A few weeks I posted information regarding being Featured on The Everyday Lifters Website.  I had never imagined the amount of emails I would have received.  I answered the emails and scheduled everyone as a first come, first serve.  Really hoping that some of my teammates would have signed up. When I went through my emails and saw that two folks who I train with wanted to be featured, I was stoked!

I'm kicking off The Featured Everyday Lifters Project with Lauren.  

While she warming up, I grabbed some beautiful shots of her.  I asked her random questions to break the ice.  We laughed, talked and I watched her lift. Overall, just a great time watching her train.

Check out the video below and some pictures of Lauren!

If you are 1 of the 3 people that really read every single one of my posts, you know that I enjoy watching people. HA!

It's fascinating watching people interact with their environment.  On this visit I got to see two Laurens.  The soft spoken, delicate Lauren.  Then, Lauren the weightlifter.  Can you see the difference in the top pictures below? Quite beautiful isn't she?

Let's take a closer look at Lauren the Weightlifter.  A contrast to the soft spoken Lauren in the beginning of the video.

Since Lauren had to start her training session, I couldn't record much of the questions I wanted to ask her.  But managed to get her to email me!  To learn more about Lauren, read below and don't forget to check out her lifts in the video.

How long have you been at NYWA?  "I've been training with Danny since August, 2014 - the carpet days!"

On average, how often do you compete? When is your next meet?  "I compete maybe two or three times a year. I am currently signed up for the American Masters Championships in a few weeks, but have been having some shoulder pain so my plans are up in the air."

Any rituals? Habits? Before a meet or when training?  "Other than my setup for the lifts, not really.  If I need to psych myself up before training or for a meet, I'll listen to super cheesy upbeat music. Current playlist: Sekai Wa Koi Ni Ochiteiru by Chico with Honeyworks; Stop! In the Name of Love/Free Your Mind - Glee mashup; You Can't Stop the Beat- Glee version; and Shakira's Try Everything. Two Glee songs and two cartoon themes. Cheesy AF.  My preferred post weigh-in meal at a meet is an everything bagel with lox and cream cheese."

You missed 2 jerks during your training. How did you stay focused to complete the lift?  "I ate! I had gotten tired and a little shaky.  I try to approach each lift the same way - both physically and mentally. I adjust my ponytail and address the bar, and then I have a short string of cues that I repeat to myself before each attempt. I'm not very good at visualizing, so the cues help me focus. After the cues, I (try to) stop thinking and just do."

What is your go to recovery food/drink if any?  "My typical post-training meal is a scramble of egg whites, wakame and brown rice. (It's tastier than it sounds!)" 

What do you like and not like about weightlifting?

What I like:  "As a sport, weightlifting gives my life structure and rhythm. I'm happier when I'm training for something. And few things challenge my focus and grit the way weightlifting does. Weightlifting is empowering - and not just in a muscly, bad-ass, throwing up big weights kind of way. When you're on the platform, that space is yours. Women expend so much energy trying to occupy less space in the world, trying to be as small and unobtrusive as possible. It's amazing to be territorial. And it's amazing to be loud. I have a squat noise now and it's great, even though it felt so awkward at first. Your time on the platform is also yours. The hush and stillness that comes over the gym when someone attempts a heavier lift is incredible. The first time it happened for me, I was embarrassed. I remember thinking that I didn't deserve that deference, that my lifts weren't heavy enough to freeze time. Weightlifters don't just respect kilos, though; they respect effort. On a related note, weightlifters are pretty cool, too."

What I don't like:  "When I was a CrossFitter and a runner, I could eat anything. Bacon. Avocado. Sweet potato fries. More bacon. Lifting four days a week and doing pretty much no cardio, I need to be more disciplined. It's not too onerous... but I wouldn't object to a world with more bacon!  The most frustrating thing for me is how slowly I improve. I really fight for each additional kilo on my lifts, and the PRs can be few and far between.   Also, singlets."

Any specific goals for your training this year?  "Gainz! I need stronger legs for everything, and more comfort catching heavier weights overhead for the snatch in particular. There are specific numbers I'd love to hit before 2017, but as long as I keep seeing improvement, I will be happy."

Any other sports you participated in ever?  "I never really had a sport. As a little kid, I was a figure skater. Then I got into horseback riding. As a freshman in high school, I tried out for volleyball. It won't come as any surprise that I didn't make the team. At 4'11", my serve pretty much sucked. The coach did say that she respected my pluckiness, though. In my 20's I became a barre/spin junkie. I started running in late 2009, and did CrossFit from 2010-2014. Until CrossFit, I would never have considered weightlifting."

Any thing else you'd like share?  "I love your pictures!"

Thank you Lauren for allowing be to grab some pictures and videos of you!  

Next Featured Everyday Lifter: ROSS

Stay tuned...