Challenge Your Biases

by Rhaea Stinn

by Clifton Pho 

I’m not a junior anymore… dam time flies by fast. It’s been almost 6 years since I’ve started my powerlifting journey and now I find myself at the end of my junior career. It still feels like yesterday when I was competing for the first time, gunning for those provincial records held by the infamous “MARK NOT SET”…


Competition Results
Power Surge IV 2013


As I graduate into the open class, not a whole lot changes in regards to powerlifting to be honest. The goal of continually getting stronger stays the same and the community is still awesome.

Personally however, things are quite different to say the least. I’ve moved to Toronto to pursue further education, I’m all alone with no family around, I have no vehicle, no job… I’m not even sure when I’ll return to the platform. The biggest change however is definitely the fact that milk is in bags now!


So yeah things are a little different, but most of the change is happening internally. I am constantly challenging my own ideas, beliefs, and habits, with an abundance of new knowledge and perspectives. It’s actually a little scary because all too often we get complacent and comfortable with the way we do things and tend to avoid information that goes against our grain of thought.

I mean, when was the last time you thought about how you do/think about things or what you hold as truth? Whether it be your warm up routine, technique, pain/injuries, or even the specific modalities/therapies you incorporate. Have you ever challenged those ideas and beliefs? It may seem pointless or common sense even… but we “used” to believe the earth was flat.

For example, some people may generally complain of a muscle being tight, such as our hamstrings and we may blame this tightness for not being able to touch our toes. However, this tightness may just be a result of psychologically perceived tension (tissue threat) or even neural tension and not a result of an actual physical shortening of the muscle. If someone wants to be able to touch their toes and they just stretch their hamstrings all day long, it might not do anything for them if that is not the issue. The point is if we do not challenge our beliefs, in some cases we would not be able to grow closer to our goals.

We often hear the phrase “find what works for you” but what works for you now might not work for you later so I encourage you all to continually challenge your biases and experiment. Actively seek out information and question it, give an honest listen to others even if they have differing ideas, be a student and don’t stop learning. There is so much information and misinformation out there so be able to think critically and formulate your own opinion.



When I moved to Toronto, I found out milk was sold in bags and that there are specific milk pitchers for the bags. I found this odd but nonetheless I bought a milk pitcher, slit open the bag, and poured the milk into the pitcher. Simple right? However, there was still leftover milk in the bag! I thought to myself, “this can’t be right”, and concluded some absurd theory that they must want you to drink a cup of milk when you open it... It wasn’t until someone told me all I have to do is simply put the milk bag in the pitcher and then just make a little slit and ta-da…

Hi, I’m Dumb.

Why did I tell you this story? I could tie it in to the topic but to be honest its just so you can laugh at my failures. So tell me, is your bias towards milk in bags or in jugs?

Thanks for reading!