For this True North Tale, I sat down and had a chat with local business owner Sousanh Chanthalangsy about her passion for powerlifting. And at the time of my chat with Sousanh, she had just won her third competition. When I was chatting with Sou she says when walking into a competition she can really feel the eyes on her but that the community is also really loving and supportive.
“Especially with the powerlifting comp when I walk in there at first they’re like “okay, you know, she’s just from Yellowknife” kind of thing, right? Once I start like my first lift, everyone will be like, Who is this girl? And then they come up to me after that is just one big like happy community because then then they start getting comfortable like “oh my gosh, girl is so good” and i’m like thank you.”
So far, Sou has received a lot of support from around the territories for her lifting. And while I was chatting with her, I asked how supportive her family’s been
“Really, really supportive. So as my cousin that doesn’t handling, she’s 100% supportive and she got into powerlifting sports too. I’m trying to get her to compete as well. But my other cousins back home like in Winnipeg, they have kids and their kids love me they like compared to me to that I can’t remember her name Luisa from like Encanto or they always say oh, look at it’s aunty look at aunty and the number one in my family actually is my mom before going into lifting she used to be no no, you can’t lift you’re gonna hurt yourself. You’re gonna hurt yourself and then all sudden, she starts seeing my videos because she end up getting Facebook. So she saw my videos and she still you know, always be so negative about it, but now she would actually go and show her friends be like Do you see my daughter Did you see my daughter she’s she’s lifting this much and then like just after my comp should be like thing how proud she is and how she was cheering me on while she can be there and then her to actually come see me compete because in high school I used to be into like sports and stuff, but she would never come watch me play basketball, volleyball, right? And then she’s like, I want to come see you lift weights and things like that and actually motivated her to start lifting weights as well and she’s 66 years old”
Aside from her competitions and operating the “One of a Thai” food truck Sou is also a personal trainer, and at the end of my True North Tale with Sou, she talks about wanting to get more women involved in powerlifting and she also talks about some great tips on how to get started
“For myself.I didn’t know when I got into the gym I didn’t know what to do for lifting and actually hired myself a personal trainer before I even started all this and I just did it. I just even though I know you know having a personal trainer is expensive but you actually invest in yourself. So what I did, I invested myself learned a lot and then continue on from there. So whatever I learned from my trainer, I just kept going and also hired myself a powerlifting coach, but like Do not be afraid to ask for help. Especially in a gym. A lot of people are really nice. They’ll help you they’ll support you. And also speaking of like getting people involved my cousin and I were thinking of actually getting more women involved into powerlifting because I’ve been getting a lot of messages from a woman all over the city who actually go to different gyms wanting to do powerlifting, compete and things of which I think it’s wonderful because I’m a personal trainer as well. So I actually have clients who I trained to do some lifting and want to compete so if anyone is interested, you know, just come down. Come see me at Anytime Fitness and I will actually start helping them.” -Sousanh Chanthalangsy-Bornilla
Listen to the full TNT here!: