My weak bench keeps me from feeling like I'd be a true competitor at a powerlifting meet, and I want to overcome that hurdle both as a mental block (continually thinking I'm not strong enough to compete) and a physical block (I gotta get myself to at least a 150lb bench to be competitive, realistically).
I think anyone who has ever competed in anything before feels that way, man. We tend to want to hit certain numbers before we hit the platform. I know I did. But when I was first starting out in powerlifting, my coach basically just threw me into a meet after a few weeks of training at that gym. He paid my entry fee so I felt like there was no backing out. I felt like I wasn't ready, like there was no point because I wouldn't be competitive.
I shared that with some of my training partners and they told me that doing that meet would be the best thing I could do, because the first time is more about the experience, learning, the sense of liberation that comes from completing your first meet and the motivation to do it again, but better. I didn't win the meet or anything but I surprised myself with a 90lb PR on my total. It's really an invaluable learning experience that can't be replaced by anything else and really kick-started my training after that. Plus, you'll meet like-minded people (though most of them probably won't be vegan) who can help you reach your goals faster.
Sorry for the wall of text lol, just my $0.02. Looking forward to seeing you get that 150# bench and beyond