Weatherford Democrat

Sports

July 7, 2013

Survival of the strongest

Aledo resident converts health-seeking exercise regimen into competitive windfall

By GREG WEBB

ALEDO – Around 20 years ago, Aledo resident Craig Bowen called upon a past pursuit that had helped him achieve goals as a young athlete. Today, Bowen has excelled beyond what was originally an attempt to regain his overall health, and continues to reap benefits from the perpetuation of the activity – lifting weights.

A former marine who had a service-related disability, Bowen, who is a paramedic for MedStar EMS in Fort Worth was self-admittedly in ‘pretty bad shape’ at 30-years-old when a doctor advised him to find a form of exercise he liked and would stick with as part of his lifestyle.

“Weight lifting was a natural fit for me,” Bowen said, now 51-years-young.

Bowen dove into the activity with relish, gaining strength enough to catch the eye of a fellow gym-dweller, who suggested he take a stab at powerlifting competitively, which he eventually began in 1995.

A fast-forward to the last March reveals that Bowen took more than a stab at the sport, as he won his 19th Texas state powerlifting title at the Natural Athletes Strength Association (NASA) meet. He took the title in his division with a 415 lbs. bench press and curling 175. He also has a national title ‘under his belt.’

Before powerlifting became a prep competition, weight lifting had a practical application to support the physical requirements for other sports, which is how Bowen first took up the activity.

“I actually got involved in weight lifting when I was playing football in high school,” Bowen said. “We were in Class 4A, which was the top classification then, and I understand I was one of the smallest offensive linemen in the state at that time.

“I played at Irving High School, and we were ranked fairly high in the state both my junior and senior years. Although I was one of the smallest, I was also one of the strongest because I worked very hard at the weight lifting. And I was pretty mean, as well, I guess. I loved the contact, and earned my spot.”

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