Taryn Haggerstone lifts her way to strongest person on Bowen title
More proof that Bowen Island is a strong community comes in the news that three islanders have qualified for the B.C. Weightlifting Association’s 2012 Provincial Championships. That’s the good news, the not-so-good news is that due to injuries, likely only one can compete.
Tim Fraser and Sally Haggerstone are doubtful for next week’s event due to injuries, leaving Haggerstone’s younger sister, Taryn, as the only hope for a Bowen Islander to medal. Taryn only began competitive weightlifting in June but has quickly established herself in the sport. The 22-year-old was strongly encouraged by her sister and brother-in-law (Sally Haggerstone and Fraser are married) to get into weightlifting but didn’t cave until her two family members told her the team from the Capilano Weightlifting Club needed an influx of female lifters.
“I’m pretty competitive so that got me interested,” Taryn said. “I competed in my first competition just a couple of weeks after I took up the sport and ended up placing 2nd in my weight category.”
The movement into weightlifting was made easier because of her background in athletics; she’s a personal trainer who works at the Gym on Bowen, an avid ultimate Frisbee player and a great goal-scorer in an ongoing game she and her Bowen friends call ‘Super Saturday Soccer.’ It also doesn’t hurt that she graduated in May from Acadia University with a degree in kinesiology.
That first competition last June, and her success, gave her confidence and led her to ramp up her training and that led to her joining the other two in qualifying for the provincial championships. Fraser qualified in his weight division with Olympic totals of 185 kg (407 lbs), Sally Haggerstone in hers with 123 kg (270 lbs) and Taryn in hers with totals of 107 kg (236 lbs).
The time spent training versus that spent competing is something Taryn has found dramatically one-sided, with a great deal of time preparing and not so much time spent actually lifting while in a competition. It’s a spotlight a competitive weightlifter has to relish in order to be successful and given her success, it is clearly one that the long-time islander embraces.
“It’s kinda crazy how many hours of practice you put in and how much adrenaline and nerves you experience leading up to the competition,” the forever-positive Taryn said. “Because the amount of time you are actually on the platform is so short.
“I don’t actually remember my lifts from that first competition, it just sort of blurs together. Your name is called and when you walk out onto the platform, it’s dead quiet, with everyone just staring at you as you get ready to pick up the bar. It’s weird because you’re so focused on the lift and it’s so fast that sometimes it’s almost a shock when you realize you’ve nailed it and you have the bar overhead.”
Whether able to compete or not, Taryn’s family members will be on hand as she seeks not only a medal but to become, arguably, the strongest person on Bowen Island. The meet date is Saturday, December 15 and fortune has it that this year the all-day competition is close by, at Gleneagles Recreation Centre. More information at bcweightlifting.ca.