'The only person that holds you back in life is yourself'

FIFE, Wash. -- A Washington powerlifter who once made a name for herself on the national stage is now making headlines for another reason.

Ali McWeeny of Ellensburg was once a force to be reckoned with in the world of weighlifting, but that all changed three years ago when she lost her left leg in a boating accident.

Doctors said she would never lift weights again, but McWeeny had other ideas. She's now competing again, and her inspirational story was enough to bring her former coach out of retirement.

"I told her if you ever compete in a powerlifting meet again -- a full meet -- I'll come out of retirement and come lift with you. So that's why I'm here today," said her coach, Kevin Stewart.

McWeeny was in Fife on Saturday for a meet, but simply attending the event wasn't enough -- she wanted to test her limits.

Balancing on one leg, McWeeny lifted 121 pounds. The lift was her best since the accident -- a full 17 pounds more than her previous record.

The event was proof that even gravity can't keep the human spirit down.

"The only person that holds you back in life is yourself, and there's no limits to life," McWeeny said. "Life is limitless and that's your choice to limit yourself or not."

In addition to her work in the gym, McWeeny is also reaching out to help others. She recently helped create the Ali McWeeny Award to honor others lifters who have overcome challenges in life.