THEas a Vegas resident and utility billing clerk, Sara Bustamante found her passion for sports, perhaps later in life than most. For someone who has a fairly normal day job, she has a rather abnormal passion outside of work.
Many Las Vegas residents have likely spoken to her on the phone or met her in person while she was at work if they called the utility or went to pay their bills. What Bustamante, a mother of five, loves to do outside of work is powerlifting. It started out as a sort of health boost, just wanting to live a healthier lifestyle for personal reasons. Once Bustamante entered the gym, however, she discovered her love for powerlifting and now does it competitively.
“I continued to monitor the deadlift center and once told my husband that I wanted to try it,” Bustamante said. “On my first attempt I managed to lift 295 pounds and fell in love with it afterwards. “
To give an idea of how serious Bustamante is, she travels to Albuquerque several times a week to train at the Iron Soul Gym with trainer Myra Armijo. The first time Bustamante trained with Armijo she was able to increase her deadlift by 50 pounds on her first try and there a match was made between the coach and the student. It’s not just an after-work hobby that Bustamante can do in her spare time, she is committed to doing her best in it.
“I have five little girls and I can show them that even though I’m a mom and have my job and other responsibilities, you can still have fun and find something you’re good at,” Bustamante said. . “The most important thing is to be mentally strong because it’s really mental, and I’m fortunate to have a great support group with my husband, my kids and my coaches.”
Now that Bustamante has her feet in the water in powerlifting, she is starting to become more competitive regionally and, potentially, nationally. In December, she will compete in a powerlifting event in the United States in Farmington. It’s an event that, if she does well, could qualify her for the 2022 Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Bustamante isn’t overly concerned with qualifying for national championships or any kind of accolade that could potentially come with her strength. It all started out as a lifestyle change for her and that’s something she was able to achieve. All the accomplishments are basically gravy at this point, not something she originally expected to be good at, but now she’s discovered a new passion and it just so happens to be something that She is very good.
Ahead of competing in the US powerlifting qualifiers at Farmington, Bustamante will be in action later this month. At her home gym in Albuquerque on October 30, Bustamante will be participating in an event called “Night of the Living Deadlift”. It’s a charity event his gym is hosting to benefit Operation Wounded Warrior and the America Legion Riders. Competitive powerlifting isn’t something Bustamante saw herself do until she started doing it, but it’s a passion for her now, and it’s something she will be doing for some time in the future.