Athlete of the Month: Sylvia Gaucher

Posted by Yvonne Sanche on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 Under: Athlete of the Month

I have watched Sylvia tirelessly train her way to the top. When I say top, I mean she will be representing Canada in the sport of Powerlifting next week at the IPF Classic World Championships in Killeen, Texas. Sylvia competes as an M3 which is ages 60-69.  This woman is the definition of no excuses! I had the honour of assisting her through her first competition two years ago and she hasn’t looked back since.

Y: What attracted you to Powerlifting?

I had been involved in Crossfit for over 5 years. A shoulder injury really limited my participation. The Crossfit gym I was attending also had some powerlifters and they enticed me to give it a try. I felt very good about myself. At my age I felt I was able to compete in a sport that would allow me to flourish and be competitive at my own level. I soon discovered how strong I was. With more training I can truly say I have become even stronger. The powerlifting allows me to compete against myself, I make gains at my own pace and feel good about it. There is no peer pressure only that which I inflict on myself.

Y: How challenging was it to get to World Championships?

For me the challenge of getting into the World Championships is not as rigorous as the path of a younger competitor. You see... there aren't that many old ladies picking up 300lbs or throwing 220lbs on their back. The challenge for competing at this level is from within. I feel this is my opportunity to do my best on a world stage and so the challenge is myself! I want to represent myself, my gym, my coach, and country as best I can. This level of competition may never be available to me again.

Y: How has massage therapy helped you in your training?

This old body just isn't what it used to be. The stress of training two hours a day, four times a week is taking a toll. I tore my left quadriceps in Sept of 2015 and the healing process has been very slow. Compensating for an injury can cause your entire body to become misaligned with muscle contractions where there shouldn't be, and vice versa. The massage therapy helps to ease the tension in these old muscles. Yes I have muscles! Surprisingly!

I find that massage, though painful at the time, really helps me relax and better able to continue with the grind leading up to the World Competition. Even when I ease up on my training I plan to ensure a regular massage is booked. It's a nice  feeling to leave the massage table with gentle burning, yet relaxed muscles!

I am very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to following her performance in the coming week.

All the best Sylvia!!!

In : Athlete of the Month