Sports! Sports! Sports!
This was my childhood. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been involved in organized sports. For over ten years, I played competitive basketball, volleyball, and softball – dedicating most of my time and effort to these teams.
Although I had other hobbies like playing the piano and saxophone, sports were my main priority.
I found something in sport that I had never experienced anywhere else. The elements of intense competition, pushing myself beyond the breaking point and fulfilling my role as a leader were all building blocks of not only sport but of my identity.
Throughout the years, I became more aware of how much my time in sport impacted and made me who I am. Everything I have ever accomplished musically, academically, or personally has happened because of the lessons and skills I have learned from sports.
At the end of high school, when my competitive basketball and volleyball careers were over, I felt like something was missing from my life. I no longer had the drive and motivation that I once had. I quickly realized that because playing sports was such a big part of my life, I couldn’t just stop. I needed something to keep me active and allow me to set goals for myself.
And that’s when I found powerlifting.
For those of you who don’t know what that is, powerlifting is a strength-based sport that involves using a barbell for three main movements – Squat, bench press, and deadlift. Although it is not the most popular sport globally, there is a very tight-knit community of powerlifters across the world.
I stumbled across this sport through my dad. As a young man, he had a passion for working out, leading to a very successful bodybuilding career. Due to his many years of competing in bodybuilding, when I approached him with my dilemma about my sports career-ending, he was quick to suggest weight training.
At first, he was helping me understand how to strength train and workout regularly, but after only a few months of working out together, the lightbulb went off in his head!
My dad suggested that if I wanted to focus on getting stronger, maybe I should set some personal goals and attempt to compete in a powerlifting meet. He said this would be a great way to challenge me and see how strong I could get.
I completely loved this idea and thought it would be the perfect replacement for basketball and volleyball.
About four months after this conversation, I had signed myself up for a local powerlifting meet to test the waters and see what I could do! Going into the meet, I had no idea what to expect, and I can remember having almost a month of sleepless nights thinking about the competition.
Although I was pushing myself harder than I ever had before, I loved every second of this journey, and it showed!
During my first meet, I exceeded my expectations and even set the new Ontario Provincial Record for the Squat in my age and weight class! This was one of the most exciting moments of my entire life. The feeling of achieving my powerlifting goal gave me a sense of pride that I had never experienced to this extent before – not even from other sports accomplishments.
Although I was just trying to find an active hobby to fill the athletic void in my life, I discovered my biggest passion! Powerlifting has taught me so much about myself that I hadn’t even found in other sports. I learned about my physical and mental weaknesses and also learned to push through these barriers to come out stronger on the other side.
Looking back, I can’t imagine what I would have done if my dad hadn’t suggested that I start working out. He truly opened the door for me and guided me down my path of self-discovery. I can never thank him enough for that!
Now, four years into powerlifting, I hold all 4 Ontario Provincial Records in the Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, and Total for my age and weight class. I have beaten my own records several times and have won a Silver and Gold medal at Provincials.
With the pandemic, powerlifting meets were on hold for two years. However, now that things are getting better, there may be some more meets in my future. We will have to wait and see.
But I can tell you that no matter what, I will always focus on my goals, my passion, and my strength.