The sweat trickled down my back even though the arena was freezing. I got ready for the final push. There were nervous murmurs in the crowd as if they doubted I could do it. I was going to prove them wrong. I wasn’t going to fail. I pushed up as hard as I could and lifted it over my head. The loudspeaker boomed: ‘8 out of 8; that’s a perfect lift for James David’. I could not believe it. I had only been weight training at Lee Valley since March 2015, with my coach Adam Warwicker. I took part in an ‘exhibition event’ in November last year but it was my first time and the crowd and the sheer nerves got the better of me and I didn’t do as well as I wanted. When Adam suggested I take part in the Cybex British Age Group Championships 2016 in Leeds, I was eager to take my second chance. Training was tough and at times I was discouraged but the team I worked with were very supportive and spurred me on. The competition in Castleford attracted competitors from around the UK.I was in a division with nine other lifters. Everyone did well but I managed to win the gold medal by lifting 45kg on the ‘clean and jerk’ and 34kg on the ‘snatch’. This gold medal is something I am very proud of and makes me a British champion. I realise that it means that the bar has been set even higher (or maybe heavier) next time, but that’s a challenge I’m willing to face!
Written by James David 8 Keats