Sophomore Claire Hardy does not take weight lifting lightly


Mary Hardy

Sophomore Claire Hardy back squats 115 pounds. Claire has been weight lifting to get stronger for soccer and to stay in shape. “If you look back and your numbers are all the same, then you feel like you have done nothing, but it’s good to look back and see your improvements,” Hardy said.

Starting a new flex, sophomore Claire Hardy competitively weight lifts with the help and support of her family.

“My dad and my grandpa encouraged me to do weight lifting because they’re into CrossFit and stuff like that, and they wanted me to get stronger for [soccer],” Hardy said. “My brother started weight lifting a year before I did, and he was really successful in competitions. He was getting stronger, so I decided to do it.”

Senior Sam Hardy, her older brother, helped Claire get started with competitive weightlifting.

“I told her it would make her stronger and a better athlete, and when she plays soccer, she’d be able to physically get around other girls better and easier. She started to pick it up, and she liked it, so she stuck with it, and I’m proud of her for it,” Sam said.

After watching her brothers lift at home in the basement, Claire decided this was a sport she wanted to tackle.

“[Sam] has been weight lifting for over a year, and he’s going go to college to weight lift. He’s always encouraged me to weight lift, so I started doing it this past winter,” Claire said. “I saw the improvements that he had been making, and I saw how much stronger he was getting and on top of that he said that it was fun, so that’s why I decided to do it.”

It makes me feel accomplished, and it shows me that all my work pays off,”

— Claire Hardy

Claire’s improvements have driven her to consider weight lifting as a possible career.

“I did a competition over the winter, and I qualified for youth nationals. I think I’m going to do one over the summer too,” Claire said. “It felt good but I also didn’t know if I wanted to go and now I have to decide if I want to go now.”

School sports and school itself can make it hard to train, but Claire keeps a tight schedule so she can stay in shape.

“I am training on the weekends and if I ever have time during the week I’ll go in, or if I have a day off [from soccer] I’ll go in and train,” Claire said. “Also at the end of the school year when soccer ends I’ll start training or three days a week.”

Although Claire’s weight lifting started as a way to be more powerful for soccer it turned out to be something more important for her.

“I just like getting stronger, and you can see your improvements by looking at your numbers from the beginning and then towards the end of the training,” Claire said. “It makes me feel accomplished, and it shows me that all my work pays off.”