UK Resident, Powerlifter Uses Her Strength as a Force for Good

University of Kentucky radiology resident Dr. Leanna Lin likes to use her strength for good causes.

This Saturday, Lin has organized an event called Deadlifts Against Domestic Violence, a powerlifting-style deadlift competition hosted by The Moco Gym in Mount Sterling, Ky. All the money received with sales and registration fees will benefit GreenHouse17, an advocacy agency committed to ending intimate partner abuse in families and the community.

For the uninitiated, the deadlift is one of three powerlifting exercises. To complete a deadlift, participants must pull the “dead weight” of a loaded barbell from the floor.  

“I got the idea for this from my coach; he organized a full powerlifting meet to benefit research for childhood cancer, and it happened to be my first powerlifting meet,” Lin said. “I thought it was a great way to not only benefit a good cause but also introduce people to powerlifting as a sport.”

Lin met her coach and inspiration during her year interning in Buffalo, New York. Although she has been lifting weights since high school, during the last year of medical school, she found a deeper interest in strength training. Though she was initially more interested in bodybuilding, after competing in her coach’s charity event, she switched her focus over to powerlifting – though the skills didn’t come easily at first.

“I used to not enjoy it very much,” Lin said. “But now that I'm much better at it, I really enjoy how strong it makes me feel.”

This is the second time Lin has hosted a charity event. Two years ago, she raised $400 to benefit the Markey Cancer Foundation for breast cancer research. This year, she wanted to do something different, and when a friend suggested GreenHouse17, she decided to give another foundation the main focus. Her main goal is to bring people together to support a good cause through a fun and exciting environment, but her long-term goal is to focus more on scholarship-type fundraisers.

“I think powerlifting is a very empowering and individual sport,” Lin said. “Many people can surprise themselves with how strong they can become with specific training. I hope maybe in the future I can help elevate powerlifting as a sport that grants scholarships to talented individuals.”

Deadlifts Against Domestic Violence takes place this Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Moco Gym, 275 Evans Ave., Mt. Sterling. Late registration and weigh-in begins at 11 a.m.; lifting begins at 12:30 p.m. Registration for competitors is $15 for pre-registering, $20 on site. All proceeds will be directly donated to GreenHouse17. For more information, visit the Deadlifts Against Domestic Violence registration page.