This Saturday Spotlight series showcases the participants of the Kim to Zim Outreach Group.
Q: How did you get started in powerlifting?
A: I originally started working out at the gym as a weight loss and overall health initiative. Through my training, I often had people coming up to me and telling me how strong I was. Several people said that I ought to be competing. I always laughed it off, thanked them for their kind words, and continued my session. I had never even heard of "powerlifting" before. The more I fell in love with lifting, the more I wanted to find a strength hobby to set goals for myself. Eventually, I heard that there was a powerlifting education course offered through DTS in Toronto. I signed up and went into the weekend as nervous as can be. I felt out of place. On the last day of the seminar, I asked the people running it if I was "cut out" to be a powerlifter. (In retrospect, I now know ANYONE can be a powerlifter!) They said that I should absolutely sign up for my first meet and that I would do great. Three years later and I just won my first Canadian National Championship!
Q: What is your favorite lift and why?
A: My favourite lift now is probably the squat. It is also my worst enemy. I would have to say it's my favourite because of how technical it is. Also, it works with my body mechanics. It is my strongest lift, but it is my biggest intimidator, too. It makes me have confidence in myself to look a beast of a weight in the eyes and get underneath it and perform the lift. It gets my adrenaline pumping more than the other two lifts.
Q: How has strength training impacted your life?
A: I would have to say the main way strength training has impacted my life is in coping with my anxiety and depression. I have struggled with severe depression since I was a young child. Strength training has given structure and organization to my daily life and helped me form a routine, which helps combat my illnesses. Even on the lowest of low days, I am held accountable by my coaches and lifting partners to show up. This has helped prevent me from staying cooped up in my house when the best thing for me is to get out. (*note:this is not always the solution) I have always been very shy and reserved. I have found my voice through powerlifting. I have grown courageous and more confident than I have ever been before. The overwhelming support, incredible friendships, and additional purpose I have found through powerlifting has helped shape my overall life. It has given me an extra safety net to catch me when I fall and help put me back on my feet. The balance I have found has helped stabilize my life and allowed me to move forward.
Q: What motivated you to want to be a part of the Kim to Zim Outreach Trip?
A: A year ago, I was going through an exceptionally bad bout of depression. Every day was a struggle. Taking care of myself seemed impossible. I was suicidal and saw no point in waking up each day. After several months of this, a switch of medication, and some therapy, I decided I needed to make a change. I began shifting my focus to being a light in the world when I couldn't find one. I used the "fake it til you make it" method and let positivity radiate to everyone I encountered. I figured by doing this, I would eventually find my own light. During this period, I came across the application to be a part of this incredibly unique experience. This is something I would ABSOLUTELY have NEVER done before. "I am too reserved to take these risks..." But in that critical time in my life, I decided I didn't know who I was and who I was going to be, so I decided to sign up because I loved the initiative so much. Also, it was another way to spread positivity on a larger scale. I took the plunge and signed up. When I was selected, I was very taken aback. It took awhile to process everything, but I couldn't be more excited or more honoured to be able to have this opportunity. I'm not who I was when I applied, but I am much more confident in my abilities to be an advocate for Lift4Life!