bby Flickner, of Shawnee Kansas is your typical 13-year old girl. She loves to read, play the trumpet, and train in weightlifting shoes given to her by Olympian Morghan King. Ok, Abby is not so typical. She has been weightlifting since she was six-years old, has her own athletic clothing line, and holds three Youth American Records. Here is a glimpse into her life . . .
Q: How did you get started in weightlifting?
A: My older brother had been weightlifting for a while, and I thought it would help me get stronger for gymnastics. Eventually, I gave up my other sports—gymnastics, softball, and volleyball to focus exclusively on weightlifting.
Q: What do you enjoy most about weightlifting?
A: Weightlifting offers some good life lessons. If you don’t focus on your lift, it won’t be very good. Similarly, if you don’t focus on homework, you won’t get a good grade. And if you don’t focus on the task at hand, you won’t succeed.
Q: What does your training schedule look like?
A: I train two hours per day, six days a week with my coach, Boris Urman, at Bootcamp Fitness.
Q: What one or two things do you do in training that are particularly impactful?
A: Squats and lower back training! It’s easy to get a heavy barbell off the floor, but you have to have strong legs and a strong core to stand up with it.
Q: What do you carry around in your gym bag that has nothing to do with weightlifting?
Q: What is your diet like?
A: I try to eat as much as I can to move up a weight class. I eat lots of protein, fruit and veggies. I usually eat two suppers, one before gym and one after. I also like to eat candy!
Q: Who do you look up to in the sport?
A: Morghan King. She accomplished a lot in a very short amount of time, and she has been supportive of my lifting. She gave me the shoes I wear in training!
Q: What qualities does a great coach possess?
A: A great coach isn’t afraid to tell you what you’ve done wrong. Weight-lifting can be a dangerous sport if you don’t do it correctly.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
A: Don’t worry about what weight is on the bar . . . just lift it.
Q: Did you take this advice?
A: I try, but it’s hard not to think about the weight.
Q: When you are not weightlifting, how do you spend your free time?
A: I like to read, ride my bike and play the trumpet. I would also like to learn how to cook.
Q: When was the last time you were knocked down and how did you get back up?
A: Youth Nationals in 2016. It was the first time I had been beaten in three years. I’m still in the process of recovering, but I’ve made progress.
Q: What have you learned from weightlifting that helps you in other parts of your life?
A: Anything you want to achieve requires hard work and a good mindset.
Q: Where does your strength come from?
A: Some of it comes naturally, but mostly it comes from training hard.