As of last week I can call myself a Powerlifting referee. I like that. And I am happy Powerlifting has referees and not umpires.
I hate that word!
I did the written exam without much thought. Having spent a lot of time in meets I must have assimilated the rules without noticing. Through the pores of my skin, most likely.
Then I had to perform in front of the directors of examination. Show that I could keep my head on my shoulders and make some good decisions. I found out quickly that sitting in the audience making derogatory remarks about the referees does not prepare you for the real thing. When you are on the spot, you are on the spot. But I liked it. No, that is a lie. I loved it.
I passed in spite of two grave mistakes. Probably by the skin of my teeth. But those two mistakes I will not make again, so help me God!
First I pressed the white light on a bench press that was such an obvious no-lift that even the lifter looked at me askance. The minute I had pressed that cursed button I realised what I had done. Second guessing oneself is not the done thing among referees. You better get it right. And you better get it right the first time – but this had to be corrected.
My second stupid mistake was when I left this hapless bench presser hanging with no control over the bar. I was waiting for someone to call rack and put him out of his miseries. Then I realised that I was the one supposed to give the signal.
In starting my first ever bench press I suddenly couldn´t remember what I was supposed to say! Go? Down? Start? Begin? Get on with it?
Apart from this I did ok, I guess. The sensation of being in a Concentration-bubble felt familiar. I even calculated the loads effortlessly in spite of being Numerically challenged.
I think I can do this. If I keep it up and gather experience whenever I have a chance.
At least I don´t have to run around in the pouring rain for 90 minutes chasing contestants like a football referee. I can sit on my chair and have them come to me.