How Long-Term Force Client Found Her Strength
Whenever Elizabeth Chadwell walks into the gym her smile and positivity are contagious; you can’t interact with her without immediately feeling a little bit better about your day. She has been a client at Force for about six years now and her transformation from the first day she stepped into the gym just wanting to shed a few pounds post pregnancy, until now, has been nothing short of remarkable.
“I think you’ve seen Elizabeth embrace deeper fitness goals,” Wil Fleming says. “She’s embracing what being strong means to her, and the different challenges that you can accept physically whether that’s rucking, weightlifting, or powerlifting.”
Typically when people first come to Force they have surface level goals, which are fine, like “I just want to lose 10 pounds,” or “I want to tone up for a wedding,” Wil mentioned. It’s a cool process to watch someone’s goals shift from those to the physical aspect of fitness and embracing strength.
“I never really knew what it meant to get stronger,” Elizabeth says. “When I began Olympic lifting I got a little more of an idea, and then when I started powerlifting and pushing myself a little harder I really began to understand what being strong meant.”
Throughout her fitness journey Elizabeth recalls times where she questioned her strength. Specifically, a time in Pennsylvania where she lived for two years, loading up a barbell to deadlift and a man rudely came up to her asking what she thought she was going to do with that. Elizabeth, non-confrontationally, said, “Pick it up.”
“I think that there’s still a lot of stigma surrounding women in strength training,” Elizabeth said. “I hope we can get over it someday.”
Wil recalls the first time he ever saw Elizabeth really push herself in Force’s annual Force Field Day. Every year there is a power event that involves the power clean and Elizabeth just kept going up in weight. He has yet to see her miss a lift because it was too heavy. Anything you put on the bar she’ll lift.
“I think you have to empower people that it’s okay to fail,” Wil says. “I think, culturally, through social media everyone posts their PR’s (personal records) you don’t ever see miss lifts. Failing is an important part of the process though and those fails become new goals. I truly think that Elizabeth has accepted this unique challenge and she has the potential to be a Master’s National champion in weightlifting.”
Elizabeth competed in her first Olympic Weightlifting competition during Force’s annual Weightlifting Classic held in July. She went 6/6 meaning she made all of her lift attempts.
“First meets are a lot about learning how to lift in competition,” Wil says. “They’re about getting people really excited about the feeling of a meet and now that she’s dabbling in powerlifting a little bit, I think she’s just really experiencing what loving to lift is all about.”
Elizabeth said that her first meet was terrifying, but that she’s so glad the people at Force push her to do things that she wouldn’t normally do. As a former volleyball, basketball and tennis player, Elizabeth has now found a place where she can push herself athletically through different activities. She considers Force her happy place where she has found a community of support, friendships and people to look up to.
“I wish that I had a place like Force growing up,” Elizabeth says. “Force has given me guidance that I haven’t found anywhere else, and more confidence in myself after having two children.”
Elizabeth can’t wait to bring her daughter to Force to give her an example of what being strong can look like.
“It’s about being strong for you and no one else,” Elizabeth says. “Force does a great job of helping you to discover that for yourself, and everyone is really supportive of everyone’s goal no matter what it is because it’s about the whole package.”