Georgia on Our Minds

We are a quarter into 2019, and things are going great for our Specially Fit athletes! It is amazing to think about how fast things took off for the Specially Fit Foundation, and the progress of the Specially Fit athletes is even more astounding! On this Throwback Thursday, let’s reflect back to the start of this year.

On the weekend of January 11-13, nine Specially Fit athletes competed in The Special Olympics 2019 Southeast Powerlifting Championship in Marietta, Georgia. The event took place at the Cobb Civic Center, where friends, family, spectators, and athletes all gathered to celebrate the physical accomplishments of the competitors. For some of the Specially Fit athletes, the trip to Georgia was the first time they had ever left their home state of Florida. That was an exciting endeavor in and of itself! Even though many of the Specially Fit athletes had past competition experience, this was the first time that they had competed at the national level. The truth of the matter is, before the athletes even set foot on the competition platform, each of them was already a winner. The Specially Fit athletes are winning at life.  Their training is making them healthier and happier; their strength is an added bonus.

Powerlifting meets consist of three lifts: Back Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift. Each athlete gets three attempts for each lift. Three judges observe the lifts to make sure the athletes adhere to competition standards. If the lift is good, the judge displays a white light. If the lift does not meet competition standards, the judge displays a red light. Three white lights signify an exceptional lift. However, two white lights determine that the lift is good. Conversely, two red lights determine that the attempt was a “no lift.” Powerlifters hope that each of their attempts result in a good lift which they refer to as “nine for nine.’ The combined weight of all three lifts is referred to as the “total.”

Going into the competition weekend, each of the Specially Fit athletes had numbers in the books and were confident with their opening weights. The physical training and mental preparedness were evident as each athlete tried his best with every lift. The results were extraordinary! Every athlete hit a PR (personal record), and each of them lifted their heaviest total to date! At the conclusion of the event, all of the Specially Fit athletes set foot on the podium for the Awards Ceremony, to receive medals for their strength.

Competition Highlights and Memorable Moments:

  • Ben Greer, a young man of character, hit a PR on all three lifts! He also shared his caring heart and love of his teammates as he led the Specially Fit team in prayer at dinner.

  • Greg Hawkins, who is always smiling, hit a 30 lb. PR on his Bench Press, and pulled over 400 pounds on his Deadlift!
  • Jaden Janzen (a.k.a. The Energizer Bunny) hit a PR on his Deadlift at 226 lb.! This is quite remarkable, taking into consideration that Jaden is only 15 years old!
  • Shawn Jones, the Specially Fit Team Captain, hit a PR on both his Back Squat and Deadlift! Shawn also demonstrated admirable leadership skills as he encouraged his teammates throughout the entire competition.
  • Russell Rogers (a.k.a. Russell The Muscle) hit a PR on the Back Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift! Although Russell was almost too nervous to compete, he conquered his fear and was awarded as a champion!
  • Terell Scott, who has an ingenuous heart, wowed the audience with his 200 lb deadlift and stepped away from the platform like a shining star!

Thank you to all the people who donated funds to make this trip possible for our Specially Fit athletes. It is exciting to think about what the future has in store for the Specially Fit Foundation. May the Specially Fit athletes be a reminder to you that the only limits that exist in the world are the ones you set for yourself, and those limits are made to be broken!