REAL LIFE

I’m Australia’s Strongest Woman

When Martha wanted to get in shape she had no idea she'd unlock this amazing power!
Martha Tevita

Martha Tevita, 26, Central Coast, NSW

Why don’t you try lifting this?’ my friend Eddie, 26, laughed. He pointed to a bar loaded up with giant weights. We were at the gym, but exercise was new for me.

I’d always been a big girl, but when I reached 
135 kilos last year 
I decided 
to get fit. Eddie was really into weightlifting, but I usually stuck to 
the treadmill and other cardio exercises.

Is he serious? I thought, eyeing the 170-kilo bar.

‘No way!’ I smiled. ‘But it’ll be funny to watch me try.’ So I heaved as hard 
as I could. But instead of struggling and straining, I lifted the bar clear off the ground.

‘Oh my God!’ Eddie said, his jaw falling open. I was as shocked as he was.

‘I guess I don’t know my own strength!’ 
I laughed.

‘Is he serious?’ I thought, eyeing the 170-kilo bar.

A coach, Layne, saw 
my amazing feat. ‘Wow!’ 
he said. ‘You’re a natural.’ He offered to train me for strong-woman contests. I liked the idea of building up my strength, 
so I agreed to start training. It’d be a great way to get 
fit too, I thought. So I went to the gym before and after work every day.

Layne gave me support and advice, and another friend, Mick, started to work out with me for motivation.

After just a few months, I was down to 100 kilos and ready to compete. For the first few contests I was just pleased to take part. Then in March, there was a contest 
in Melbourne to crown Australia’s Strongest Woman.

Martha before going to the gym
Before Martha started training she was only interested in getting fitter. (Credit: Martha Tevita)

I was nervous, but I threw myself into the events. For one I had to throw a giant 90-kilo stone over a bar. For another, I had to carry 250 kilos on my back for 
20 metres as fast as I could.

It was exhausting but all worth it. When the judges tallied the results, they revealed that I was the winner.

Everyone at the gym 
was happy for me, and my parents, Koale and Caroline were thrilled too.

Martha with coach Layne Fletcher
Martha with coach Layne Fletcher. (Credit: Martha Tevita)

Last month I flew to South Africa to represent Australia in the world championship, where I came second.

I now visit schools and 
try to encourage people to follow their dreams. After 
all, I’m proof that you never know what you’re capable 
of until you give it a go!


Originally published in that’s life! Issue 29, 2016.

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