With the new year now in full swing, it’s common to look back on what we’ve done last year, with a stronger focus on changing things up this year: for Homestead powerlifters Richard “Dickie” Spiroff and Kent Spires, it’s just the same.
Working out together for over 15 years now, this powerful pair have been winning national and world powerlifting championships left and right, since they first met.
And just like Batman and Superman, Spiroff explained how their first meeting showed him just how well they could work well together.
"No one in the gym could ever keep up with me,” said Spiroff. “In comes Kent, who is smaller, but stronger than me; I finally found a partner that could last.”
Because they naturally complimented each others strength, by helping to eliminate the other’s weakness, Spires noted the benefit of their differences.
"We worked out different,” Spires said, “I couldn’t keep up with his endurance, but he couldn’t keep up with my strength.”
Additionally, while Spiroff had been arm wrestling since he was in high school, Spires had been weightlifting since high school, and was responsible for getting Spiroff into powerlifting shortly after they initially met.
Fast forward to their most recent win in November, where they both placed first in their individual classes, at the 2019 World Powerlifting Championship in Finland.
Their winning lifts?
Spires lifted an amazing 501 pounds, and Spiroff lifted an impressive 496 pounds.
Now, after these jaw-dropping wins, the future looks a little different for the pair, as another year winds up.
For Spiroff, he’s retiring from powerlifting -- at least for now. At 50 years old, he’s changed his workouts, understanding that his body isn’t quite the same now, than it used to be.
"I’m waking up now without any pain,” said Spiroff. "When we do lift heavy...my body couldn’t handle it...you’re not 20 anymore.”
Going Vegan is now his new focus instead; one that he’s been pleasantly surprised at the results, since not eating meat or any animal products from the beginning of the new year.
"I swear to you, I’ve never had this much energy in my life,” said Spiroff.
Spires, 49 years old, plans to continue competing however, with a new powerlifting challenge ready for 2020.
"Beat my world record, and go higher,” Spires said.
Despite a new year and varied goals, these two friends continue to press on together towards their personal 2020 marks.
I heard a quote earlier this week, that I’m taking into the new year as my own personal motivator; and after meeting these two competitors, it makes even more sense.
"The point of life is not just surviving, but thriving.”
For Spiroff and Spires, thriving is not just something they’ve been doing, but I imagine they will mostly likely continue to do, for years to come.