Gillian Mounsey is no stranger to coming up big on the big stage.
The Cedar Point gym owner and world class athlete finished third in the 2008 CrossFit Games, where she competed against 91 of the world's fittest athletes.
She’s also been invited to tryout for the U.S. Olympic bobsled team later this summer in Lake Placid, N.Y.
But believe it or not, Mounsey has outdone herself. She placed first in the SPF/GPC National Powerlifting Championship, and set a new world record in the process.
Competing in the Women's Open Raw 165-pound class, the 35-year-old Mounsey broke the GPC world bench press record with a lift of 281.1 pounds.
The competition was staged June 15-16 in Knoxville, Tenn. By winning the national competition, Mounsey has qualified for the GPC World Championships, slated for September in Eger, Hungary.
In addition to her world record bench press, Mounsey also squatted 369.3 pounds, and deadlifted 457.5.
Mounsey and her husband, Mac, own and operate the Crystal Coast Strength and Conditioning Gym in Cape Carteret. Mounsey competed in the Knoxville competition without her husband, a member of the United States Marine Corps recently deployed to Afghanistan.
“I was very nervous going into the meet because this was the first time doing a competition without my husband there to coach me,” she said. “He deployed to Afghanistan on Memorial Day and will be there for nine months. I attribute my success largely to the highly supportive people that I have around me who continue to encourage me and see to it that things get handled at home and at the business, which allows me to pursue my athletic dreams. My very close friend and training partner, Chritis Raimo, accompanied me to the SPF Nationals and served as my coach/handler. This was her first time ever doing anything like this and she did a spectacular job.”
No stranger to competitions of all nature, Mounsey has been competing athletically since just above the age of 2, when she took her first gymnastics class. She knew what it was going to take to win in Knoxville, and came through like a champion.
“I train the way that I compete and generally have a very good sense of my capabilities,” she explained. “I went into this competition extremely prepared mentally and physically. Throughout my life I have thrived on competition and more often than not excel under those circumstances. I have always been able to shut down any negative self talk or doubt that I have in myself as a competition draws near and am able to visualize and mentally rehearse success. My husband Mac always knows that I am in the right mental zone when I say to him, 'I'm going to do this!'. If I set my mind to accomplishing something I am going to make it happen.”
Though her husband wasn't by her side while she competed, Mounsey said he was certainly on her mind.
“My husband and I are training partners. We met several years ago through CrossFit. I saw this meet as an opportunity to make him proud while he is so far away serving our country and show him that all of the hard work that we put in together continues to pay off. We are a team whether training together or not.”
Mounsey is looking forward to competing in Hungary for a world championship. But she’s going to enjoy every facet of the trip, not just the competition.
“I am honored and excited to compete on the world level,” she said. “I look forward to meeting the competitors and bonding over a shared love of the sport. I want to test myself against the best in the world. It is also important to me to take in the entire experience and have fun. I want to travel a bit in Hungary and experience the culture, food, nature, architecture and people. My goals are to make it an experience of a lifetime, to learn something that makes me better and better able to help others and to win!
“I know that I will go out there and do my best. I believe that I have the potential to win. If it does not happen for me this year I will be back stronger and more prepared with more experience the following year.”
Sponsors are being sought to help subsidize the trip to Hungary for the world championships. Anyone interested can call (917) 656-5245 or email Mounsey at email@example.com