As she prepared for her first rep of the power lifting competition of the 2019 Special Olympics Colorado Summer Games, Brittany Tregarthen had a lot racing through her head.

Not because of the pressure of the event or the pressure to win. Rather, she had to reacquaint herself with competing in the sport.

Tregarthen has been competing in the Special Olympics since the start of the decade, but many of those years came in Alaska. After spending the first 20 years of her life in Colorado, she and her parents moved to Kodiak, Alaska, in 2007.

A few years later, she became involved in numerous sports with the Special Olympics, including bowling (one of her personal favorites), track and field (in which she competed earlier this year), floor hockey, bocce, cycling and snow-shoeing.

None of them, however, mean as much to her as power lifting.

"The Special Olympics are really amazing," Tregarthen said. "The power lifting is especially awesome, since I want to be a coach someday."

One of the problems she's faced with power lifting, a problem that made Saturday's festivities at the Maverick Pavilion on Colorado Mesa's campus more challenging at the start, is that it's only now making its return to Grand Junction.

Tregarthen and her family returned to Grand Junction in the fall of 2016, but only now is she returning to the realm of power lifting.

"We didn't realize there was no power lifting program here at the time, so we were very glad when they started it up again," said Suzanne Bobo, Tregarthen's mother. "It's awesome to be back in this sport. She's been out for four years now, so she's very happy to be back in it."

Tregarthen participated in the World Games in Los Angeles in 2015, but after that, had numerous medical setbacks that sidelined her athletically, including a pinched nerve in the back of her neck and an embolism in an eye.

Once she recovered, she was quickly back to sports.

"Brittany is all about her sport, whatever sport she's doing," Bobo said. "It's given her an opportunity to become not just proficient at something, but great at something that she cares about."

Saturday saw her long-awaited return to competitive power lifting.

"I've been doing this a long time, but I haven't done power lifting in four or five years," Tregarthen said.

Helping Tregarthen return to the sport are Matthew Hancock and Elizabeth Guzman, who have been working with her since the start of April. Hancock is the lead trainer, a head coach of sorts, and Guzman assists him.

The first step Hancock needed to take was establish a training regimen to get Tregarthen back in the swing of things.

"The training routine consists of the core lifts: the bench, the squat and the deadlift," Hancock said. "We use sub-maximum weights, weights she's able to perform for a specific number of reps, honing in her technique and still maintaining a base level of strength."

Tregarthen was among a handful of athletes to successfully complete every rep in all three events, helping her finish first in the bench press and squats, second in deadlifts and first overall.

Not a bad return.

"She's probably one of the most approachable and focused athletes I've ever dealt with," Hancock said. "She's super fun to be around. She's super patient, which you have to be in power lifting because it's such a delicate sport that you have to develop progression in over a long period of time.

"It takes a lot to get better and she has that in spades. She's very patient and very easy to teach."

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