The thought process goes like this: "I don't have time to train for a meet right now because of grad school (and all the other academic madness). Training seriously for a meet takes like 10-12 hours a week. If I don't have time to train for a meet I just shouldn't bother lifting at all".
This is the same thought process that often keeps me from creating anything "It won't be perfect. Not only that, it may be terrible, so I just shouldn't bother". If you aren't wired like this, you'll think this is incredibly stupid. Which I admit it is. But if you are wired like this, you will totally understand how the loop starts and then how the paralysis sets in.
At any rate, I have noticed lately that I don't feel well physically, and that I have been drinking a lot more lately. I don't think either one of these things are good, so today I shut off the paralysis and went back to the gym to deadlift. It was pathetic (compared to previous sessions) and it wasn't perfect, but it happened. It happened enough that my back is already verrrrry excited-can't wait to see how big the party gets by tomorrow night when my legs and butt join in.
It's interesting to me that I actually need physical activity, and strenuous activity at that to be functional and happy. For various reasons I never thought of myself as a physical person, and as rather lazy at that. So this "my body wants to move" is weird. Then I remind myself that I am an athlete-for crying out loud I still hold the USPF deadlift record. Also weird.
So even if there isn't a meet in my immediate future I need to lift. It helps keep me sane and it helps keep the stress under control. An I'm an athlete. I'll just keep saying it until it sinks in.