Powerlifters from across North America made their way to Lethbridge Saturday for the Pirates of the Platform Canadian Powerlifting competition.
While the event was fierce, it was all was smiles for Amanda Riddell, a mother of three who would have never thought she would be competing alongside some of the strong men and women in the country.
“About 50 per cent of our athletes here are women and we had quite a few women crush national records as well,” said Ceejay Byam, director of Pirates of the Platform.
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Before deciding to train, Riddell faced a challenge many people struggle with every day.
“I have battled with being overweight my whole entire life, so getting to this point, I can lift weights and feel confident and just strong,” she said. “My biggest push is to say there is no one ideal body type, and there is no ideal body weight and to just embrace who you are and go for it.”
Not only did the powerlifting competitor battle with her weight, but being a stay-at-home mom for 12 years made it difficult for her to get out of the house.
“It’s a struggle because when you are at home all the time, you’re not taking care of yourself, you’re too busy taking care of your kids, you put yourself on the back burner,” Riddell said.
“Working out at the gym, I’m teaching my kids that it’s OK to have some your time, some mom time as I call it. So when you hear them yell today, it’s because they know how important it is to have time for you,” she added.
It’s a life choice her children fully support.
“I’m really proud of my mom because before I would see her at the gym, she would life weights but now lifts a lot heavier weights and she’s able to go to competitions like this, so I think it’s really cool,” said Mackenzie Riddell.
Riddell broke three Canadian national records: the squat record at 330 pounds, the bench record at 237 pounds and the deadlift record at 435 pounds.