September 12, 2017 By Jeanne Michael

Carrie Reese: PVE Resident, World Record Holder

In 2016, PVE resident Carrie Reese captured five world weightlifting records, four state-level world records, and Best Lifter honors at various West Coast weight lifting championships. She is the only person of her age in the world to hold four world records in different weight classes at once. As impressive as these records are, even more impressive is the person behind them.

After losing her mother at 4 years of age, Carrie was raised by her father as a multi-sport athlete. Money was short, so she started working when she was 9 years old, scrubbing floors for a teacher. At age 10, she was a housekeeper for a family of five and carefully saved her wages. At 18 she earned a nursing degree, graduating at the top of her class at Lincoln Nursing School and winning a one-year scholarship to Columbia. Another scholarship took her to UCLA, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing, and a master’s degree in public health. Six years in nursing were followed by 12 years in health education and placement. During that period, she earned her law degree at the University of San Francisco by taking night classes for four and a half years.

Carrie retired after 25 years at Liberty Mutual, with a specialty in workers compensation due to her nursing background. With the long hours, nibbling on the job and eating a well-earned dinner late in the evening, her weight soared to 280 pounds. She was also a marathoner at the time, and ended up blowing out both knees. In 2008, her right knee was successfully replaced; followed by her left knee in 2010. An accident during physical therapy shattered her right (dominant) wrist, so she couldn’t even feed herself. She met a lady at physical therapy who suggested that Carrie try her gym, where she got into weight lifting. Carrie has since slimmed to 148 pounds, allowing her to compete in a different weight class.

Carrie has helped many people over the years. She’s had two generations of godchildren and has been a foster parent many times. She has three coaches: a lifting coach, Mike Dayton; an upper body coach, Christian Aquiree; and Christian’s wife Jennifer, who is her food coach.

Every evening, Carrie emails Jennifer a list of the foods she consumed that day. When Carrie gets up at 5:00 a.m., Jennifer has sent a list of what Carrie will eat that day. PVE dining is limited to plain chicken breast, sweet potatoes and green beans—which gets old pretty fast. But her discipline is unbelievable. Carrie hopes to level out at 145 pounds, which will give her three pounds of flexibility (and the freedom to enjoy an occasional lamb chop or steak).


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