REDDING, Calif. - Lifting almost twice your body weight is not an easy task. Doing it in front of a large crowd, with your competition nipping at your heels, it can be unimaginable.
For Hailee Lollar, 19, of Redding it has become her life – and she is really, really good.
"It's a lot of work for little reward," said Lollar. "You'll spend six months and not get any [personal records] and then you put two pounds on your lift and it's a big deal. I like that you have to work really hard for the little increases."
She has gone through nearly three years of training, practicing about five days a week for four hours a day. It is that hard work that makes Lollar a gold medal winner.
"This year, finally getting the gold as my last year as a junior, it was pretty much indescribable," Lollar said.
At the 2014 National Junior Olympics Weightlifting Championships in early February she went to Colorado to put the Northstate on the map.
She took home the gold on two different lifts, the snatch lift technique, 73 kilograms, and the clean and jerk technique, 91 kilograms, Lollar also placed first in the overall score, earning her a third gold medal.
Lifting in the 58 kilogram weight class with her weight around 125 pounds, Lollar has made a natural progression into the sport.
"I was a gymnast," Lollar said. "So I have a really good background in strength and it just kind of came natural."
Her coach knew she was fit for the challenge.
"We spotted it pretty early," said CrossFit Redding owner Bryan Schenone. "As her CrossFit coach I noticed that she didn't like to run. So instead of running I would just let her squat."
"My cardio is not very good at all," Lollar said.
Now, the local 19-year-old is running circles around her competition.
"It absolutely has blown all of our minds," Schenone said. "But again, it's hard work. The great thing about weightlifting is the skill level is high but if you're willing to pick up a barbell and start working then you can do it."
No longer a junior competitor, once she turns 21, the local strong-woman has her sights set on world domination.
"My ultimate goal would be the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. That's the most realistic," Lollar said.