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Island strong girl breaking provincial records encourages others to ‘just go for it’

A 12-year-old from the Comox Valley is making waves in the sport of strongman, setting provincial records in competitions.

Annalise Hayes has been developing her craft over the past few years. Her father, Sean Hayes, a strongman who owns and operates Hayes Garage Gym, says she has taken naturally to the sport and is excelling quickly.

“Our bodies are so similar so she has certain lifts, like her deadlift and log press, which are some of the same lifts that I naturally took to and was good at. My body is proportioned well for it,” said Sean.

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“On the other side, there are lifts that she struggles with, the same ones I do, that I’ve been through and I can help her out with these small adjustments that have helped me get where I’m at.”

Sean adds Annalise is a great competitor and will be the first person to go up and congratulate anyone even if they are in the same category as her.

Annalise says she loves the sport and the progression she has seen over the years.

“I feel really good,” said Annalise. “I’m really proud of myself and how well I’m doing and I’ve built a lot of confidence doing the sport.”

Competing recently at the Static Monsters competition, a worldwide competition held every October with individual shows, Annalise set new records.

According to Sean, Annalise set the provincial record for Women’s U19 with a 110.2-pound log clean and press, and for axle deadlift at 301 pounds.

Annalise adds her favourite part of competing is the camaraderie between competitors and encourages others in any sport to go out and “do it.”

“Start out, see how you go and always surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed and that will really help,” said Annalise. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t or that you won’t be good because if you believe in yourself you can do it.”

Sean adds he loves watching her compete and excel and she’s pushing the limits of what is possible for her age group.

(Supplied by Sean Hayes)
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