• Jennifer Mecham

Elite #31 Gairett Pirkig

Updated: Apr 21

Gairett Pirkig Although with us for only a few years Gairett had a very successful run at Diablo. Unlike most of our members Gairett was already a competitive lifter with an elite total when he joined. Coming to us after a layoff he had previously posted best lifts of 749 squat, 633 bench and a 556 deadlift in the 242 lb class. Weighing less than 200 lbs upon joining Diablo and learning an entirely new style of training he quickly surpassed his all time best lifts, this time competing in a lighter weight class (220).

A broken foot and knee problems had temporarily derailed his training so he put his focus on the bench press. He was just coming into his own with a big 722 @ 220 when work and family obligations gave Gairett a change of direction in life. He may hate this story but let's talk about that broken foot for a minute! I remember being in the front of the gym when I heard this big crashing sound followed by an odd and barely audible moaning. Without even looking I knew instantly what had happened. I had seen him staring at the lever row as it was too close to the wall thinking about how to move it. I had said, "be careful when you move that thing...let me show you how first." He had either shrugged me off or didn't hear me. So he had grabbed the machine as it was loaded and basically pulled all the weight down directly onto his foot.

Turning around to see Gairett on the ground writhing in pain I asked, "what did you do dummy? Did you just break your damn foot?" He yells back in a cracking voice, "I broke the shit out of my foot." Sure enough upon removal of the bloody sock his metatarsals were smashed and he had popped his big toe like a grape. I had to call Andrea as there wasn't a car big enough to lay him down in and sitting was not going to be an option. I couldn't help but needle him with jokes the whole time, in part trying to get his mind off his destroyed foot. At one point, nearly out of earshot, I was getting the SUV ready I heard him say to Andrea, "will you please make him stop talking." Poor Gairett, that had to be a rough day.

Although no longer a powerlifter, Gairett leaves a legacy of competing as part of our national team and training in the main group where he achieved outstanding career best lifts of 815, 722 and 705 in the 220 lb class. An elite lifter and solid teammate by any standard.

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