name is Betty Lee. I am a powerlifter in the Open Women's 114# class and
have been powerlifting for 7 years. I currently train at Pete's Pomo Powerlifting
Club. My job title is Accounting Officer and I work for the State of California
in the accounting field. My major accomplishments are winning the 1997
AAU open Nationals and the 1997 World Drug Free Powerlifting Open
World Championship. I also own state deadlift records in different weight
classes with the AAU and USAPL and one American record deadlift with the
AAU. My best recorded lifts are a 292 lb squat, a 165 lb bench and a 380
lb deadlift. My experience in this sport has been immensely enjoyable and
fulfilling. It keeps me fit and allows me to meet new people and travel
to faraway places.
I originally joined a local gym, West Coast Fitness Center, in San Francisco, Ca intending on losing weight. The gym owner who is a reputed powerlifting coach incorporated a powerlifting program with my weight loss objectives in mind. As the excess poundage whittled off I was amazed at my strength gains. I entered my first local meet in my first year of training and have since reached the international level. I have been traveling all over the United States to compete in National contests and I just returned from the World Championships in England.
People are always astounded to find out that I am a powerlifter because I am a woman who appears physically fit and that I am 5' tall and 115 lbs. They are more amazed when they find out the amounts of weight I am lifting and that I am drug free. I always encourage other women to lift weights to derive its benefits even if they do not want to become powerlifters. Lifting weights increases lean body mass, bone density and promotes better stamina. Firming up with more lean body mass contours the feminine shape that dieting alone cannot do. Besides, behind every curve is a muscle!
Competitive powerlifting is mentally and psychologically beneficial as well. Training requires one to be goal oriented in striving for the next level. Competitive powerlifting is fulfilling because it teaches self confidence, determination, and creates opportunities for goal setting and risk taking. I always set high but realistic goals for myself and visualize achieving them. Whenever I encounter plateaus I take them as learning experiences and I take the opportunity to re-strategize. The power of positive thinking is crucial because what forms in your mind will shape your reality.
Even though women are the minority members of the powerlifting population, the men in powerlifting have been wonderful to us. The men I am referring to include lifters, coaches, officials, meet directors, and executive board members. The fellas have always been there to offer me support and encouragement. They have been invaluable in offering me advice and a helpful hand in spotting and assisting with my gear. My warmest thanks to the men in powerlifting.
Powerlifting is and equal opportunity sport for all. There are gender,
age and experience level categories to set competitors on equal footing
so all lifters in the same category compete against each other. Everyone
follows the same set of rules no matter which category a lifter is in.
The sport encourages participation from many segments of the human population.
Some examples of competitive categories include: Men, Women, Teenagers,
Master (40+) , Novice, Collegiate, Law & Fire, and Special
Olympians. Powerlifters cover a wide range of demographics. I have met
men & women from all different ages, races, backgrounds, religions,
education levels, socio-economic classes and professions. Despite such
variation, all lifters share the same objective for getting stronger, and
whoever lifts the most weight wins. The barbell neither lies nor discriminates.