By Alex Richter

March 2024’s exploration into powerlifting unveils the transformative journey of individuals who embrace the sport’s unique challenges and triumphs. Through the lens of a seasoned coach and a dedicated powerlifter, we delve into the personal experiences that shape the world of powerlifting. Their stories offer a glimpse into the discipline, mental fortitude, and community spirit that powerlifting fosters.

Coach Crowther, with thirteen years of experience, initially drawn to powerlifting in high school, speaks to the sport’s deeply personal challenge: “It’s just you and the weights.” This simplicity and directness were what inspired him to not only embrace the sport but also to guide others on their powerlifting journeys. His coaching philosophy is anchored in three core values: “Faith, Family, and Football,” Yet, his father’s lesson, “If I have to ask you to do something, then I might as well just do it myself,” underscores a fundamental powerlifting ethos: self-reliance and personal accountability.

The coach’s mindset about powerlifting is built on trust and seeing potential in his athletes that they might not see in themselves. “The beautiful part of powerlifting is that those athletes have to trust me,” he reflects, emphasizing the role of trust in achieving success. His proudest achievements aren’t the medals or state championships but rather the individuals who go on to inspire others, echoing his influence as a coach.

On the athlete’s side, I interviewed Makenna Pelle. the journey into powerlifting began in ninth grade, propelled by natural strength and encouragement from Coach Fostor and family. The athlete shares the sport’s physical and social challenges, from the cumbersome process of donning a powerlifting suit to the importance of comfort with failure and vulnerability. Her training regimen is rigorous, reflecting a disciplined approach to continual improvement. “I just try to lift a little bit more, and then a little bit more,” she states, encapsulating a mindset of progress.

Mental preparation for competitions reveals a blend of anticipation, focus, and self-encouragement. Describing the moment of competition, Makenna Pelle shares, “It’s like everything goes silent… everything just goes away while you lift,” highlighting the intense concentration and psychological isolation of powerlifting.

Powerlifting emerges as a test of physical strength and a profound journey of personal growth, discipline, and community. Through the shared experiences of Coach Crowther and Makenna Pelle, we see how powerlifting transcends the act of lifting weights, embodying lessons of trust, perseverance, and the power of believing in oneself. 

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