Above: Sixty-one-year-old Morinville resident Marion Peterson executes a squat during a recent training session to prepare for a powerlifting competition in March. – Stephen Dafoe Photo
by Stephen Dafoe
A sixty-one-year-old Morinville woman has been hitting the gym many times a week in preparation for a powerlifting competition in Whitecourt this March.
Marion Peterson, an aerobics instructor in her 20s, has always loved athleticism. She tried various disciplines in the area before seeking a personal trainer.
Last summer, she started training with Scott Wallace at Crusher’s Gym and liked weightlifting so much that she decided to ramp it up to compete.
Peterson said she was initially intimidated by the 300-pound-plus trainer but quickly learned he had a gentle side.
“I thought I’d try once a week, then I got into two times a week, and then I got into the third,” Peterson recalls. “Then Scott said him and his son had signed up for a competition. I thought, ‘Damn, I wish they’d ask me to go,’ but I didn’t reveal that. And then, he did.”
Peterson said she was pleased to see her coach’s confidence in her ability to compete and loves every minute of the enhanced training needed to prepare her for the March event.
“I like the fitness world. I always have. I love doing this stuff,” Peterson said of her lifelong attraction to keeping healthy. “It’s a passion for me. This is where I’m happiest.”
The opportunity to compete just added to her love of training. “I always wanted to compete at doing something, and this just kind of fell in my lap through Scott,” Peterson said. “I couldn’t turn it down. I always wanted to do something like this, but I was scared to do it. But I have the right trainer who gives me that support I need.”
Peterson loves the adrenaline rush of lifting weights outside most people’s reach and ability. Her training recently involved deadlifting 225 pounds, an amount considerably above her weight.
“You feel so good after,” she said. “No drug out there could ever make you feel that good. It’s just what I want to do. I love it.”
Peterson’s three-day-a-week training includes a day for bench pressing, a day for squats, and a day for deadlifts. Three months ahead of the competition, Peterson is squatting 200 pounds, bench pressing 110 to 115 pounds and deadlifting 230 to 235 pounds.
“By February, we should be up at least another ten pounds from there, and by March, up another ten and roll into the competition,” said Peterson’s coach Scott Wallace. “If we stay on that pace, Marion should set national records in all three lifts for her weight class and division.”
A win in Whitecourt in March would send her to the national competition later in the year.