Nineteen year old Monique Newton may look like your average teenager on the outside, and at just 106lb she doesn’t exactly cut an imposing figure. But what Monique lacks in physical stature she more than makes up for with heart.
The world of powerlifting is the last place you would expect to find a petite young teenager like Monique, but the fact is that she can lift three times her own bodyweight over her head. She has won twice at the British and world powerlifting championships, won 18 of the 19 tournaments she has contested so far, and is now tipped to take gold at the Olympic Games this year.
These are all very impressive achievements, especially for someone so young, but what is most amazing about Monique is what she has had to overcome in her life to get where she is today.
As a child, Monique suffered stage 4 (the most serious) brain cancer – ganglio neuroblastoma, and was told that she would be dead within two years. She endured months of aggressive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and against all the odds and all of the doctors’ predictions, Monique survived.
But her battles didn’t end there. As a teenager, Monique fell in with the wrong crowd, and ended up leaving home at the age of 15. She then suffered depression and tried to commit suicide by taking an overdose of paracetamol. Fortunately, she was rushed to hospital in time to be saved.
It was when Monique finally overcame depression and got her life back in order that she took up powerlifting. In her words, “‘I took up powerlifting because I wanted to do something where I would be the underdog and have to push myself to get to the top”.
It’s clear from that comment that life has taught Monique you don’t need everything to come easily to you to achieve something in life. While most people look for the easy road, she is doing the opposite. And while many people make excuses about their genes, about being too busy, having a sore back, and so on, she has used harsh adversity to make herself stronger and braver, and then used that strength and courage to overcome all obstacles and succeed regardless.
We can all learn a very valuable lesson from Monique’s inspiring example. The inspiring video below tells her story . . .
Your email address will be totally secure. We hate spam as much as you do, and we will NEVER pass your details on to anyone else.