Weight of the world

When pushed to the limits of their abilities, many students would simply give up and walk away. Junior Michael Cadena is not like most students. When faced with a challenge, he pushes himself as hard as he can, and then a little harder. Michael is active in several sports, including football, wrestling, and track, and while he does well in all, he excels in arguably the hardest of all – powerlifting. Michael is one of the best powerlifters on campus, as well as the state.

Those who know him best say he is fun loving, charismatic, gentle, and is always willing to have some fun. He always wears ties to school, which brings smiles to those around him.

“The reason why I wear ties everyday is to look professional,” Michael said. “My grandma gave me a couple of these ties too before she passed away, so it ties me to [her], and you know, it is cool to wear one.”

Michael had the support of his family and friends from the start of his powerlifting career, and they continue to support him as he tries new things and becomes a better lifter.

“My family members are my inspiration andare my role models,” Michael said. “My cousin Jeff inspired me to join all the sports I’m in now and to never give up in life no matter how hard it gets.”

Between training, competitions, and school, Michael spends his limited time with his family and friends, always learning from what they have to say.

“My uncle Jesus was my role model because he was smart, respectful, and athletic,” Michael said. “It is sometimes hard to find time for myself, but I always make the best of it.”

Many of Michael’s teammates and coaches look up to him as a leader. From the field, to the track, to the area floor, people are drawn to his personality and leadership abilities.

“Michael is a leader by example, by what he does,” powerlifting coach Robert Jesurun said. “Some people yell, some people scream, some people encourage. I think Michael helps people a lot, I think he encourages others to be intense when they lift.”

Even with his impressive record, Michael still has ambitious goals for his future. His desire to always improve compliments these goals, and past achievements help push Michael to do his best.

“Last year [I got] first place in the 275 class at my very first powerlifting meet,” Michael said, “I went to state, competed against the whole division 1 lifters that had qualified, placed 10th, and did this as a sophomore”

Those who powerlift with Michael say he is a leader who always has a positive impact.

“He pushes me when I don’t want to do anymore,” junior Cory Goosby said. “He makes everybody want to lift more.”

With the full support of the campus, family, and friends behind him, many expect to see Michael achieve great things in sports and in life.

“He does the right thing.” senior Chris Vivero said. “If you work hard, you can be really good at what you do.”