Powerlifting has made me a better developer. (2 Part Series)
Powerlifting may not be your thing, but you can always find ways to take what you've learned from your hobbies and apply them to your work as a developer. These are just some of the things powerlifting has taught me that helped me become a better developer.
Without getting too deep, powerlifting is a competitive sport comprised of the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift. On competition day, your goal is to lift as much weight as possible across those three movements. I started powerlifting to give me a non-body-image-focused goal to work towards in the gym. Two years later, I'm still loving every second of it and have learned that it has helped my career as a front-end developer as well.
As a powerlifting newbie, I had to learn not to compare myself to other competitors. In powerlifting, there are a lot of people who compete who have done so for a long time. The total weight you lift across the three main lifts is highly dependent on a variety of factors. Your weight, your experience level in competition, and how long you've been lifting all play a factor in how you perform on competition day.
Powerlifting, like programming, is a highly individual sport. In competition (assuming you're not an elite athlete), the main goal is to do better than you did last time. It's really easy to get caught up in seeing the cool things others are doing on Twitter and get discouraged thinking you may never get to that level. It's important to think about where you are in your coding journey. Programming is hard, and we all had to start somewhere.
In powerlifting meets, it's easy for me to feel the comradery with other competitors, regardless of whether they are a direct competitor or not. We've all worked hard for weeks, months, or even years to prepare for this meet. I always want to see my fellow competitors succeed. I understand the joy felt when stepping off of that platform after making a lift that you weren't sure you would.
As developers, it's also important to encourage each other. At work, I try to make sure I'm encouraging newer developers and congratulating them when they push out a new feature to our applications. In my spare time, I like to give back to the developer community by speaking at conferences and meetups and writing blog posts like this one. It honestly makes me feel amazing knowing that someone has learned something from a talk I gave or a post I wrote, even if it's only one person.
If you learned something from someone, tell them! They'll appreciate it so much. If you see a code newbie struggling, offer advice or encouraging words.
Next week, I'll be discussing how powerlifting helped me from an intrapersonal perspective.
A few days before posting this, Lewis Kori posted about a topic similar to this one. If your interested in someone else’s perspective about fitness and development, I recommend going and checking his post out as well!
📣 What hobbies do you have that have improved your skills as a developer? And how did they help?