NANAIMO — During the day Rachel Robertson is working with clients as a kinesiologist. In her spare time, she's one of Canada's top Kettlebell competitors.
The sport is similar to weightlifting, with categories of snatch and clean and jerk, but in Kettlebell it's all about repetitions rather than maximum weight.
At the recent West Coast Classic in San Francisco Robertson finished first in the 20 kg snatch.
She completed 110 reps, which is the stardard to be designated as Canada Master of Sport. She also finished first in the 24 kg long cycle or clean and jerk.
Her personal best in that event is 104 repetitions but getting to 74 still ranked her better than the rest of the field.
There are about five to seven lifters at the Nanaimo Kettlebell Club and Robertson says the sport has a long way to go to match its popularity overseas.
"It's a new sport in North America, it's huge over in Europe. It's a slowly growing sport but in Europe it's really competitive," Robertson said.
The next big event for Robertson is the Canadian Championship July 22 in Moose Jaw Saskatchewan.
This will be her third Nationals as she tries to get to her second ever World Championship.
Robertson was able to compete at the World's in Dublin in 2015 and finished eighth in her competitions.
She had to pay for her travel and accommodations but some of her clients did some fundraising to pay for the cost of her uniform. With Kettlebell being such a new sport in Canada there is no funding available to help with the costs of going to competitions.
Travel costs will be a major factor if she does qualify for the 2017 World Championship in Seoul, South Korea in November.
Even before then, Robertson says Nanaimo will host its first large Kettlebell competition.
"We're joining up with Hercules Weightlifting. It'll be a two day event where they're going to do Olympic weightlifting on the Saturday and then the Kettlebell competition will be on the Sunday. It's going to be Sept. 9 and Sept. 10," Robertson said.
On twitter: @danmarshall77