Bill Cookson – A Lifting Hero

by Al Myers

Bill Cookson and his 185 kilogram (407.7#) Zercher Lift at the 2003 IAWA International Postal Meet. Bill placed first in the Open 110 kg class and 3rd Best Lifter Overall in the Open Division.

Tomorrow in the USAWA Daily News there will be a story by a lifter who exemplifies courage, commitment and honor. That lifter is Bill Cookson.  I felt an introduction was in order before tomorrow’s story – because Bill is one of the most modest people I have ever met and he would not “brag” about his lifting accomplishments (so I’ll do it for him!).  I also want everyone to know his importance to the Dino Gym and to the USAWA.

Bill is currently in Egypt, as part of the Army National Guard, on a World peace keeping mission.  I asked Bill to share how his training was going in this challenging environment – which will be covered in tomorrow’s story.  Bill is one of the founding members of the Dino Gym. Bill and I have trained together off and on for over 20 years, and competed in many powerlifting and All-Round meets together. Bill is a fierce competitor, and always is looking for new challenges in life.  When he told me about his plans to re-enlist in the Army National Guard (after a 13 year break in service) a couple of years ago, I was not really surprised. It takes a special kind of man to make this change in life when already settled down with a family, and Bill is that kind of man.

Bill has competed several times in my Annual Dino Gym Challenge, the IAWA World Postal Meets and record days at the gym.  He currently holds over 20 USAWA records with lifts such as these:  380# Steinborn Lift, 355# Pullover and Push, 227# Index Fingers Deadlift, 540# Heels Together Deadlift, 352# 12″ Base Squat, and 340# Alternate Grip Bench Press.  I should mention that Bill is very much against lifting gear – and often even does big lifts like these WITHOUT a lifting belt.  His best powerlifting marks are 534# Squat, 380# Bench Press, and 606# Deadlift.   Again these were done without lifting equipment.

The Dino Gym is very proud of Bill Cookson – and looks forward to his return to the gym so we can train together once again.  I am sure you will enjoy his story  – it shows that you can still be an All-Round Weightlifter no matter what training obstacles or life circumstances stand in your way.