Below you will find a letter and success story from world class bench presser Mark Carter. He's an inspiration to all of us. Critical Bench would like to wish Mark the best of luck in his upcoming events and wanted to share his personal triumph with you today. Mark is a constant reminder that anything is possible!
At 43 years of age and new to the sport of powerlifting, I'm submitting my story on how powerlifting has had a tremendous positive effect on my life. On 1/18/03 three days prior to my 43rd birthday I entered my first APF powerlifting competition. I entered both the masters and the open classes. I successfully pushed a 600 lbs. bench press and just missed a 625 on my third lift. I've learned a great deal since then from your Ted Arcidi Bench Press Feature, Louie Simmos' videos and a JM Blakely video on technique.
I can't tell you how excited I am about powerlifting. The competitions, camaraderie and mutual support at the events. Since high school, I've always been very strong, but the injuries from many years of football have limited me to the bench press. As you read my story you will see and understand how serious I am about powerlifting. I'm competiting in the masters nationals in Daytona in May, the senior nationals in Universal City in June, and Bench America on July 5th. Also, I look forward to world bench press championship in Darwin, Austraila. I hope my story can help others who face challenges and realize nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough.
Mike, I want to thank you for your inspiring Web site "www.CriticalBench.com". I will continue working hard and smart. Once again thank you for taking the time to read my story. Yours in Health and Power."
Mark A. Carter
8877 Lennox View Way
Knoxville, TN 37923
Mark's Inspirational Story
As a Founding Partner of Rush Fitness Complex in east Tennessee I wasn't worried about much I could bench about three years ago. I was worried about living. I never imagined a routine knee operation could take the life out of me. But it almost did. As a standout athlete in high school and college, excelling in football, wrestling and boxing, I overcame every obstacle I ever faced. On March 7, 2000, at 40 years of age during a routine knee operation, I would fight for my life during surgery. I suffered from a severe anaphylactic shock caused by the antibiotic I was given. My heart stopped and a team of of doctors worked feverishly to revive me. Waking up in ICU you wouldn't have recognized me for I was swollen beyond belief. All I could remember is coming to, looking at a team of doctors surrounding my bed. One doctor stated that they would have lost me if it weren't for the great physical shape I was in.
The next two years would be a living hell with sever headaches, internal problems, and uncontrollable bleeding compounded by continous knee problems. In fact, I haven't quite accepted the fact that I still need a knee replacement. But the pain reminds me on a daily basis that I will have to face this fact in the near future. Finally, the day would come when I would be released from my doctor's care, and I began working out again. Workong out with training partner and ex-pro quarterback, Heath Shuler, the intensity level of our workouts grew higher and higher, and I got stronger. "His appetite to succeed and get back in top shape was incredible. I've never seen anyone with that kind of tricep power anywhere," Shuler stated.
My strength level rose dramatically. In fact, during a routine bench workout fitness director JB Fields, an accomplished powerlifter was watching me bench press 550 lbs. JB pulled me aside getting me interested in bench press competitions. JB would work with me on technique and specific training programs. JB realized even though I was 43 years old, that I was a diamond in the rough. "With hard work and a proper nutrition program he has the potential to make history," claimed JB. I would inddeed; on January 18,2003, in my very first APF powerlifting competition I would win the the bench press competition in both masters and open divisions at the 220 lbs. weight class with a world record bench press of 600 lbs. My personal best to date is 650 lbs. bench. I also set my sights on winning the world championship this year in Darwin, Austraila. I want to thank my sponsors, the Rush Fitness Complex and my partner and best friend, Larry Gurney, who never gave up on me through the tough challenges. Also, APEX, for supplying me with the highest quality supplements on the market today. I live my life by my own mission statement engraved upon my soul, "Passion, Vision, and Pride."
I'd like to make a special thanks to my wife, Vickie, who is the coach in my corner always encouraging me along the path to success.