“There’s a lot of strong people and I hope to be up there with them.” – Muscogee (Creek) citizen Dakota Baldwin
Baldwin competes in first event
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Muscogee (Creek) citizen Dakota Baldwin said he started lifting weights for a bit over two years.
“I got to the point where my weight was pushing 350 pounds,” he said. “It was getting out of control.”
Baldwin lived in Illinois, but moved back to Oklahoma three years ago.
He said when he got a membership to a gym in Okemah, was the day he became committed to weightlifting.
“No air conditioner and no heater,” Baldwin said. “It was everything that you could think of when it comes to an old school gym.”
At the gym, Baldwin was lifting but was not disciplined lifting. He would go through the motions and exercise.
“I would watch YouTube and learn from there when I began,” he said.
Baldwin began working for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Tourism and Recreation Department as a recreational aide back in January 2017. It was then when he began to be serious about weightlifting.
“Working with my co-workers and then working out with them helped me to get focus and disciplined with weights,” he said.
Baldwin said his co-worker Jalen Frank and former TR Recreational Manager Rojer Johnson were a big help for his workouts.
“Jalen did powerlifting in high school and Rojer is a personal trainer who gave me tips and nothing but great advice,” he said. “They both had a lot of information to give and help me with weightlifting.”
Baldwin decided to enter the Amateur Athletic Union Christmas Open Power Lifting Tournament in Tulsa. He said this was his first time to ever enter something like this.
“There’s a lot of strong people and I hope to be up there with them,” he said.
A similar event was held earlier in the year and motivated his coworker and himself to train for the next one.
“Why not, train for a powerlift meet,” Baldwin said.
His event consisted of the squat, bench press and deadlift exercises.
“Over 60 athletes competed in all divisions that day,” Baldwin said.
Baldwin won his weight class, but still feels he is far from being satisfied.
“It was a learning experience, the nerves were there for this event,” he said.
Johnson said he loved the fact that Baldwin wants to compete in these events. He felt Baldwin can reach his goals with working out.
“He wants to powerlift,” he said. “He wants to push himself.”
Johnson said he is a great young man who has great character and people in the exercise room see that and feed off of him.
“A lot of people that workout come up to him for advice,” Johnson said. “It is great seeing that. He wants to share his knowledge with anyone who needs it.”
Baldwin said this is the first of many events for him. He said he will be ready for the next one.
“The nerves will be gone at the next event,” he said. “I will be ready. Guaranteed.”
The next AAU Open Power Lifting Event will be in May in Tulsa.