For Allen “Lou” Kitching, an Elmira resident, powerlifting is not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle.
“Life is short, It’s not with you forever so you have to make a decision what you actually really want to do?”
He has done it for almost three decades and said he enjoys every moment of it. It was also after living a troubled life that he realized this was his way out.
“I was against the law, started following in it, I was up against,” Kitching said. “I didn’t give the officers the respect that they actually deserved.”
He said he turned to drugs, crack cocaine, and alcohol, thinking he was against the law until reality set in.
“You had a knucklehead out there doing things that should not be,” He said. “Then in 199,0 I did three years of prison time, then I really had to grow up.”
When he got out, he went to workout at the former YMCA in Elmira.
“Thank god I got off of that as it is as with this meth and everything as it is,” Kitching said. “Crack is just as bad, you really don’t care.”
Powerlifting was his cleansing medicine. Now, he competes in the World Natural Powerlifting Federation. His plaques, badges of his state and regional championship victories.
“I got good workout partners,” He said. “I have Danny Mandell, I have Chuck Buzzetti”
Lou is 63-years-old and can bench 225 pounds. That amount of weight is actually how much he uses to warm up. He usually trains with Elmira Mayor Daniel Mandell.
“I pray for a lot of young people out there who are doing the drugs, who are out there constantly drinking,” Kitching said, “and realize to say there are other things you can do. If you can’t find it yourself, get help.”
Kitching and Mandell were training for the WNPF’s New York State Championship in March taking place in Rochester. Kitching will not be competing there because he was recently diagnosed with sciatica.
He is still going with Mandell to cheer him on. We will follow that story as the time nears.