Zionsville’s Tommy Richardson is still going strong – literally.
Richardson, 75 years young, won the 2012 world championship in the strict curl event at the Single Event 100% Raw Powerlifting Championships in Las Vegas in late October. Competitors at the100% Raw Powerlifting Championships must use their pure strength to complete their lifts and are not able to rely on the use of any special support equipment, like a supportive lifting shirt, briefs or suit, to complete the lift.
“No momentum from the legs and hips can be used in any way to complete the lift,” said Richardson. “So, the lift relies solely on the strength from your bicep and shoulder muscles.”
This year’s visit marked Richardson’s first turn competing in the annual competition, and the strict curl was his only event. More than 250 lifters from 11 countries and 35 states competed, ranging from beginner to master-level competitors, from the age of 8 years old to 79 years old.
Richardson has been weight lifting throughout his 32 years as a football coach, the past 13 years of which as the defensive line coach at Zionsville High School. However, he only began participating in local, state and regional weight lifting competitions after his retirement from insurance sales 10 years ago.
Since then, he has held weight lifting records in Indiana for the bench press and deadlift in his age bracket.
“My motto is there’s no finish line,” Richardson said. “You have to continually raise the bar and challenge yourself. All too often, people quit whatever they’re doing too soon. They quit growing and stretching themselves. I have a saying: ‘Go as far as you can with all that you’ve got.’ You need to use all the abilities and talents you’ve been given. So, I continue to push and challenge myself regularly.”
Beyond coaching and weightlifting, Richardson is a performance coach with Mind of a Champion, a program which helps high school, college and professional athletes, as well as people in business world, improve their performance levels. He also is the president and founder of Richardson Communication and a partner in Synergy Trainings.
These endeavors allow Richardson to teach people and organizations how to discover and maximize potential.
“There are things within all of us that we can do to compete,” he says. “Just give it your best shot. You don’t have to be a winner. The experience itself is the winning process. What you become on the way to the goal is more important than reaching the goal. You’ll know you’ve done your best whether you win a trophy or not.”