A BIRTHDAY for most people usually involves sinking a few quiet, or possibly not so quiet, alcoholic beverages in the company of family and friends.
That’s not really Mundaring powerlifter Kat Rumbold’s style.
The pocket dynamo will instead celebrate her 35th birthday just two days before she competes in the World Powerlifting Congress’ World Powerlifting Championships in Orlando, Florida.
Currently, Rumbold holds world powerlifting records for the squat, the deadlift and the total in the 75kg weight division.
This year, she’s moving up a division.
“I’m looking to go up to 82kg and see if I can blow those out of the water,” she said.
“Just filling up that records chart with my own name would be fantastic, get rid of all the Russians off there, that’d be a bit of fun.”
Natural confidence and a wry demeanour have always been a trademark of Rumbold.
She began lifting when, as a self-described “grossly overweight” 27-year-old, she picked up some weights and a bar from the local tip.
After six months, she discovered powerlifting, but this wasn’t a passing interest.
From the very start, she wanted to be the very best, a drive that she says in hindsight, well, it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
“About six months in I found a bunch of world records on a website called powerliftingwatch and I was like you know what, I reckon I can do that.
“It never seemed like it was out of reach, to be quite honest, and I look at that now and think I must have been completely insane.”
If that is insane, competing in the Australia’s Strongest Woman at the Arnold Classic Australia on a whim is another thing altogether, given the difference between powerlifting and strongman – or in this case, woman – competition.
“It’s not set up to my advantage, my thing is the big, one rep lift anything, absolute max weight is where I come into my own.
“Strongest Woman is more, as many reps as you can do in a minute, and frankly I’m buggered after that but it’s good fun.”
Even with that disadvantage Kat, who trains out of her own Lambda Academy in Mundaring, managed to claim the title of WA’s Strongest Woman in 2016 and was runner up in 2017.
Currently finishing her Master’s Degree in Strength and Conditioning, Kat enjoys a lot of support from her wife Rie.
“She finds it a bit all-encompasing, to be honest.
“She’s a medical scientist so she really helps me out quite a bit but she’s been put through the wringer.”
As for the World Championships, Kat is feeling confident, and her birthday doesn’t hurt either.
“I really enjoy lifting, so it’s a pretty good day for me.
“If I can work away with a World Championship it’s a bloody great birthday.”