Unbearable pain leads to powerlifting passion for Mitch
MITCH Eckford is a 22-year-old junior Australian power lifter who discovered his passion as the result of a horrific accident.
In October 2014 Eckford was riding his motorcycle when he came off and crashed.
"I ended up breaking my arm in four places, my back in four places, a hip, my pelvis, hand and forearm," he said.
"It was a hard recovery process.
"I couldn't walk for three months."
Eckford slowly began walking and as time passed got back into the gym and was lightly training before suffering another setback.
"I refractured a bone in my forearm four months into my recovery and that set me back for another six months," he said.
"It was tough. I was just starting to feel like a useful human being again."
After overcoming his injuries and recovering Eckford met Walter Fisler and began training at CrossFit Mackay.
"He sort of took me under his wing and began teaching me about power lifting," Eckford said.
"I guess he saw I was a strong kid and had a future in the sport."
Eckford competed in his first competition in March last year.
"I finished in first place and also won strongest man of the competition," he said.
"You could say that is when I became hooked and realised I can do great things if I stick to this sport."
Eckford competed at the NQ Power lifting Championships in Townsville at the weekend.
He finished in first place at the competition and won strongest man of the day.
"It was good day for me and I have now qualified for Nationals in August," he said.
"If I can do well there I will be heading to the Asia Pacific Championships in December."
Eckford competes at 105kg weight and trains five days a week.
"I eat around 4000 calories a day and it drops to 3000 when I'm cutting weight," he said.
"Wednesday and Sunday are my rest days.
"I just go for a light jog and relax."
The 22-year-old is aiming to compete at the top level in the sport by next year.
"My short term goal is the Commonwealth Games and long-term the World Championships," he said.
Aside from power lifting, Eckford is mixing brains and brawn by also studying at university to acquire a degree in engineering.
Can squat twice his bodyweight.
Can deadlift two and half times his bodyweight.
Can benchpress one and half times his bodyweight.
Follow his progress on Instagram at mitcheckford_ipf