Source: Sherman Publications

Orion’s power mom

April 20, 2011

By Allan Nahajewski

Special Writer for The Review

If you were to line up a few of your Lake Orion neighbors and try to guess which one is a national weightlifting champion, there's a good chance you'd guess wrong.

Meet Debbie Hudson, age 50, 5-foot-3, 127 pounds, mother of three daughters, and the U.S. weightlifting champ in her weight and age group.

She won her fourth national title earlier this month at the USA National Masters Weightlifting Championship in Savannah, Ga.

"I started lifting about 13 years ago as a way to stay in shape,"she says. Since then, she has become a CrossFit trainer, specializing in Olympic lifts. Crossfit workouts are short and intense and use functional movements.

"There is a misconception about weightlifting,"she says. "Some women are wary of getting into it, thinking they will become overly muscular. That just doesn't happen.

"Actually, it's a fountain of youth,"she adds. "You should have seen the 89-year-old competing in the nationals or the 96-year-old weightlifter who attended the event.”

More than 200 athletes took part this month in the National Masters Weightlifting Championship. Hudson not only was the top performer in her age and weight group, she was named best lifter among 50- to 54-year-olds in all weight classes, according to a formula, and also set new Michigan records in the process.

She credits her success to her coach, Fred Lowe, of Dewitt, who is a three-time U.S. Olympian (1968, '72, '76) in weightlifting. "He's a master technician,"she says, "and lifting is all about technique."She also credits the CrossFit regimen. She works three days a week at the North Oakland Family YMCA in Rochester Hills as the CrossFit coordinator.

"Many people think of weightlifting as body building or power lifting,"she says. "The movements we do ? the clean & jerk and the snatch ? are very dynamic and fast.”

Lifting weights is more than a hobby, she adds. "It's a way of life. It's a great way to stay healthy and fit, and it's goal-oriented. It's good to have goals.”

One of her goals is to compete in the World Masters Weightlifting Championships in 2013 in Torino, Italy.

Over the years, she has gotten family members involved with lifting, including husband Dave and daughter Lauren, as well as two nephews, to help them succeed in wrestling and football.

In addition to weightlifting, she enjoys tennis and boating. The Hudson family lives on Long Lake in north Orion Township.