The year was 2001—a time etched in my memory forever. Our team embarked on an epic adventure to Cape Town, South Africa, just after the tragic events of 9/11. Little did we know that this journey would lead to lifelong friendships and a defining moment in my powerlifting career.

Meeting Fellow Powerlifters

As we boarded the massive jet for our 22-hour overseas flight, we found ourselves on high alert. The world was still reeling from the aftermath of 9/11, and the camaraderie among passengers was palpable. Among them were American powerlifters—strangers at first, but soon to become cherished friends. There’s something about shared passion that transcends borders and creates bonds that last a lifetime.

The Coach’s Revelation

In the hotel bar, my coach, Rick, struck up a conversation with another coach. He casually mentioned my strength, unaware that this coach had yet to witness my abilities. The other coach’s response was simple, “We have one stronger.” My coach fell silent and with a little grin said, “We will see.”

Becoming THE Strongest Female Powerlifter

The competition unfolded, and as the weights piled up, so did the tension. When I stepped onto the platform, the bar loaded with 629.4 lbs, I felt the weight of expectations. Clad in my trusty Inzer single-ply champion suit (which, by today’s standards, feels like wearing paper), I prepared for the squat. The crowd held its breath. With determination and adrenaline coursing through my veins, I descended into the squat. The bar pressed against my shoulders, and for a moment, time stood still. Then, with sheer force, I pushed upward. The weight lifted, and I rose—a triumphant testament to strength, resilience, and unwavering focus. The room erupted in applause… and now the lifting world was introduced to Becca Swanson the “Strongest Ever” Female Powerlifter.

Living Through the Gear Revolution

Looking back, I realize how fortunate I was to be part of the powerlifting gear revolution. In those days, our suits were simpler, less forgiving, but they molded us into warriors. We didn’t have high-tech fabrics or advanced designs, but we had heart and grit. Each lift was a battle, and every victory felt like conquering a mountain.

No Regrets

Would I change a thing? Not a chance. That squat, that moment—it’s etched in my soul. The friendships forged during those intense days still warm my heart. And as I reflect on my journey, I’m grateful for the camaraderie, the challenges, and the sheer joy of lifting heavy.

So here’s to the memories—the jet rides, the hotel bars, and the weight on my shoulders.The buzz of adrenaline and iron will forever be my elixir. 🏋️‍♀️💪🌟