Story originally posted at The Seattle Medium ...
Last fall, Mark Bryant, a 57-year old African American fitness instructor at Southeast Senior Center, won a gold medal at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) World Powerlifting Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada. A remarkable feat considering he had a total hip replacement.
The story of Mark’s success is one of faith, courage, and discipline. On April 17, 2008, Mark had a total left hip replacement. In spite of his doctor advising him to be cautious in powerlifting, his passion and love for this sport motivated him to continue to train and compete in numerous competitions. In October of 2008, just a few months after surgery, Mark won first place in his weight class and age group for powerlifting.
He continued persevering and training at Columbia City Fitness and with the Bull Stewart Power Team. When the door opened for him to qualify and compete for the AAU World Powerlifting Championship in Las Vegas, Nevada, he was ready. Mark competed in the deadlift. His final lift was 407 pounds; that put him in 1st place and give him the world championship.
Bryant is currently the Enhance Fitness Coordinator at the Southeast Seattle Senior Center, where he teaches a variety of senior fitness classes.
The seniors are very inspired by his accomplishments and his passion for fitness.
“I wish I could reach and inspire more people-the young and the old-on how important it is to be mentally, physically, and spiritually balanced,” said Bryant.
Bryant was recently inducted into both the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Strength Sports Hall of Fame and the Washington State Powerlifting Hall of Fame. Becoming the only amateur athlete in the State of Washington to have been awarded both honors.
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