Hannah Kaminski | Olympic Weightlifter
Posted on October 12 2018
We would like to introduce Hannah Jean Kaminski as the newest member of the Sweat Society family! Hannah has been inspiring us as a fierce weightlifting athlete and a nutrition coach for a couple of years now. We are so proud to sponsor and work with Hannah as she takes on her goals to represent Canada in the badass sport of weightlifting. Read her blog below as she tell us all about how she got into weightlifting, why she wants to help others with their nutrition, and how she strives to encourage young girls to try "weird things" like weightlifting.
How did you first get into Olympic Weightlifting?
Three years ago, I was living overseas in Australia and coaching at a CrossFit gym called The Strong Room. I was casually doing CrossFit at the time, and really loved the gymnastics and lifting element of it. (The cardio/endurance element – not so much!!) The Strong Room had a barbell club with a very well known weightlifting coach, so I started attending it weekly. The coach noticed that I moved well for someone who didn’t have a clue what they were doing, and asked me if I wanted to do a weightlifting meet. So, I signed up for my first meet and had 4 weeks later completely humiliated myself on the platform. The very next day I was back at training with a fire lit under my butt. I was pissed off that I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, so immediately jumped back into training and signed up for a second meet. I wish I could say I loved weightlifting the first time I ever did it, but truthfully I did not. I’m just a horribly competitive person who doesn’t like falling short of my goals. My relationship with weightlifting is similar to a rom-com where the two main characters don’t get along at first. They bicker and argue and have a general distaste for each other, but over time they fall in love. I’d say that’s a pretty accurate representation of how I got into weightlifting. I hated it at first, but I hated being bad at it even more. And my pursuit to suck less made me fall in love with it.
What was your first impression of the sport?
Thoughts when I began weightlifting:
- Snatch is a funny name
- Wow, I have so many bruises on my thighs
- My. Legs. Are. So. Sore.
- Not breathing heavy is a nice change from CrossFit
- Never mind, weightlifting complexes are a different form of cardio torture
What made you fall in love with it? How has it changed your life?
I think the thing that I love most about weightlifting is how much it challenges me. When you step onto the platform, it’s dead quiet, there’s a time constraint, and you’re in a singlet that makes you feel naked, the last thing you have time to do is start doubting yourself. The moment you start to question your abilities, the lift is already missed. Weightlifting forces me to believe in myself, it forces me to be brave, and it forces me to push myself during times when I genuinely feel like I ‘can’t.’ I could write a novel about the reasons I love weightlifting, but I think at the heart of it all, this sport has made me a more courageous and resilient human being. I love that it demands me to be better everyday. I love that sometimes my max lifts feel like cake, and other days I have no clue how I was ever able to lift that weight overhead. It’s frustrating as hell, but it forces me to fight back. Weightlifting has changed my life because I am learning to apply these lessons to everyday life. I’m not just a better human on the platform; I’d like to think I’m a better human in every facet of my life.
What is the most rewarding aspect of Olympic Weightlifting? Most Challenging?
Weightlifting is a very technical sport, so as someone who is a perfectionist, I get so much satisfaction from constantly finessing my movement patterns. It’s so rewarding when you have those “aha” moments where your strength work or technical revisions pay off. On the flip side, I am also the most impatient person ever; so waiting to build strength, and waiting for technical improvements to show up in my lifts tests my patience every damn day. That is definitely the most frustrating part of training.
We know you are also a nutrition coach. Tell us a little about this!
I used to be a wrestler, (another sport that involves singlets, are we seeing a pattern here?) so I’ve been cutting weight from a very young age. If not done properly, cutting weight can have a pretty detrimental effect on your metabolism and endocrine system, and I’ve spent the better half of my adult life trying to rectify these health issues that I created when I was younger. I used to cut weight in the unhealthiest manner possible, and actually developed an eating disorder because of it. My eating disorder was something that I didn’t talk about for a long time because I was embarrassed about it, but I’ve learned that SO MANY weight class athletes struggle with body image issues, eating disorder, and body-dysmorphia just like I did. Since my wrestling days, I have done a ton of learning, research, and certifications surrounding proper nutrition, and it has become a passion project of mine to not only be the healthiest version of myself, but also help others who are struggling with their body. I now cut weight in a very healthy way, and am confident helping others do the same. While I work with lots of strength athletes, I also work with endurance runners, yogis, CrossFitters, and casual fitness junkies too. Some people want to cut weight, some people want to add mass, and others want to simply work on being a healthier version of themselves. EVERYONES goals are different, so the approach for each individual person should be different too. I work on finding a system that works for people on an individual basis, because I don’t believe in cookie-cutter “diets” that assume there is one way of doing things. If nutrition coaching is something that people are interested in, they can connect with me via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your best advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
My best advice for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is
- Sleep 8+ hours every single night
- Eat a balanced ratio of macros based on your own individual needs (shameless plug: if you need help with this, holla!)
- Do more of what makes you happy. I realise this is super corny; but seriously, just stop doing the stuff that drains you. If you hate a form of exercise, then stop doing it. If you find yourself constantly deviating away from your “diet,” then stop doing it. Find something you DO enjoy, that DOES challenge you, and DOES push you to be your best self. Find the stuff that makes you feel good, and that you can maintain. Roll with those things, and forget about the rest.
- BALANCE. Drink more water, eat yo’ damn veggies, and eat a lot of ice cream, because that’s what makes life fun and worthwhile
What are your goals as an athlete?
I have lifetime PR numbers that I want to hit as a weightlifter, but those are a secret! More than anything I want to represent Canada on an international stage. Whether it’s at the Pan Am Games, Commonwealth Championships, Olympic qualifiers, I just want to wear the maple leaf on my singlet and be a driving force in moving Canadian weightlifting forward. I also want to give back and inspire young girls to try weird things like weightlifting that are outside of the norm. I want to show them that you can be vulnerable all while wanting to be a strong badass. After all, there are two sides to every coin.