HUMBOLDT — For Mason Bunko, the road to competing in a strongman competition began when he started to go to the gym.
With Christine Cardenas as his trainer, the 13-year-old Humboldt resident found out he loved weightlifting.
“It's almost like an addiction as you lift,” he said.
“It pushes you to your max. Once you lift, you can add 10, 20, 30 pounds and once you do that, you realize that you can do so much more than that you thought you could.”
Cardenas said she could tell he was a strong kid from day one and decided to ask Bunko if he would be willing to compete in the youth division of the Adrenaline Rookie Rumble in Regina on May 5.
“I competed in it last year, so I have a little bit of experience. I know. It's a lot of fun and he's been doing great,” she said.
It didn’t take too much to persuade Bunko to compete.
“It was one rainy day. My mom phoned me and said, ‘Christine wants to know if you wanted to go into the Rookie Rumble on May 5,’ and I was like, ‘yeah.’
“I just love weightlifting so much and she really put me out there and got me that first competition, and that is really going to strive me to do my best.”
There are three events that Bunko will compete in. In the press medley, he’ll have to press a 30-pound dumbbell, a 50-pound pony keg, a 55-pound axle bar and a 65-pound log. In the farmers walk, he’ll have to carry 85-pounds each hand for 100 feet. In the loading medley, he’ll have to carry a 40-pound sandbag, 50-pound keg, 70-pound keg and a 80-pound sandbag.
Bunko said the press medley is by far his favourite event.
“I just love get taking that bar and lifting up above my head and feeling that thing of accomplishment.”
Cardenas said she and Bunko have been training for the events, focusing on items such as conditioning and strength.
“I'm proud of him that he is competing, that he's got the confidence to go there, compete and try it out and see how he does against other kids around his age,” she said. “I think he's going to do awesome.”
Bunko said he expects to compete against the best of the best in the province at the event and he aims to do the best he can.
“If I don't make first, second, or third, I don't make it. But I'm competing.”
Bunko encouraged other people to get into weightlifting.
“Whoever who wants to weight lift but doesn't have like the courage, you can get there. I just want to say if you're someone who wants to weight lift, you can definitely do it,” he said. “All you need to do is just come and weightlift. It's just a beautiful thing.”