Deacon wins World Championship in Powerlifting

Grayslake North’s Dawn Deacon, school psychologist, has traveled her path to winning the World Championship for Powerlifting.
On September 8, the World Championship for Powerlifting took place. Deacon has been able to train long and hard to lift her target goal, by encouraging herself and other women.
“My proudest moment throughout this journey was being able to encourage other women that powerlifting isn’t scary. Being able to powerlift truly empowers you mentally and emotionally. When I first started, there was only three women competing alongside me. Then at World’s, there were 43 women in my division. You can see that the mindset of ‘I can’ trickles down and helps set your goals,” she said.
Deacon believes that powerlifting helped her self-esteem prosper and achieve her goals in the gym and in life.
“I am a more positive person to myself and others. It’s definitely boosted my self-esteem, not in an egocentric way, but as someone who is powerful. Powerlifting was able to trickle down in all parts of my life, and I strive to share that with other women,” she said.
Powerlifting has positively impacted her, but it has also been able to teach her about more than physical strength.
“When I started, I noticed that lifting started to change me in a positive emotional and mental state. That’s when I knew it was something to stick with. I was walking a little taller and more confident in the things I did. That was from knowing I could handle anything. Even if it was going to meeting, I could attain goals and push barriers, there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do if I set my mind to,” she said.
Deacon is always trying to push herself as a person, but at the gym, she sees the significance of pushing herself as an athlete.
“I am always striving for something. It’s very rare when I am satisfied with something and not think ‘What’s next?’. My philosophy is ‘Anyone can be average’, and I try to reach for the best of my ability for whatever I can do,” she said.
Her efforts are mainly on her training, while staying dedicated and true to her body, which she thinks is important.
“I put a lot of effort into my training, I stay dedicated to my diet by eating clean and getting as much rest as I need. However, it doesn’t mean I want to deprive myself of what I like to get where I need to be. I listen to my body. I don’t want drive myself to a breaking point. With too much stress and strain, I would need to start over. When I need to binge, I’ll binge,” she said.
However, we all experience our setbacks and points of frustrations. Deacon understands this and has strategies of where to go when it happens.
“I tend to turn to physical activity like running and lifting weights. I also keep a journal where I record positive messages. I never use it to complain but to remind myself I can attain whatever I want,” she said.
Finally, winning is sometimes our motivations and what we all strive for, but Deacon views it differently.
“Winning is not an endpoint. Before I finish a meet, in my mind I’m already thinking ‘What can I do next?’ I’m always focusing on the next thing. I never want to be finished,” she said.