I am not a powerlifter.
However, my business partner and good friend Sabrina Provoast is. I thought I had been exposed to powerlifting somewhat by being a strongwoman and doing the big three on a semi-regular basis in training. Boy was I wrong. I got talked into doing my first meet by Beth Thomas, who then introduced me to Sabrina. It was kind of a “what the hell, I’ve dabbled in everything else, why not?” idea. So in late October 2015, I competed alongside Sabrina as she hit her raw 1100 total.
Seeing her accomplish this was astonishing to me and inspiring. She takes the sport so seriously, from technique and training to diet and lifestyle. Being exposed to an athlete like that makes you want to be a better athlete yourself. After seeing these things, I decided to start training with Sabrina.
This has exposed me to the real world of powerlifting, and what it’s all about – inspiring people to do amazing things they never thought they would accomplish. I have seen meet drama, team problems, snide off-hand remarks exchanged, and psychological warfare, but none of that stuff outweighs the positivity of the sport.
I recently watched Sabrina compete in the Women’s Pro Am put on by Laura Phelps (a legend in the powerlifting world), and I saw many eyes in the crowd light up throughout the day. I came with a large group of friends and clients, and they all were affected by the meet in similar ways. Watching all these women ban together and cheer each other on, help coach each other, and lift weights I couldn’t even fathom budging at times can truly be a life changer.
Being around all strength sports can be a life changer. So often we live in fear of greatness; or rather a fear of pursuing it at the risk we fail. We won’t do the competition because being in a singlet is awkward, we don’t think we can lift enough and will embarrass ourselves, or we just feel inadequate on all levels. I saw these mental barriers being broken at the Women’s Pro Am. A woman who was paralyzed from the waist down did bench only and it was incredible! Women of all shapes and sizes showed up in their singlets. I am so proud to have experienced this sport outside of youtube videos, because there’s so much more to it than just three lifts. It is empowering people. It is inspiring people. It is creating friendships that span across the country.
This is important to think about if you have been on the edge of competing in a strength sport, or feel like you aren’t good enough. The beauty of powerlifting is, everyone is good enough to compete, you just have to get out there and do it.