“Sports are an art form” – Melissa Swanson
The funny thing is I wanted to be an artist growing up, but I thought all you could do was be a painter or sculpture, my high school art teacher always encouraged me and my art but she never told me about graphic design or architectural design, I was too scared to go to art school and end up a “starving artist”. I still love art but I have grown to realize and see that you can create art in sports, in Muay Thai and Boxing and in Olympic Lifting and in Kettlebell Sport, by being fluid and dynamic and making your movements unique to yourself and your style but still being strong and technically sound.
When you watch the best of the best in any sport, it is beauty in motion; watch Mike Tyson in boxing, watch Kevin Ross and Saengchai and Malipet in Muay Thai, watch Klokov and Liu Zuong in Olympic lifting, and in kettlebell sport I watch Ivan Denisov, Ksenia Dedukhina, Denis Vesiliev, Anton Anasenko, Aleksandra Vesileva, Aleksander Khostov and our American lifters Melissa Swanson herself and Jess Dibiase and my boys Carter Berry, Nacona Jodrey and Mike Salemi, and my Canadian brother Charlie Fornelli, Per Helge and Ina Winther, all of these people move kettlebells in an amazing way, so fluid yet powerful, no wasted movement or unnecessary energy. When you watch true artists in their sport who have amazing and unique styles that are graceful and explosive, it is like a moment of seeing the light, seeing what is possible in your sport, seeing what you can do when you become a master, when you become an artist.
Everyone has their own style, the way they move their bodies, find your style, learn from the best and watch their style and make it your own. Love what you do, do your best, don’t listen to the negative people or the critics, create your own destiny and follow your dreams! I have had my dream of being a great lifter, and I still have that dream, and I am getting closer to realizing that dream every day I lift, with every set and every competition. My confidence has grown after going to a second world championships and I have sketched out a rough plan for my progress the next three years to achieve my dream of being what I consider a great lifter. The past four years have been a tough road filled with a lot of obstacles and injuries, a lot of external cockiness coupled with internal self doubt, technique and style changes, but it is all finally starting to come together. No injuries. Competition after competition with zero no-counts. A settling of my style coupled with good programming and coaching. Speeding up my technique. Completing workouts and RPM and rep counts I never thought I could do. Absorbing tips and info from the worlds greatest lifters. Competing against the best amateur lifters. And finally believing in myself, trying to lose the cockiness and trying to be humble. And the biggest key, letting go of the crutch and the excuse of being tall and slow. It has taken me four years to get to where I am mentally and physically and emotionally, I have my own style but I am changing it to be faster and more efficient. This is what an artist does. They become their true self. They bring their own flare to the sport. This is why I love this sport so much! this sport allows everyone to have their own style, it isn’t just about putting the weight overhead and getting the rep count, it’s about how you do it, how your body moves, how efficient you are, and how you act to your fellow lifters and friends and fans, on and and off the platform. I hope that all the aspiring lifters out there keep pushing hard, keep progressing the competition of this sport, and I hope you develop your own style and make art with your lifting! Much love and respect to you all!