An amazing athlete from Oregon! Here she is in her own words:
I grew up in Oregon City, Oregon and have lived in the Portland metro area for the majority of my life, with a stint in the Veneto region of Italy for my junior year of college. I graduated with a double major in business: marketing and journalism: public relations from the University of Oregon in 2010. I have an athletic background in competitive cheerleading and gymnastics. I was a cheerleader for over 10 years, so after college I felt that something was missing in my life without a sport or a team, which led me to CrossFit. I was involved in the cheerleading through my school program in Oregon City. I was captain in high school and continued on to an all-star team in Portland, Oregon called Style Shock. We competed at the USA national championships in Las Vegas in 2007 and 2008. I left the team during my junior year due to a back injury which made gymnastic movements difficult.
I started CrossFit in the spring of 2013. I loved the community aspect, but fell in love with olympic weightlifting and made the switch to be a full-time weightlifter in January 2014. I joined a CrossFit gym based on a friend's recommendation, and I'm so glad I did. I liked the feeling like I had a team again that could hold me accountable as well as make working out fun and enjoyable. I had regained my motivation for fitness and training. I train at CrossFit Magnus in Portland, and do the occasional metcon, but my main focus right now is weightlifting. I competed in the 63 kilo weight class at the American Open on 12/13/14. My next big goal is to qualify and compete at the 2015 National Championship. I have never felt better about my body, my strength, and myself in general than when I started weightlifting. It makes me truly happy. I've never felt more beautiful and confident than I do with a barbell in my hands. Every day I look forward to getting to the gym to train with my little gym family. I have made huge strides in my lifts since I started this sport, and I love that I still have so much more room for growth. Some of my friends ask if I get bored, practicing the same two lifts, day in and day out, but I always tell them that I love working on the technique and all the intricacies of the snatch and clean and jerk, and that it feels great to get stronger every day. I'm currently a 63 kilo lifter, with my best snatch at 71kg and my best clean and jerk at 81kg.
I've got big goals for myself and weightlifting and I am looking forward to working my butt off this year to achieve them! Another fitness related goal I have is to get involved with young women in the Greek system at local universities. I was a Delta Gamma and saw first hand the difficulties those girls go through with body confidence, eating disorders, etc. I'd love to help change the mindset of those young women on strength training, fitness, and body image.
I'm so happy that my coach persuaded me to make the switch to Olympic weightlifting. I immediately loved the sport. It challenges me every day. The better I get and the more I learn, the more I realize I still have SO much further to go and so much more to learn. I look forward to arriving at the gym everyday to train with my team who have become like family. It makes me truly happy, and has given me confidence and a drive to succeed. I like winning, but I also love lifting up others and helping my teammates and friends succeed as well. My next big goal for weightlifting is to qualify for and compete at the 2015 National Championships in August. It will be difficult, especially with the changes in the qualification procedures this year and the reduction in the number of athletes allowed, but it will be great motivation for my training over the next several months. I'm looking forward to putting in the work and doing the best I can on the platform. I'm starting a nutrition program with Renaissance Periodization next month that will hopefully allow me to cut to the 58 kilo weight class to be more competitive and optimize my strength.
I really love Belle & Bell and the message your brand represents. I love the concept of beauty in strength and uniting strong women to achieve great things. Over the past year, truly embracing my strength and the sport I am passionate about has helped me really discover who I am as a person. I haven't had a lot of support from family and friends throughout my weightlifting journey. My long term relationship fell apart partly due to my dedication to the sport and the changes in my body-which I happen to love. As heartbreaking as it was, it was eye opening and liberating to be free of someone who put me down constantly and didn't support my dreams and aspirations. These days, many women are shamed or ridiculed because of the muscles. I have found solace and comfort in getting stronger and surrounding myself with like-minded individuals and have developed more self-confidence based on my own goals and not the perception of others.
Follow Courtney on Instagram, @courtneylarson2
Comments will be approved before showing up.