I am excited to announce that we have formed an official Non-Profit Lift 4 Lisa. When I say we, I mean my friend Annaleisa did all the work. I am more of the mouth, and everyone around me does all the real work. Annaleisa, Matt(Lisa’s husband) and I are working together to make sure that her suffering on earth will not be in vain. We will host two meet per year where the profit will go towards supporting research on the particular form of Lung Cancer that killed my precious friend. The meets will be weightlifting and powerlifting, and I promise that they will Rock! I would never do anything in the honor of Lisa G that didn’t live up to her expectations.
For all of you that didn’t know her, let me tell you about my amazing buddy. Lisa was a 40 year old mother of two and lifelong wife of one. She was a nurse, and she spent her entire life caring for others including me. She was not afraid to tell me when I was screwing up. When she first started working out with me, she couldn’t do a simple air squat. She would squat down and just fall over because she didn’t have the strength to squat her own body. It was a sad thing to watch. Then one day she announced to me that she wanted to try powerlifting. What???
Now you can imagine what I was thinking inside, but I accepted the challenge. We built her foundation brick by brick. Her upper body strength was a challenge just as much as her lower. I remember days where the bar was a challenge on the bench. We finally got her ready for her first meet in Asheville, NC. I never dreamed that she would fall in love with the iron game, and inspire thousands of people with her commitment and drive. Heck, I never dreamed that she would work out longer than a week or two when she started with me.
I would like to say that in her first meet she destroyed the world record, but that wasn’t the case at all. Actually in the warm up room, she stumbled squatting with the bar and fell over. We chalked it up to nerves! She went on the squat over 140lbs, bench press 90 lbs, and deadlift a solid 240lbs. Sure there are people who could lift more weight, but I had never seen anyone improve more.
We had so much fun that weekend. We taught her about making weight, and more importantly putting the bloat back on. We ate until we were sick. We went to the movies. We hung out! Her husband works a very intense job, so he is gone a lot. Lisa spent a lot of these road trips with me and my beautiful wife, Drew. The three of us were an inseparable team. My glory days of powerlifting were long gone by this point, but I had more fun during this era than any other before it. I was finally using the sport of powerlifting for something more than my own fame and glory. Powerlifting was making the life of Lisa G more exciting, and it was setting her up to inspire the world.
Lisa’s next big adventure was Olympic weightlifting. Believe it or not, this was a little easier to teach because she already had the base of strength built up. Her mobility was awesome, so she took to this sport quickly. She absolutely loved the challenge of the Olympic movements. I remember watching her snatch and clean & jerk. I was always amazed to watch a lady that once couldn’t do an air squat snatch 100+ pounds from the floor to immediately over her head in a full squat position. It was the transition of the century. Eventually her best lifts were a 215lb back squat, 120lb bench press, 270lb deadlift, 121 lb snatch, and a 154lb clean & jerk.
A lot of these records were set while battling cancer. I remember training with her. Every time that I wanted to stop, I would look at her, roll my eyes at myself, and continue on. Here is a video of her snatching:
Her energy was contagious! She never quit, so I won’t quit either. I refuse to let her suffering be for nothing, and I encourage you to join in this quest with me. In October, we will host the first Lift 4 Lisa since her passing. I will release the ways that you can help, and the exact date within the next week. I just wanted to let you all know what we were thinking.
Lisa G helped me build the Mash Compound! Her spirit remains with us, and I want to share that spirit with the world. I want you all to be a part of the celebration of this amazing woman’s life. I look forward to seeing you all slam bars at the Lift 4 Lisa in October!