“I just lift on my own, without a lift partner,” he said, “mostly in my back yard.”
Traditionally lifting in the 275-pound class while weighing in around 250, Bowen lifts in an age group spanning a few years below and above his own age. After he retires from his “regular gig,” he plans to continue lifting and would fulfill a dream to expand his involvement as a participant as well as a mentor.
“When I retire, I would like to open a workout facility with the ambiance of an old-style gym,” he said. “I don’t really want a place where people are wearing the shiny workout suits and designer belts, which sometimes tends to be more of a social club.
My son, Zach, who is 21 [years-old], has traveled with me a lot to the competitions. And when we go to a meet, we look in the towns for the older gyms, where they are doing the “hard-core” lifting.
“That’s the kind of place I would like to run, where there are serious lifters – men, and women - who will have a place to work out and improve. I would like to also attract the younger lifters, as well, so they can learn from the older generation, and experience some of the old-school philosophy of the sport.”
Bowen’s exuberance about the sport is evident in his words, and a quick glance at his track record shows he matches his continuing fervor with his deeds, as well.
I’ve always loved lifting, and the notion that I could gain strength,” he said. “I couldn’t help growing up that I was small, but I could certainly get stronger, and hang with ‘the big boys,’ so to speak.”
The age divisions for most of the federations’ competitions extend well beyond Bowen’s 51 years, with a new record set recently in the 90-and-up division of the WABDL. Asked when he might be ready to place his last trophy on the (rather large) mantel, the lifter mentions something about ‘someone having to pry the bar from his cold, blue fingers.’
Guess that means the 90 year-old’s record could be in jeopardy ,,, in 40 years or so.