Local athlete fares well at California Strongman competition

  • Apr. 2, 2014 9:23 p.m.

If you can toss it, pull it, carry it or lift it, Red Deer’s Caitlin Thola has probably done it.

The 5’4” tall, 134 lb movement enthusiast recently picked up a second place overall finish at the California Strongman competition where she competed against women who were bigger than her.

“I love movement through mind, body and soul,” claimed the holistic practitioner and fitness coach. “Movement is what is life. It’s what encompasses everything.”

She spent more than half the year training for this competition which includes tossing five kegs over a 12 ft. high bar, carrying 400 lbs on a yoke 80 ft., hoisting 140 lbs. over her head, carrying 165 lbs. of weight in each hand a set distance, lifting a 185 lb. cement stone over a 44-inch bar as many times as you can in a minute and flipping a 500 lb. tire eight times as fast as you can.

“I’m really excited based on my performance down there as to what’s to come with more training and refining the movements, getting more precise and correcting the form.”

She said the effort it took to accomplish what she did was something which underlined what she does with her own clients which is realizing what you can do if you put your mind to a task.

“I had no idea I had that in me until six and a half months ago I started to see it a little bit in me and over time it’s just eye-opener after eye-opener.”

She admits she’s fallen in love with the sport which has opened new doors for her in both the physical and mental aspects of her work.

“I didn’t realize the strength I had inside of me. I always thought you had to be big to be strong or to be strong, to get stronger you’ve got to be big,” she said. “I didn’t realize it didn’t matter what the size is. What mattered the most was connecting the dots, mind, body and soul. And when you get the right movement in your body, the right movement in your mind and you connect those two together, what is possible is literally limitless.”

Thola says the preparation for this event was a combination of strenuous workouts and eating healthy, along with a large dose of honing her mental toughness.

“You know, investing a lot of energy into my thoughts. Being aware of what I was choosing to believe and if it was not serving me for the greater good then doing something about that.”

She says the mental training for this competition was likely the toughest component of getting ready.

“The way our bodies ache, the way our bodies thrive, the way our bodies move is all based on what we believe. So where we put our thoughts is what our body will then perform and how it will respond.”

She has a long range plan of bringing this type of competition to Canada for women and you can be sure this wasn’t her last go at tossing or carrying something which outweighs her.

“Oh heck no, this is just the beginning.”