Suzette Reed knows about overcoming setbacks.
The Taylorsville, CA, highway contract driver is a national- and state-ranked powerlifter — but those achievements didn’t come easy.
“I’m not supposed to be able to do this,” said Reed, whose lifting career stalled after high school because of a college knee injury and chronic regional pain syndrome from a car accident.
She didn’t think she’d ever lift again until she witnessed her mother’s valiant effort to beat cancer.
“When she passed away five years ago, I decided I was going to start making dreams a reality,” said Reed.
She took over the highway contract route her family has managed for 52 years, joined a powerlifting team, learned to watch her diet and saw huge lifting gains.
Her goal is to bench press 200 pounds — and she’s getting lots of encouragement.
“Everyone in our little town knows,” she said. “If I go to the grocery store and someone sees me put something I shouldn’t be eating in my cart, they’ll tell me not to.”
Reed, who will participate in an international lifting competition in Las Vegas next month, recalls that not long ago, she was 67 pounds heavier and walked with a cane.
“It’s just really amazing,” she said. “It’s a dream.”