I got an e-mail from Kat, who trains at CrossFit Regina. She told me that Angela Desjarlais is someone who stands out and portrays what it is to be 70’s Big.
AngDesj, as she’s affectionately known around our region is an amazingly strong and fierce chick, she’s a seasoned competitor, mother of 2 and a shift worker. She finds time to stay fit and strong at Crossfit Regina, Regina Saskatchewan and participates in the 70’s big Challenges regularly. We’ve held a tactical strength, shoulder press/deadhang pullup, and Supertotal and she’s come out 1st in all.
Here is a piece that Angela wrote for this post:
I started powerlifting at age 21. My dad (now a retired firefighter) had been competing for a few years already. A few years ago he won a World Record in Bench Press for Grand Masters at 399lbs in the 82.5kg weight Category in Drug Free Powerlifting, among many other Provincial, Canadian Records. He is currently training to get this title back. I had just started the Police Department and would work out with him. He put me under the bar and said, “see if you can bench that (I think it was 80lbs), it went up well and before you know it I was benching 135lbs (I weigh 148ish), a few months later. I guess it’s in the blood.
Over the course of a few years I started the other lifts. I competed in a variety of local competitions, some provincially and a national competition. I was at my leanest when I was powerlifiting and would not consider myself bulky whatsoever. Ballsy yes, bulky no (Editor’s Note: Proof).
My dad then suggests I compete in The Toughest Competitor Alive at the Police/Fire Games which has eight events. 5km run, shot put, 100m sprint, 100m swim, rope climb, bench press, deadhang pull-ups and an obstacle course. I have competed at the Police/Fire Can/Am Games and the Police/Fire World Games and medaled in both powerlifting, bench alone, and the TCA.
Again, my dad suggested I try CrossFit, to help me train for an upcoming Police/Fire World Games, which I won a bronze. So like a good little daughter I did. I loved it! It encompasses everything I enjoy, lifting heavy shit, running, various other bizarre exercises, competing, oh and I did I mention lifting heavy shit.
Interesting enough all my powerlifting lifts totally increased once I started CrossFit. All my equipped lifts turned to my best raw lifts. My raw lifts are currently bench press 190lbs, squat 280lbs, deadlift (my goat) 305lbs. CrossFit Regina Coaches/Owners, Aaron and Robin Maier focus on good form, proper technique, which was where I was really lacking. I suffered or rather still suffer from a back injury and an injured tailbone and when I came to them I started my lifts from scratch. Hard on the ego, but good on the body. I discovered my weaknesses – FLEXIBILITY — and worked on it. It has paid me back tenfold. I am still embarrassingly inflexible in my shoulders, I can bench press a grown man, but have difficulty with a muscle up.
I have also competed in 5km races, and some ½ Marathons, a beer drinking contest and a milk chugging contest. I won the beer drinking contest. My proudest achievement is I have two beautiful daughters, who see their Mommy lift, run, compete and enjoy every moment. They will grow up with the knowledge that woman are supposed to be strong and can wear lip gloss too.
I am motivated by the wise words of my Father: “Don’t suck”, “Don’t embarrass the family” and my favorite “Visualize what its like for me when I get all my medals”.