Ah. Like many other chapters, I’ve been waiting for this one, as powerlifting has become such a big part of my life. Here is a story about my mental and physical strength – I cannot wait for you to read this in order to get a better sense of who I am. Let’s do this.
Before we talk about my success story, let’s take a step back for a second. Growing up, my metabolism was always fairly high, and I was always fairly slender. It wasn’t till senior year of high school where I realized that my body weight was slowly increasing little by little (more than it ever was), and that’s probably because I stopped caring about what I was eating, and I seriously did no exercise whatsoever. I mean, we had physical education every other day, but c’mon, when you’re not really athletic or when you’re not really into something, you won’t want to put forth your full effort, right?
College began and though I can remember my weight being leveled for some time, I still was not taking care of my body correctly by all means. You know that moment when you first step into college, and in a way, you’re kind of in shock because there’s so much change that’s going on around you? For starters, there are no such things as home cooked meals anymore, it’s kind of like fending for yourself and trying to keep yourself alive. Well, that’s exactly what I tried to do and in turn, I was not being mindful of what I fed my body – I would sometimes eat a whole burger and a 3,000 (give or take) calorie milkshake in one sitting.
It wasn’t till sophomore year where I had a major wake up call. My eyes began to widen and not be blind to it all anymore. My mother and my sister have been pretty health conscious at this point, and my boyfriend was starting to get into lifting weights – he would go to the gym a lot and I would just sit in his dorm room waiting for him to come back. Little by little, I began to realize that I needed to do something about this whole weight changing thing, because ultimately, when you realize that you don’t like something, you have the ability to get up and move forward. There’s always room for improvement, correct? Correct. I’m so glad I always have the right people to direct me in the right direction. Without these people and the guidance that they give me, I honestly do not know who or where I would be.
Spring semester of sophomore year was a tough time for me. As noted previously, this was the first season of my life where I realized I was depressed. Thankfully though, I found the perfect coping mechanism to combat this said depression and since then, it has not only improved my mental strength, but it has also benefited me in the way that it gave me a different perspective of how I view myself. Now, I know that I am not only mentally strong, but I am also physically strong. I’ve squatted over 225 lbs, deadlifted close to 300 lbs, and benched a little over 80 lbs (said lifts are no where close to what I want them to be) – Ha ha, I know. My legs are stronger than my arms! That’s what I love about the sport of powerlifting, though. It enables you to set a goal for yourself, and when you are able to reach that said goal, you feel so amazing that you just want to continue to keep surpassing said limits. It never leaves you satisfied (in a good way ofc), it always leaves you craving to be better than you were the day before.
Here’s a video montage that I put together from the second meet that I’ve ever competed in, back in March 2015 within the RPS Powerlifting federation. Click the video to see more information about the weight I lifted per attempt! Here, I went 8/9. At powerlifting meets, you are to do three attempts of the three main lifts. Ultimately, you just want to do the best that you can.
Not only has powerlifting opened up a whole new window of strength for me, but it has also allowed me to build and continue relationships with some of the best people in my life. I’ve met so many beautiful people through this sport, and this is something that we all love together. Initially, Kindness is the one who persuaded me to start weightlifting, but I, myself, made the decision to continue pursuing the sport because I have come to love it wholeheartedly.
I appreciate sports in the sense that there is always an uplifting community, due to the special comradery that athletes share with one another. There is a sacred bond that no one else can take away, and I have learned what it means to be a good team player. Take Instagram for example – I follow so many powerlifters on this specific social platform, ultimately because I enjoy seeing others progress, and I genuinely get happy when I see someone (who I may or may not have even met in person) improve one of their main three lifts! This also goes for powerlifting meets as well, because it’s amazing to see individuals put themselves out there on the platform to showcase what they’re made of. I never view competition in a negative light; I see it as something that is constantly used for self-evaluation and self-improvement. In the end, you are not competing against anyone else except for yourself. It’s all about loving yourself first, then being able to love others.
Thank you to whoever created the sport of powerlifting. Thank you to my lifting fam for teaching me how to be strong mentally, emotionally and physically. Thank you to all of the role models out there who decide to do things for themselves – who constantly want to change (their bodies) for the better.
I am honored to call myself a powerlifter.
If you’d like to stay updated with my fitness journey, feel free to give me a follow on Instagram. Username is “buhrehtney” – I post a lot of training videos from time to time. As said before, my friends and I will be uploading a video shortly to my Youtube channel, displaying a USA Powerlifting (USAPL) meet that many of us have competed in/attended this past month. Moving forward, I want to do more on YT, meaning that I’d like to start vlogging (when I have the time) my life. Whether it would contain powerlifting content, life style, fashion, personal experiences, etc., I want to be transparent and I want to use my life to help others.
In case you were wondering, in terms of my next meet, I will be competing in the USAPL Staten Island meet this end of July, and I’m hoping to improve my numbers all across the board.
Good night and speak soon!