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Breaking Barriers as a Fat Masters Athlete in Olympic Weightlifting

Who says weightlifting is only for the young and lean? Certainly not me! At the ripe "young" age of 49, I've tossed that stereotype on its head and embarked on a weightlifting journey that's been nothing short of transformative. But let me tell you, it hasn't been a walk in the park. From finding the right place to train, to gear that actually fits, to a coach who gets it—every step was a hurdle. But here I am, less than a year into competing and I've already qualified for the masters nationals. Talk about a whirlwind!

The Early Days: Challenges and Triumphs

Remember the first day at a new school? That mix of excitement and terror? That was me, stepping into the world of Olympic weightlifting. The first challenge? Finding a safe space to train where my body size wasn't the elephant in the room. Then came the quest for a coach—a coach who saw my potential beyond the scale. And gear, oh the gear! Try finding weightlifting shoes or a singlet when you're on the plus side. It's like a treasure hunt without the map.

The Turnaround: Finding My Groove

Just when I thought I'd bitten off more than I could chew, things started to click. I found a gym that didn't just tolerate me; it welcomed me. I found a coach who wasn't interested in molding me into something I'm not. Instead, he worked with me to tailor techniques that fit my body's unique needs. And gear? Let's just say I've become quite the expert in where to find the good stuff.

The Impact: More Than Just Physical Strength

Here's the kicker—weightlifting has become my zen, my ADHD's best friend. There's something about the focus, the routine, the sheer physicality of it that centers me. And the body trust? Phenomenal. I've learned to listen to, respect, and trust my body in ways I never thought possible.

The Future: Lifting Others Along With the Weights

Now, I'm not just in this for the medals (though they are nice). I want to see this sport evolve. I want it to be a place where fat athletes aren't just welcomed; they're expected. I'm talking to brands, pushing for gear that fits all of us. I'm sharing my story, hoping to inspire others like me to take the leap.

Conclusion: A Call to Lift

So, here's my call to action. Whether you're 19 or 90, size 2 or 28, there's a place for you in Olympic weightlifting. Let's dismantle the stereotypes, one lift at a time. Join me, won't you? Together, we can make this sport a beacon of inclusivity and empowerment.

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