Can You Be A Gold Medal Champion?


Kettlebell Sport World Championship

Daugavpils, Latvia October 10-14, 2018

The Beginning

The start of my journey to competing at the World Championships was not all that long ago, although it seems like a lifetime.  My very first kettlebell competition was in Toronto at the Agatsu meet in April of 2015, I remember it vividly because I had lofty goals and ended up gassing out in 6 minutes (of the 10 minute set) by throwing my 12kg bell at the judge after it slipped out of my hand!!  Thank goodness I wasn’t disqualified….

The Journey

Fast forward 3.5 years to the 2018 World Championships, one which started like the others before with a well-structured training plan.  This past year I had some big goals and some hefty numbers that I was training to hit. Kettlebell Sport has taught me a lot; it has tested my endurance, my patience (which I have very little of), and most of all; my mind.

Competition Day

So my day comes to compete, I chalk my bell with my student by my side and get ready to go. Before I step on the platform in Latvia for my 10 minute set, I knew I had some tough competition; I was going against some great seasoned lifters.  Called onto the platform, I put that out of my mind, took a deep breath and told myself I could do this, just as I had envisioned and just as I had done before.

We start, I wanted to keep a brisk pace of about 21 reps per minute, I was getting yellow flagged by the judges, I was going too fast and not holding my lockout long enough.  Ok, “slow down”, I told myself…….relax…..I dropped my pace, just a bit, nerves were kicking in and stealing some of my strength. Minute 4 was tough, my left grip was giving out much faster than normal, this is what happens when your heart’s racing.  I switched early (you only get to switch hands once), no problem, I have done this before. Minute 6 is always the hardest, still 4 minutes to go and so many reps, but fatigue is starting to set in.

Stay strong, “YOU CAN DO THIS”, I keep telling myself.  

Then minute 8; this is where you just want to put the bell down…...BUT YOU CAN’T, “JUST KEEP GOING!!!”, I’m yelling inside my mind.  I had envisioned this set so many times……. breathe, relax, then I hear a team-mate yelling, “YOU CAN’T SLOW DOWN”!!! Ok, I am exhausted, my arm is shot, and all I can think of is there must be lifters very close to my number, or have already passed me, so I need to keep going…...and keep going FASTER!  I dug deeper than deep, I feel like everything in me was clenched, my face on the video looked like I was in absolute agony, and I was! I could barely control my breathing, but all I knew was I wanted to finish strong and WIN.

I complete 195 repetitions.  I earn the GOLD!!!!! The other lifters were so close; second place only 3 repetitions behind me and third only 3 repetitions behind her.  We all wanted to be on the top of that podium, and we all left it on the platform that day. The next time you come up against something you have been working to achieve remember:  

“Never give up, and trust that your inner strength will always be enough to get you to wherever you strive to be.”


Lisa Pitel-Killah

Lisa is an Entrepreneur, Business Strategist, Functional Medicine Practitioner, Motivational speaker, and Multi-time Kettlebell Sport World Champion.  Lisa has a unique passion for guiding people to truly recognize their full potential. With over 27 years of leading teams, she is an effective communicator, organizer, and trainer.  She has worked with businesses in many different industries, as well as National Teams of Amateur and Professional Athletes. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce with specialization in Finance and Accounting.

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