Since 2015, women’s participation in powerlifting has more than doubled. Often documented through instagram athletes and encouraged by the mantra “strong is the new skinny,” the face of heavy lifting has been changing. Schunck, while part of that movement, is also very different. She is not the best, not the strongest, and not the loudest—in fact, she shirks most public affirmations of her athletic prowess or progress.
“I don’t think I have good genes for any kind of sport,” she says. “Nobody is ever taught how to be athletic.”
But week after week, as the numbers rise and fall, as her determination grows and wanes, Schunck persists. She makes that Saturday morning drive, rallies herself, and lifts.