Christy Cardella – Women’s Hall of Fame 2016

From: Louisiana

Currently Lives: Spring, Texas

When did you Began Powerlifting: 

I began PL in 1993. When I joined my high school powerlifting team at Tioga High School.

What is your athletic background?

I began gymnastics at a very young age. Then moved on to cheerleading and powerlifting in high school.

How did you get into Powerlifting?

Marvin Hall (the powerlifting coach) saw me cheering at a football game and walked up to me and said “You’re gonna be a powerlifter”.  I thought um ok…… I had no idea what I was doing.  Several of the other cheerleaders powerlifted so we could be better at cheerleading.  I had no idea that it would become such a huge part of my life.

First Meet: I can honestly say I have no idea it was a LHSPLA Meet at ASH and my lifts probably weren’t a lot…

Best Meet: I never really kept track the way people do now.  Most of the things I did were long before they tracked things on computers.  The most I ever squatted was I think 348, and deadlift was 380ish I think….. but my best bench was in 2007 at Bench Worlds in Denmark, Thisted I benched a World Record in 75(165lb)kg class with 161.5kg (356lbs).

Accomplishments:

  • Competed for the Louisiana Tech Iron Dogs
  • Won 2 Collegiate National Championships
  • On the ’98,’99, and ’00 Jr. World Teams
  • Several Bench Press Nationals Titles
  • IPF Open Bench Press World Champion: 2004, 2007, 2010
  • Broke the World Record in the 75kilo weight class twice
  • Arnold Sports Festival – Titan Pro Bench Competitor
  • Texas State Chair since 2006

To date my greatest accomplishment are my 2 boys Anthony and Angelo with my amazing husband IPF World Champion Tony Cardella.

Highlights/Memorable Events
A lot of the major highlights were making amazing memories and friends for life on these incredible trips I was so privileged to get to take.
I met my husband through this sport and he was my handler at some incredible events.  I met my Bestie Katie Ford on our first trip to Jr. Worlds.

I will always remember that moment I heard the anthem being played because I had won worlds for the first time.  I thought of every coach I ever had that got me to that point it was priceless.

Seeing Tony win Worlds was something I was so grateful I got to see and photograph.

Seeing Jon Magendie win his first Colligate Nationals with a great group of little Cajun girls was awe inspiring.

Doing a double man deadlift in front of 7 thousand people at the Tech basketball games was always a highlight the nerves and hearing that many people gasp all at once was so much fun.

Who influenced you in powerlifting?

It’s a pretty long list…..
In High School it was Marvin Hall and Russel Seeser
When I graduated from high school Marvin was the one that told me that I should go tryout for the colligate team at LATech. So glad I listened

In College it was Dr. Billy Jack Talton, Jon Magendie, Jennifer Gaudreau, Taurus Johnson.
Those first few years they changed everything about the way I lifted especially my technique and really encouraged me to compete for the team.

One year in 97 or 98 Dr. Talton took a group of girls to a women’s nationals and I had no idea that you could continue the sport after college I was hooked.
I was later invited to be on a JR World team and I went where I met Larry Maile and Jim Ford.  Jim Ford handed me an altoid and we were friends ever since.  He wrote me the nicest email encouraging me to keep competing and training and that I had something special to achieve.

After College my biggest influence I think was Jeff Douglas he inspired me to train and gave me my first workouts and training log.  He showed me that even if you didn’t have a team of 40 people around you, you could still do this.

My biggest influences of all were my Mom and Dad. they taught me so much that I used in powerlifting especially mental toughness, having a routine right down to which shoe you put on first.  How to picture the way you want things to happen in your head first then go out and make them happen.  How to keep things bottled up and then let all that energy out on the platform.  I tried to be coachable, even if he was never my coach he coached me through it all.

Contribution in Powerlifting:
I have volunteered as a ref, as a coach, as meet director, as the State Chair for Texas, and as the Committee Chair for the State Chair Committee.

As your name goes down in history, what would you like to be most remembered for?

I think that I would most like to be remembered for being supportive.  For lifting people up, giving them that feeling of acceptance like they matter here in this organization.  I want people to feel like they could make a difference in this sport and that they could give it 100% just like I did.  I hope people remember me as friendly and helpful and that they could call on me if they needed guidance or support.

What words of wisdom would you like to pass down to the future female powerlifters?

  1. Have FUN if it’s not fun then try something else until you find the activity that brings you Joy.
  2. Your work ethic is everything. It’s just as much about mental toughness as it is being fit and talented.  A LOT of Amazing people have influenced the way I think about training about competing about continuing to compete. Even when you feel you have no more left to give.  Your work ethic will carry you to the next level.
  3. Find someone who knows what they are talking about this can be hard to do in these times but you will recognize this person by the way they say less and do more.
  4. Don’t be afraid to do something you’ve never done before, that’s how you break records
  5. But mostly believe in yourself and when you don’t find a friend that can believe in you and pushes you to your best. (I married mine 🙂 )