This Saturday Spotlight series showcases the participants of the Kim to Zim Outreach Group.
Q: How did you get started in powerlifting?
A: I watched Krista Schaus at Goodlife and knew that I wanted to lift heavy things. I had been doing rehab at the gym after being off work for two years with a back injury. I work with high risk youth in conflict with the law and this happened during a restraint. In 2007 my only child had passed away at the age of 34 and I was suffering from deep depression and feeling hopeless. When I went to the gym it gave me a sense of purpose and helped lift my sadness. The stronger I got physically the more I felt better mentally and able to cope with loss. I asked Krista and she recommended a coach, Susan Abbott and went to see her without really thinking that I would be able to do it. However she welcomed me and I started training with purpose. In six months I did my first competition and came in third. I loved the inclusiveness of the sport of how others supported me and cheered me on. I did not have to look a certain way, nor be a certain weight, or age, I was enough as I am. This was the start of my powerlifting journey..
Q: What is your favorite lift and why?
A: My favourite lift is the squat because it is like the weight of the world/problems on your shoulders and I am able to use my physical and mental strength to push it up and off. It is an analogy of life. We all have problems, past histories but we can change our destinies and be the best we can. We can do this at any stage of our lives. The squat has taught me even when I am down and not succeeding that I will rise and people will support me and give me the added strength to do it. I obtained 125kg. on my 65th birthday Nov. 2/19 and I know it was a group effort. My coach, handler, husband, family, friends, chiropractor all mentally supported me to ensure my success. I would like to show my support to the lifters in Zimbabwe and see them shine.
Q: How has strength training impacted your life?
A: I love feeling strong, I am a role model for others, and I have met so many wonderful people from all walks of life. It continues to teach me lessons on an on going basis. Sometimes the lessons are about patience(not my strong point), other times it is perseverance as it took me three years to obtain my current World Record in Master 3 84kg. Classic squat @ 122.5kg. with IPF. Definitely determination has been has been tested by set backs but I always come back stronger. Also losing and failure has been an important lesson as well. We can not win every moment of every day but we must look for the lesson in the loss and come back even more focussed. It teaches us humility and that our supporters are just as important as our coaches. It is important to share our triumphs with others and in fact build them up. It is very rewarding to see others succeed and provides us with a love of all people from everywhere.
Q: What motivated you to want to be a part of the Kim to Zim Outreach Trip?
A: I was extremely motivated to be part of this experience due to knowing Nicola and her passion for people. I had donated some equipment last year during the Nationals in Calgary and have had the opportunity to speak via Facebook with the recipients of my donations. First of all they wore the singlets much better than myself and I was mesmerized by their passion and smiles. I was in Zimbabwe over 30 years ago and loved the people and the country side as well as the beautiful wild life. Of all my travels Zimbabwe has been my favourite destination. I can not wait to meet these amazing lifters with such resilience. I know it will be spectacular to have the privilege of sharing time and experiences with them. I am blessed to have this opportunity.