"It feels like the best. Going to a competition, you are lifting weights you've never lifted before, and all of a sudden you are like: 'I just did that.'"
Sousanh Chanthalangsy-Bornilla, owner of Yellowknife's One of a Thai food truck, is back in town after attending a Strongman/Strongwoman competition in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Sunday.
Chanthalangsy-Bornilla placed in two of five events at the first Manitoba Classic Strongman Competition – the second time she's attended such a competition but a significant step up from the first, which had been purely for beginners.
“I placed in some events. One of them was the deadlift. It was supposed to be a car deadlift but it ended up being, for the heavyweight women, a 470-lb tire plus an added 150-lb sand bag, so a 625-pound deadlift,” Chanthalangsy-Bornilla told Cabin Radio.
“The other one was a press medley. I was actually really worried about that one – you are taking a 100-lb sandbag and lifting it over your head, same thing with a 100-lb keg, and then an 80-lb circus dumbbell which, if you see this dumbbell, it's huge.”
Throughout the competition, Chanthalangsy-Bornilla only suffered some minor bumps and bruises and a ripped callus.
She is now back in training, though Yellowknife's limitations force her to be inventive.
"There are some weights I’m pretty unsure of and have never done because, up in Yellowknife, we don’t have any of the training equipment at all," she said.
"I’m winging it using any equipment I can and all of the strength I have gained.
"I’ve been pulling my F-150 to train. We made it harder by doing it on an incline as well." Has she been pulling her own food truck? "Not yet, I’m going to wait for that one. I’m going to build up to that soon."
Chanthalangsy-Bornilla's long-term goal is the Arnold Strongman Classic – an annual event in Columbus, Ohio, created by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“My dream competition," she said. That's way up there. I want to travel and make this something huge and go in Canada and even to the States.”
Yet despite that, Strongman contests weren't her first choice.
“When I first started, I actually wanted to get into powerlifting," she admitted, "but after doing that one beginner competition, I was like: 'No, this is way, way, way better, and more experience, and you get to meet more friends.'"