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'He’d want me to keep pushing': St. Louis woman honors father’s memory through weightlifting

Paige Pratt’s dad is the person who got her into lifting. She uses her memory of their times in the gym to help her push through.

ST. LOUIS — The right words can have a lasting impact in a person’s life.

That’s the case for competitive lifter Paige Pratt. The words her dad told her growing up continue to motivate her daily.

“Always showing me that I needed to do these things to kind of be a better person and help myself out that no one was going to do it for me,” she said.

Sadly, she can no longer get advice from her dad Mike. Memories are all that she has now.

“I lost my dad in a car accident in May, and it’s been really tough,” she said. “Still in shock quite a bit having him pass away so soon because he was only 44.”

“A lot of days you’re just like why. Why did this happen. It’s tough you know, reality set in probably about a month ago,” Pratt told 5 On Your Side.

Pratt’s workouts at J.D.’s Gym in Lemay are helping her cope.

“It’s those bad days that help make the good days better in the gym,” she said.

Pratt’s dad was always proud of her accomplishments with her training.

“He’d be like, ‘Oh show them your muscles.’ He was always so proud. My dad always called me a bad, a bad lady. I’ll just say that,” she said with a smile.

Pratt’s dad is the person who got her into lifting. She uses her memory of their times in the gym to help her push through.

“I can hear him in my ear making comments or cheering me on if I’m having a rough day,” she said.

She is now training to honor the memory of her dad. She is preparing to compete in Static Monsters Worldwide 2022 Missouri. She is hoping to lift some big weights.

“Hoping to hit 155 overhead press and then I’m looking to hit 450 or so on the 18-inch axle,” she said.

Strangers are often surprised by her abilities.

“They always are in shock when I tell them that I do strongman. They’re like, ‘Oh my gosh there’s no way you lift with those big ‘o guys,’” she laughed.

She competes against women.

When she goes for her lifts in the competition, she believes she’ll hear her dad’s encouraging words again.

“I can hear him saying it now, ‘Hey, you got something to prove’ and I’m excited to do that for him,” she said.

After all, her dad is the person who believed the most in just how strong she could be.

“He’d want me to keep pushing, keep grinding. So that’s what I am here doing,” she said.

The strongman competition is Saturday, Oct. 28 at the Harley and Davidson shop on Lemay Ferry Road.

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