AFLCMC engineer and son compete in powerlifting competition

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Mikaley Kline, Air Force Life Cycle Management Public Affairs
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – When one thinks about father-son bonding activities they might think of a camping excursion, fishing trip or even attending a sporting event, but one Air Force Life Cycle Management Center father chose to participate in a powerlifting competition with his son.

David Lees, an AFLCMC Large Aircraft Infrared Contermeasures Systems Engineer and his son Isaac, recently participated in the annual powerlifting competition held at the Wright Field Fitness Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on Dec. 9, 2023.

“My youngest son, Isaac, played football, basketball, soccer, and did track in high school,” said Lees. “He’s now off to college and enjoys lifting so I thought this would be a great way for us to spend time together.”

This was the first time the pair had ever done anything like this.

“We both learned a lot from this experience,” said Lees. “I actually ended up squatting way more than I had hoped for, but I did hurt my arm bench pressing so I had to stop before the deadlift portion.”

Powerlifting is a strength-based sport in which athletes compete to lift as much weight correctly and safely for one repetition in three separate lifts:  back squat, bench press and deadlift.

“For me, I mainly did what I could to learn more about the three different lifts and worked out in my basement gym,” said Lees. “My son primarily worked out at the gym on the Wright State campus.”

When asked if he’d participate again, Lees didn’t hesitate to say yes.

“I would absolutely do it again,” he said. “My son and I learned a lot. Everything was put together so well, and everyone was so nice and helpful, no matter how much weight they were lifting.”

For Lees, powerlifting is the opposite physical activity of what he did while on active duty.

“My main focus while Active Duty and when I initially retired was endurance sports,” Lees said. “I got to do Ironman races with my other son, and the opportunity to have a similar hobby with Isaac is great.”

One of the big takeaways for Isaac was that this allowed him to participate in a hobby with his father.

“I liked planning for the competition with my dad,” Isaac said. “We both learned a lot from the event, and I am excited for the next one. We had a great time together.”
Other competitors included:
  • Beth Lewis
  • Damon Stachler
  • Karli Wallace
  • Megan Hillengas
  • Ross Hinsken
  • Christiana Vidal
  • Shelby McDowell
  • Spencer Johnson
Beth Lewis was the winner for the female category and Ross Hinsken was the winner for the male category.

A full image gallery is available below:
  2023 WPAFB Powerlifting Competition