Natalie’s natural knack

Natalie+Bremmer+poses+in+the+GHHS+weight+room+infront+of+her+bench+and+squat+station.+She+sets+up+in+the+same+spot+almost+everyday+that+she+lifts+and+has+a+set+routine+that+she+follows.+

Gabi Nadeau

Natalie Bremmer poses in the GHHS weight room infront of her bench and squat station. She sets up in the same spot almost everyday that she lifts and has a set routine that she follows.

Camille Berko, Reporter

Camille Berko

The heavy scent of perspiration lingers in the air.  The clang of weights and machines as they smash back to resting position rings through the room and out into the hall vibrating the space. 

The Grand Haven High School weight room is flooded with students day after day. Some are champion lifters or experienced athletes, some are first-timers who might never step foot in there again, some were dragged there by their friends and others practically run there after the final bell. Whoever they are, the same atmosphere surrounds them. 

Amidst the chaos, senior Natalie Bremmer progresses her workout on the bench press, isolated for maximum concentration. Down, up. One. Down, up. Two. Down, up. Three. And it continues. As her muscles bulge and her face begins to redden, her pace starts to slow. Sweat begins to flow and her eyebrows become furrowed. 

Bremmer completes one more rep. The bar drops and she rests her arms. A couple seconds later she’s right back into it, beating out a rhythm. 

Bremmer constantly strives to beat her personal records and improve her strength. 

“There will always be someone, somewhere that’s going to lift more than you and do better than you and people get discouraged by that,” Bremmer said. “You just have to do the best that you can in whatever situation you’re in.” 

She’s maintained the same mindset over the course of her three-year career as a powerlifter. Bremmer maxes out at a squat of 210 pounds, a deadlift of 285 pounds and 125 pounds on the bench press. She placed eighth overall in the state last year. 

Aside from her record, Bremmer’s passion for the sport has not gone unnoticed. Powerlifting coach Lindsey Ruiter described her as a “mini-coach” and a “cheerleader” in and out of the gym. She says Bremmer’s leadership helps to motivate and encourage her teammates.

“The younger girls really look up to her passion, excitement and drive, it’s really cool to watch,” Ruiter said.

Bremmer gives tips to younger lifters that lack her experience and knowledge of the sport. She knows how difficult it can be to continue doing something that seems, in the moment, to provide no reward. 

“For my first-year powerlifting, she was one that I looked up to,” senior powerlifter Kim Chavez said.

Bremmer coaches her teammates in the right direction to get the best out of their experience. 

“Sometimes showing up is half the battle,” Bremmer said. “Just keep at it, keep adding weight, and you’ll watch yourself get stronger and stronger.”

Bremmer hopes her legacy will inspire other girls to work hard for what they want.

“She’s very supportive,” Chavez said. “Like no matter what weight it is on the bar, she always yell for you”

She also hopes that girls won’t get beat down by the pressure or standards set by lifters before them. She wants people to look at her and see an example of what can happen as a result of their dedication.

“When I started powerlifting I didn’t care about being the best, I just wanted to be the best I could be for me,” Bremmer said. “I hope other girls will see me and want to do the same thing.”

Part of Bremmer’s goal is that more young girls will look to her as an example of a successful female powerlifter. When she first joined the team in her freshman year she was one of three girls on the team. As Bremmer has grown, the number of females on the team has grown as well. 

She’s proud to say that they now have more girls on the team than boys. Bremmer hopes the program will continue to develop once she graduates in May.

“She didn’t get to where she is from being inconsistent,” Ruiter said. “She lifts year-round and has a huge drive and determination to always improve.”

This drive is what has inspired more people to join the team. Bremmer’s energy is contagious. 

“She’s always positive, which helps a lot of new lifters,” Chavez said. “She’s pretty uplifting for the whole team.”

Bremmer recognizes this aspect of her personality as well.

“I’m very ambitious and goal-oriented, so if I start something, I’m committed, “ Bremmer said. “And  then after I’m done I feel so accomplished and happy and that’s why I love lifting so much.”