There’s nothing like experiencing something in your life for the first time. If you’re a parent, the 'firsts' you live for aren’t your own. They’re your children’s firsts.
“She walked young,” said Tim Lombardo, Raegan’s father. “I just couldn’t believe it. It was eight months.”
Raegan is eight years old now. “Daddah,” was the first word out of her mouth.
“It broke my heart,” Raegan’s mom Shannon said with a laugh.
The first of a few broken hearts for the parents. How could mom forget that first day of kindergarten!
“I remember walking her to class and turning away and crying,” said Shannon.
And now THIS first.
“She can say she’s the best,” said Bull Stewart, meet director at the 2012 Washington State Powerlifting Championships.
Raegan broke two 2008 powerlifting records and tied another, set by someone much older and bigger. “The record was held by a 12-year-old girl who weighed 114 pounds.”
Get this. Raegan is just 73 pounds, and four years younger. The crowd cheered for her when she attempted her first back squat lift at 75lbs. The previous record was 66 pounds. Raegan got it. No sweat. And in her next lift she decided to add 13 more pounds. Another successful lift. And another record. She beat a four-year-old record by 22 pounds.
So I asked her, is there anyone better than you? Very humbly, she shook her head no. And she’s right, at least not in Washington State.
“I’ve been around a long time. I’ve been at a lot of world championships myself. I’ve seen a lot, but I’ve never seen someone with that ability at eight years of age,” said Meet Director Bull Stewart.
“When they come out, you don’t know what you’re going to get. Could be a ballerina, could be an actor. You have no idea. If you would have told me at that time she was going to enter a powerlifting meet, I wouldn’t have known what it was!” said Tim Lombardo.
It was Tim who had the idea to enter Raegen in the meet in the first place. She’d seen her dad lift weights and wanted to do what he did. Life’s firsts. Raegan won’t remember her first steps, or her first words. It’s not possible of course. But you can bet she will always remember the day she became a state champion.
I asked her ‘Do your friends know how strong you are?” She responded: “I don’t think so.” Well now they do. “I mean strength is strength. Some people have it and some people don’t. It’s the motivation,” said Raegan’s dad. “It’s the motivation I don’t understand... And for her the bigger the number, the better.”