Competition Ready Part 3: Am I Ready?