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Gets Tons Out of Weight Lifting

Dear Friends,

Here are highlights from the article we ran in the Spring 2000 issue about 16-year old Olympic hopeful Cheryl Haworth.  We can not print the actual article here because it was a reprint form the USA Today.  To see the full feature (and more!), get a copy of this issue by purchasing one single copy or signing up for a subscription.  We'll ship the issue right out to you!




Cheryl Haworth

Cheryl Haworth: I am really enjoying my life. I love weight lifting. It's something that I knew I could do. I was always strong. I used to build tree houses when I was little, carrying the wood and all. I was a lot stronger than most people I knew, and very athletic. I played softball on an all-girls' city team, and basketball on a team with both girls and boys. When I started going to the gym for softball training, I would walk by all the Olympic weight- lifting platforms. It looked like fun. I asked my mom for permission and my dad talked to the coach and I tried out for Olympic weight lifting. Michael Cohen, the head coach, watched what I could do and signed me up to be on the team. I started training five days a week, after school. My body aches a lot. It's a good day when nothing hurts!  I'm up to about three hours a day, plus Saturdays. Sometimes I'd rather come home and sleep instead of working out. I do allow myself some breaks. I have lots of friends at school, and two sisters, and we do stuff on weekends, like go to movies. I like training. I know what I have to do to get better, and I like to work hard.

I get one $1000 a month from the U.S. Weight Lifting Federation because I made the Super 2000 Squad, and I get bonuses from the federation if I make certain totals at meets. They pay for my competition travel expenses. The average weight lifter, in a really, really good year, earns about $40,000. I just stick everything in the bank, save it up.

When I'm at a competition, I have high expectations of myself. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused. I keep it as basic as I can. I stretch and I convince myself that I can do it. You shouldn't worry too much about the way that you look. What's more important is the way that you feel and how you act toward others. Find out what you're good at, and concentrate on it. Give it 100 percent. Whatever it is, you can do it!

Sheila Haworth, Cherylís Mom: I made a choice with Cheryl as she was growing up, a good choice, I think: I didn't make food an issue. She's a good eater and she's just big. As a kid at birthday parties, she always had just as much cake as any of her friends. She's put together to be heavy; it's in her genes. She feels good about herself. And people like her. They don't poke fun at her. Her self-esteem is intact. People's egos are so delicate: we need to take care that we don't make them self-conscious. It's important for kids to have a role model like Cheryl. I love it when little girls who are chubby themselves come in to practice. They look up at Cheryl and just beam. They idolize her and think she's wonderful. If she's doing okay in the world, then they will do okay, too.

Coach Michael Cohen: Cheryl won three silver medals in Georgia in July 1999 at the Junior World Weight Lifting Championship. She was the highest-ranked lifter for the United States in that competition. Three weeks later she represented the United States at the Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Canada, and won the gold medal, breaking U.S. records. She is the youngest person from the United States ever to win a gold medal at these games.

Three months later, in November 1999, she competed in Athens, Greece, at the World Championships, where she won the bronze medal, again, as the highest-ranked person from the United States-in fact, the only person from the United States to win a medal at the 1999 Senior World Championships. In December she competed in the American Championships in Tacoma, Washington, where she set more U.S. records. The American Championships judges ranked her the number one overall athlete in the United States, making her the youngest person ever to hold the number-one ranking in our history. She's had a very good year.

Since appearing in USA Today (see Radiance cover story this issue), Cheryl has been a guest on numerous television shows, including Live with Regis and Kathy Lee, Jay Leno, and Today. She has also been featured in Women's Sports and Fitness magazine with a pictorial by Annie Leibowitz and has been honored by the Women's Sports Foundation. I'm convinced that Cheryl will medal for us at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney this September and October. Magazines and newspapers call her a sixteen-year-old phenomenon. She makes me look really good. She's very coachable. She's internally driven, gifted with natural physical and mental ability.

At five-feet-ten-inches, and 290 pounds, Cheryl is at absolute peace with herself. Contemporary society has just about destroyed the self-image of young women. I coach women. I see my kids, at ages thirteen to nineteen, at constant war with themselves. Their archenemies are the mirror and the scale. Cheryl has no internal conflict. She's content, she's happy, and she's focused. She knows what she wants to do, which is totally unusual for a sixteen-year-old girl. On the Tonight Show, Jay Leno asked her, "Do you mind if I ask you how much you weigh?" Cheryl laughed, "Everyone knows how much I weigh! About 290 pounds." She went on to tell him, '"I'm solid as a rock. You wanna feel? We're not all gonna be supermodels. We're not all gonna look like that. I don't want to look like that. I'm happy the way I am."

Ed. Note: The complete list of Cheryl's accomplishments can be found on-line at www.nbcolympics.com; click on weight lifting.



Gettin' Active
Fitness Resources for Women of Size

From Radiance Spring 2000

In Fitness and In Health is a "life-style center" for women of size in New York, is owned and operated by Rochelle Rice. Rice, a former professional dancer, has a master's degree from New York University and specializes in plus-size exercise. The center offers movement classes of all types in a safe and nurturing environment. Contact Rice at 212-689-4558, or join her on the web at www.infitnessinhealth.com, where you can purchase her new basic video for women at all fitness levels. And watch for her book, Real Fitness for Real Women (Warner Books), due out at the end of 2000.

Yoga for Large People is founded by Mara Nesbitt (a supersize woman). This forty-five-minute video gives gentle stretching and breathing instruction in the hatha yoga tradition; the poses are adapted to suit large bodies. Cost, $35 (includes s/h in U.S.). Send check or money order to Mara Nesbitt, P.O. Box 19141, Portland, OR 97280, or order through www.webrox.net/yogavideo.

moretolovefitness.com  is home of the New York-based "exercyber" club for people of size. For $19.95 a quarter, you get interactive scheduled fitness and motivational coaching sessions with founder Linda Izzo and trainer Mike Looney. In addition, as a club member, you receive their personal training video and e-newsletter. At the site itself, find discussion groups, resources, and interviews that encourage and support people of size. More to Love Fitness instructor certification courses prepare individuals to offer classes at their own location. For feel-good fitness, check out their web site, or call 800-321-OKAY.

The Fitness with Bliss video is like having your own personal trainer on video, with follow-up phone support. Kelly Bliss, M.Ed., is recognized by the National Institutes of Health as a leader in plus-size and supersize fitness. Life coaching phone sessions also available. Contact Kelly in Pennsylvania at 610-394-2547, and check out www.KellyBliss.com for additional services. Coming in 2001, a strength-training video using barbells of varying weights.

Jake's Active Wellness Zone in San Francisco, is the personal training alternative, offering general fitness and athletic conditioning, bodywork, Pilates-based exercise, and physical therapy to women and men of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels. It is owned and operated by Jake Tommerup, who has a master's degree in exercise physiology and is certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association as a personal trainer and as a strength and conditioning specialist. Contact her at 415-252-9940 or jawz@sirius.com.

Women of Substance Health Spa, Redwood City, California, offers a safe, healthy, and fun fitness facility for women of all body types, fitness levels, and sizes. Low-impact water and floor aerobics classes and a variety of workout equipment and personal training are available. The spa provides child care, massage therapy, and resources for building self-esteem, size appreciation, and women's health. Contact Dana, Lisa, or Becky at 650-36-WOMAN (650-369-6626) or at woshs@women-of-substance.com.

TAMS Wellness Studio, Los Gatos, California, is a place for people of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels to exercise. Owner Tami Anastasia has a master's degree in counseling and merges the disciplines of exercise and counseling in her wellness programs. She specializes in working with people who'd like to establish regular exercise habits, develop a healthier relationship with food, learn body acceptance, improve self-esteem, and achieve a balanced life-style. Memberships, personal training, combined counseling and exercise sessions; and support groups are available. Contact her at 408-376-3837, or at tams@dellnet.com.

Readers: Let us know about the movement tips and resources that you've discovered. Write or e-mail us with your suggestions!

Readers: Enjoy more personal essays on lifting weights from Radiance readers by clicking here.

Remember, this is only a taste of what's inside the
printed version of the magazine!



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