Weightlifting coach, athlete and 4th-12th grade orchestra teacher, Stephanie Hanson, shares her struggles and how she has been able to overcome them.
When I was in high school, I played hockey, was very strong and fit, and had a lot of pride in my athletic ability. In my first couple years of college I went through some tough personal times that resulted in me being very depressed. Outside of going to class, I pretty much laid in bed all day and ate fast food for literally every meal. As a result, I peaked at 240 pounds and felt completely unable to live a healthy lifestyle. I honestly felt like I would never be healthy again. I had very little hope. I went to Ohio State as a music education major with a primary on clarinet but had a lot of friends who were in the marching band and saw how much they liked it and grew an interest in trying out for the marching band. To do this, I started learning the baritone, as the Ohio State Marching Band is an all brass band and working on the marching techniques. I tried out for band in 2014 but did not make it because I could not move well and did not have the fitness level. This moment really was a tipping point for me. It really opened my eyes to what I had become and made me know I had to change.
Soon after, my older sister introduced me to CrossFit and I started to do some workouts from home. At this point in my life I could not run a mile in under 13 minutes. Quickly, I started to lose weight and my fitness started to improve. By the summer of 2015 I was in a lot better shape and decided to try out for the marching band again. This time, I was able to make the band and had a very successful season.
In March of 2016 I decided to join Shred CrossFit. It’s hard for me to really explain how CrossFit changed me, which indicates its importance to me. CrossFit made me want to set goals and allowed me to feel really motivated. I truly fell in love with the process. I was really exercising for me and my health. My mentality completely changed. I focused more on what I could do rather than how I looked and began learning about nutrition and thinking of food as fuel. Through CrossFit I was introduced to and began to love the Olympic Lifts. After a while of doing both, I decided in August 2017 to train in weightlifting at Steadfast Barbell with Jonathan Raymond full time.
Since this time, I have developed an interest in coaching weightlifting. Music and weightlifting are two passions in my life and it is an incredible opportunity to be able to do both from an educational viewpoint as well as being a continued learner myself. I feel that coaching weightlifting has begun to and will continue to allow me to improve as an athlete as well. I love to teach people of many different age ranges and experience levels and enjoy watching them learn, grow, succeed, and learn from their failures. I still have a long way to go in my journey but want people to know that I firmly believe that if I can do it, anyone can.
I would like to thank Jonathan for being such an influential coach, mentor, and friend. He truly inspires me to be a better person every day. His training and mentorship have helped me to become someone I am proud of for who I am and what I am able to do. I hope in the future I can be for others what Coach Jon has been for me. I have a passion for weightlifting, helping others, and want to help grow the sport of weightlifting.
Stephanie has been an awesome addition to the Steadfast Barbell Weightlifting Team. Along with joining the coaching staff, Stephanie reached her 2018 goal of meeting the qualifying totals for the American Open Series. She will be lifting at the end of July in Series 2, this year held in Valley Forge, PA. Come train with Coach Stephanie at Steadfast Barbell!