Katy Pettinger traveled to Portland last weekend and brought home an armload of powerlifting medals after crushing multiple records at the World Association of Benchers and Deadlifters Championships.
Pettinger, who owns Ironside Fitness in Harbor, lost her leg June 2 in a motorcycle accident at the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center, but remained in good spirits despite the accident. She competed in the Disabled 1 division, but beat women’s records in the open classification, as well.
“My leg hurt so bad for the last four or five months, I couldn’t deadlift at all in training,” Pettinger said, noting her last deadlift before the event was Dec. 18.
“My leg just hurt too bad to lift on it,” she said, “and I was suffering from a broken back and dislocated ribs that had not fully healed.”
Benching and deadlifting 143 pounds respectively, Pettinger bested six Oregon state records, three national records and three world records, including the world, national and state records for bench press, deadlift and push-pull in Disabled 1 and the state records for bench, deadlift and push-pull in the open classification.
Her coach, Pastor Edward Yeager, said in his nearly 30 years of training and spectating at powerlifting events, no one had ever lifted on one leg, balancing like that without a prosthesis.
“People were coming up to us in a restaurant after the event,” he said, “and saying they cried when she stood up on her one leg.”
“God inspired her and what she accomplished was just beautiful,” Yeager said. “It was like a pebble was dropped into a pond and the waves were sent out to touch others.”
He compared Pettinger’s training to building a temple and letting others see what can be done.
“Just to do what I did without being able to fully train, and with my injuries,” Pettinger said, “there was a hand on me, and the other lifters were so supportive.”
She said she felt no nerves at the event, just rush of excitement.
“I wanted to keep lifting,” she added, “but I had to drive home.”
Reach Boyd C. Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org