MOTM – Dec. 2021 – Safa Zarei
Safa Zarei is December’s Member of the Month! Safa has been with Strong for over a year now and is the embodiment of consistent dedication and hard work. Her progress has been nothing short of inspiring and we cannot wait to see what she accomplishes in the future.
1. How long have you been Weightlifting?
I started weightlifting full-time in April 2021.
2. What is your occupation?
I am an underwriting analyst for a wholesale brokerage insurance company.
3. Where are you from?
I was raised in Dubai and moved to USA , Hartford Connecticut for school in 2013
4. How did you hear about Strong Fitness?
When my husband and I moved from CT to Dallas we were looking for a CrossFit gym that had extended open gym hours and my husband stumbled upon Strong via searching on google for gym’s near us.
5. How have you seen yourself change – mentally or physically – since being a part of Strong?
I have definitely noticed changes physically and Mentally especially after retiring from CrossFit and joining the strong weight lifting team . Throughout the short time I have been weightlifting I learned that unlike how weight lifting is perceived by the outside world it is a very unique sport that regardless of the fact that you repeat the same three movements in training snatch and clean and jerk there is always room for improvement and it all starts with your mindset. Having focus and the correct mindset goes hand in hand with the technique and I’m sure all weightlifters can attest to this matter, having said that now that I am part of the weight lifting world I am constantly reading and learning about mental aspects of competing. Physically I feel stronger than ever and I don’t think I will ever want to stop wanting to get stronger.
6. What is your favorite lift?
It will always be Clean and Jerk
7. What is your least favorite lift?
Snatch of course 😃
8. What has been your favorite meet so far?
Since I’m new to the sport I have yet to experience being on a big stage, but as far as the local meets I think my first unofficial meet at Strong winter meet last year will always be my favorite because with the help of coach Amanda I fell in love with the sport and it all started with that meet.
Everybody needs that one person in their life to show them that they can actually dream big and one day reaches it. I always wanted to compete in a sport professionally and weightlifting is allowing me to do so and it all started with coach Amanda pushing me to just experience my first meet.
9. What are some of the goals that you have for yourself in the next year?
The main goals that are in my control are to get stronger and to chip away at my technique to be able to perfect my lifts to then be able to lift some heavy weights.
Goals I would like to achieve is to be able to medal on a national level competition and qualify for competing on higher levels.
10. How do you see Weightlifting as different from other programs?
Weightlifting is just so different in so many levels in my opinion and you won’t really know until you experience it on your own. What I thought weightlifting was going to be and what it turned to be was totally different. There is comradery , there is support and also consistent strive for greatness that I have not experienced in any other sports and I have been active all my life in different sports. Its an exercise of the mind and body and it transfers into your day to day life because you learn to be more focused!
Another big reason for me and what makes weightlifting different than any other program is that you can compete professionally in this sport at literally any age from kids to 60 years old you have the chance to experience competing and I think it that its self keeps people want to be active and gives people hopes and goals at any stage of their lives.
11. How can other people relate to your story?
I think a lot of people can relate to my story because of the fact that I was not fit from the beginning , it took a strong will and consistency for me to get where I am now of course just like everybody else I had my lows but you learn to keep ahead because there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I used to be overweight back in 2019 and that is when I started looking into CrossFit. One day I decided I wanted to change my relationship with food , my body image, educate myself on nutrition and exercise. I lost 27lbs and I have never felt fitter in my life. Fast forward I never thought I will have a chance to compete in a sport given my age and when I started but I got into weightlifting and that also changed. The big lesson is that it is NEVER too late to achieve your goals no matter what they are and no matter what other people tell you.
12. What is your most memorable moment here?
I have many memorable moments at strong. My husband and I moved from CT not knowing anyone and shortly after we were welcomed by everybody at strong and now we are part of one of the most supportive teams which is the strong weight lifting team. The most memorable moment of them all is the CrossFit open this year before I joined weightlifting full time, I remember it was a clean & jerk complex and since I was not part of the CrossFit classes I was not really involved with the members however everybody cheered me on and it made me so happy that the members were so supportive of each other no matter what.