Tuesday, 27 June 2017
The Mighty Quinn: This Sporting Life
I started athletics at a young age, reveals Lauren in a recent interview. I was 9 years old, and I played baseball, softball, which led to school leagues and other sports, but I got into weight training when I was 14. I was a freshman in high school, I was a skinny girl, and I thought if I got bigger and stronger I'd be a better athlete.
By the time she reached the University of Illinois-Chicago, she had become a good enough track and field athlete to win the title of Newcomer of the Year in 2003, and on top of that she captained the rugby team there, which led to her playing professionally for a while (the US has pro women's rugby?! - who knew?) for the Chicago Sirens.
Sadly I don't have any pictures of Lauren powering through tackles, but during her uni time she not only played the game, she also co-authored a study into the "Effects of Strength Training and Conditioning on Female Rugby Players". I kid you not.
Then, around late 2010, Lauren moved from one oval ball game to another, and joined the Lingerie Football League. The league’s notorious pin-up girl dress code makes it prime fodder for derision from feminist pundits, noted Kriv Studios blog, but one must appreciate that many women of the Lingerie Football League not only are beautiful and sexy but fit and athletic. And they play hard. Today, Lauren Quinn begins her quest to become the next Great of the Bikini Gridiron as the hard-hitting hardbody from the Windy City takes the field as a new linebacker for the Chicago Bliss.
After one season in the LFL though, Lauren's "Bikini Gridiron" career came to an abrupt halt when a knee injury left her needing surgery and five months of physical therapy.
I had yet to discover Crossfit, or compete in the new Women's Physique Division, she says of that time, though she had already done at least one bodybuilding show, in 2005. That was a time when there were only 3 divisions for women, she says, but only one for her. Even though I wasn't "big enough", I pursued Bodybuilding because it was more ME than Figure. I was young, tiny, (120lbs) and had absolutely no clue what or how to prep for a show. But I'm proud to say it was 100% all me!
She returned to the stage in 2014, I believe, with not only the Physique Division, but also Crossfit duly discovered. Immediately she won the 2014 Badger State (ie. Wisconsin) Physique title, and the following year she was qualifying for national level contests. Obviously we'll be focusing on her Physique achievements we progress through the week, but for now, let's see how she looked at that 2014 show, shall we?
Fast forward to 4.10 if you want to see why she won.
Her Crossfit athlete page reveals Lauren has a "benchmark" Back Squat of 270lbs, a Clean & Jerk of 170, and a 370lb Deadlift. Not bad, I'm sure you'll agree, but overall, she only managed a ranking of 73rd in 2015, and 65th in 2016. That's in Illinois. Her global rank last year was 3,250th, so some way to go before she makes The Games.
Still, she wasn't exactly 100% committed to Crossfit at this time, what with her Physique shows and in 2015 there was Powerlifting as well. I am a Next Generation Powerlifting Federation state record holder! she told her IG followers in August 2015, proudly displaying her medals and certificates. What an exciting opportunity it was to compete and PR in the deadlift and bench press! Oh, and I was in between weight classes, she adds. Too fat for 148, but certainly not as fat as 165! Hahaha!
I am a good athlete and I'm very proud of that, says Lauren. Even as a skinny girl I was still somewhat athletic. I could do push-ups, pull-ups, climb the rope, I was a fast runner, so the potential was there I just had to work at developing it...
I am meant to do this.
The Mighty Quinn continues tomorrow.