I had a lot of people behind me throughout my weightlifting career; my husband, friends, family, parents, coaches, sponsors, and weightlifting enthusiasts. I want to say an official goodbye; share my story, and thank everyone who shared in my journey. I hate goodbyes and it’s probably the reason why I stick to something for so long but I can honestly say I am happy with this decision.
About 4 years into CrossFit I decided to go all in with weightlifting for a year and just see what happens. A little naive to the sport, but the passion was there. I loved the Olympic lifts so much that I didn’t miss CrossFit one bit. It was a really easy transition for me. What started as a 1 year plan turned into 3 years and I don’t regret a second of it.
My husband Jay believed in me from the start and I can say without question that I never would have done this without him. There were SO many times I doubted myself and almost gave up (every other day for the first year). He always had something to say and my confidence would come back. When it came to running a business together, he always made sure I had enough time to train, took on more when I needed him to, and never complained. While a good portion of my attention was on developing as a weightlifter he was focusing on developing our gym into what it is now.
In my first year I was the alternate for Pan Am Games. How could I stop there? I kept training harder and harder. I almost just fell into it, training every day; mentally, physically, and emotionally. I really did put my heart and soul into this sport for 3 years. I know 3 years doesn’t sound like a long time but I already had 15 years of competitive sports behind me.
Qualifying for the World Championships blind-sided me and I was totally overjoyed. This was my first World Championship competition and the highlight of my career. The amount of people that got behind me and tuned in to watch was mind blowing. My parents came to cheer me on and watched from the front row. Being up on stage hearing my name and that I was representing Canada was incredible.
Another highlight was breaking the Canadian snatch record. Someday someone will break this record and get that same experience I did. Records are meant to be broken but I can forever say I had a Canadian record. The moment I will remember; jumping up and down and then running over to hug my husband and coach. Accomplishing this is one thing but getting to share it with people you love was another.
Let’s talk weight class. This was actually one of the hardest parts to training and why life had to change a bit. Missing social events because I couldn’t eat/drink certain things and constantly thinking about food was challenging at times. As much as I tried to balance this I would be lying if I said it was easy. Lots of doubt and stress that comes along with a weight class sport. Being 3-4kg above weight during off season was at times mentally exhausting.
I would like to thank my nutrition coach Adee for spending almost a year with me, helping me understand this was a commitment I had to make. She also taught me to understand nutrition better. It wasn’t easy but it was always worth it and now this is a big passion for me because I get to share my knowledge with others.
Next highlight; I became a professional athlete! I remember the day I got the letter in the mail. I actually got paid to lift weights! Not a yearly income or anything but still a good chunk. When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I always said a professional athlete so it really was a dream come true. It wasn’t the money it was the fact that it actually happened.
Final highlight, becoming an Olympic alternate in 2016. Team Canada headed to Colombia to try to fight for one female Olympic spot. We were successful and we were able to send our top female weightlifter. Of course, I wish I was able to become an Olympian as well, but this sport was pretty new and just the fact I was on that team was an honour.
To my coaches over the years: Jay Rhodes, Travis Mash, Steve Sandor, Craig Vandewedge, Hani Kanama and the rest of the Canadian coaches at training camps and competitions.
These guys all helped me with my journey in different ways. Craig dedicated 2 years with me and helped me become the strongest I ever was. If you know me, this was a full-time job so thank you for your belief and commitment.
To my teammates, parents, family, and sponsors (Creek Barbell Club, CrossFit Outlaw North and One:One Manufacturing). Each and every one of them played a role in my journey, so thank you. In weightlifting you are on the platform alone but it’s what you did before that moment that really matters. Weightlifting is a mind game just like any sport. I was lucky I was surrounded by a great team of people.
Why quit now? I actually don’t feel like I quit, I feel like I accomplished everything I set out to. Training started to feel like work. At my last Pan Am Championships in Miami I just didn’t care which was so out of character. After 3 years I took a month off to hopefully come back with a fire. For me, that fire did not come back and I quickly realized I enjoyed my time away too much to return. Somewhere along the line I lost that passion and at 29 years old why commit to something that doesn’t drive you anymore.
I really did love this journey and took it all in because when it ends, it ends. The best part about saying goodbye to competitive weightlifting is that I have a lot to look forward to. I didn’t put my life on hold to pursue this dream; I created the life I want while pursuing this dream. So once again thank you everyone that helped me along the way!