A Black Diamond family got some unexpected good news in the mail on a global scale.
Two months after competing in the Shellshock powerlifting event in Edmonton and setting a World Raw Powerlifting national record in the deadlift, 13-year-old Hayden Hampton found out his pull of 225 pounds was, in fact, a world record in the Men Junior 13-15 age category.
"When I found out I was really happy because they were going to take all those records away from me," he said. "But then when I came home from working with my dad, my mom handed me my three certificates from the WPF, (Canadian) and my world record one.
"It was kind of a shock for me."
Hayden went into the Shellshock event with a personal best of 209 pounds in the deadlift, and went three for three on his lifts with the personal best of 225.
"I just really like pulling the heavy weight and just wanted to try and get a heavier weight and see if I could push my limits," he said.
Hayden had plenty of support in the capital city as a member of the Focus FITness team, led by his father and coach Kim and mother and first-time competitor Trina and teammate Lana Perron, all of whom set new national benchmarks in Edmonton.
"You put on your card if you're up for a national record," Trina said. "We kind of knew we won overall on the spot in our categories because we received the medal for it. Hayden's world record was a shocker, we weren't sure he was up for a world record and there was even some contemplation even on his national record because of his age, he's 13 and some thought you had to be 14, but it all got straightened out."
Trina made the most of her first opportunity to compete, pulling down eight of nine lifts while setting four WRP Canadian records in her age and weight class, setting the new national benchmark in the bench press at 55 kg, squat at 95 kg, deadlift at 142.5 kg as well as in the overall.
"My biggest expectation was just to go in and lift clean and I would say that did do that," she said. "I executed eight of my nine lifts as a first time lifter with only ten weeks of training ever in my life.
"I was really calm, the powerlifting coach said cool as a cucumber are the word she used. I just stepped to the platform and did my job. I think a huge part of that is just the training we get from both the strength coach and the power coach in being prepared both mind and body. Because I can totally see now being in the same space and how you can totally get in your head and have it mess with you.
"I'm very thankful to just enjoy the experience that it was without any pressure."
Black Diamond's Lana Perron also excelled, completing six of nine lifts while setting four national records with a squat of 82.5 kg, bench at 45 kg and deadlift at 95 kg along with the overall.
"My expectations were just to get through it and we did," Kim said. "Everybody lifted well, the organizers of the event, Misfit, did just an excellent job keeping everybody in their own space, keeping masks on and keeping everything regulated. It just went so smoothly."
The early-November event was able to go ahead just days before tight restrictions were implemented across the province, limiting group fitness and most sporting activities as a targeted measure meant to flatten the curve of rising COVID-19 cases at the time.
"Right up until about two days before we were still unsure if the event was going to go," Kim said. "Where the event was held, AHS is actually in the same complex so they were going through quite regularly throughout the day and actually stayed to see some of the people lift so it was very supportive on their end.
"It was a really good community of it all, that's how the powerlifting community is, they support each other and seeing the outside support from everybody was really impressive."
With the hope that restrictions on training and competing will lessen in the coming months, the Focus FITness team along with powerlifting coach Leslie Gurr and the Decidedly Fit squad is preparing for a competition in Rocky Mountain House in April.
Kim said they'll have a growing number of competitors.
"It's a good individualized sport and, once you can show it to people that you can do the best you can do, it's easy to get people in," he said. "For the event in Rocky Mountain House we're adding five more lifters to our team out of Focus FITness ... We have two more youth lifters coming in, we have one old guy who's going to lift, me, as my health stays in check and I don't injure myself I will be lifting in April as well.
"Just showing people what they can do on their own is helping us get more interest."