Many people in the United States dream of taking trips out of the country and seeing how people in those countries live their lives.
For Westwood alum Arron Gonzales, he has been able to do that and is planning to go back.
How will he get there?
In September of 2012, the 264-pound Gonzales competed in Poland at the junior world powerlifting championships. He won the overall world title for the super heavyweight division after coming in as the underdog.
He won gold in the squat, placed second in the bench and third in the deadlift to capture the title.
Since that title in Poland, Gonzales said his passion is still with the sport and hopes to compete for a long time.
“I’ve started to slow down a little bit, but there’s a guy, Steven Mann, who I saw a couple of years ago in a meet in Orlando who was 50 years old,” Gonzales said. “And he was sitting there putting up 854 pounds on the squat. That’s my ultimate goal is to be able to do that kind of weight at that age, which means I have to take care of myself.”
Taking care of himself, he said, has changed over the years because of his mentality and the help that he has been able to get.
In high school, Gonzales worked by himself to train and to work hard to make it as far as he could in each event.
But after high school, he knew he needed a different mentality as he moved up in difficulty based on his age group.
“It’s a huge difference between high school and the college level,” Gonzales said. “In high school, there’s 10 guys in your weight class and you only compete against two or three of them. When you get to the college level, you have all 10 guys coming after you. And then you get to the junior world level, and you’re playing catch up.