Tatum McCann

I started my journey into the world of strength and fitness when I was a sophomore in high school and found Olympic weightlifting. I really have my older sister to thank for that, a weekend visiting her when at her university really introduced me to the sport and the ball rolled from there. I was able to find a gym that had bumper plates, which was much rarer at the time, and a fun new hobby has now turned into my entire personality.

The journey from there was not all smooth sailing, as it often goes. Soon after doing my first competition with my sister as my coach and qualifying for youth nationals — which I was very excited about, by the way — a nagging pain in my hip pain became more of an issue. Granted, in my youthful ignorance and hubris, I let this go on for longer than I should have. I was fully convinced that I just needed to work through it and I would be fine. Lifting became adapted to my pain tolerance on any given day, so I dove into learning. I learned about anatomy so I could understand my own body and pain better, and I dove into the coaching side of things. I got my certification and, still in high school, I started working as a CrossFit coach. 

Coaching continued on campus when I went off to college and Pepperdine University and as I got my bachelors in Integrated Marketing Communications, I also got my USAW Level 1 cert and my NASM CPT. I had just started working as a personal trainer when I finally decided I couldn’t deal with modifying my training and after being passed around from doctor to doctor they found a torn labrum and surgery was scheduled. A few months into recovery, COVID hit, I moved back home, I finished college online, and I started training again in my parents’ garage and then in the outdoor yard of my gym where my partner and I started taking clients and building our team. 

The plot twist of the century came when the hip pain was still there after over 6 months of physical therapy. Back to the surgeon, a second opinion, another MRI, and another surgery scheduled just under a year after the first one. I recognize that at this point most people would probably be taking it easy on their body to manage pain and get ready to go under again, but I saw an opportunity. I was already scheduled for surgery; I had a few weeks until I was to have surgery and if I messed anything up, they’d be able to fix it then. Is it a good mentality? Probably not. Did I push weight for the first time in almost 5 years? You betcha. With a stronger hip post-op went by faster this time and 6 months out I was stepping out onto the platform at Nationals. The journey has not been smooth, but I am proud to have found so much joy in my sport, in working with athletes, and in pushing through the hard times. Now I keep busy balancing a full-time marketing job with coaching and my own training, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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I have a consistent routine. Say hi to everyone and set up my equipment first, then it’s headphones in, drink my pre-workout while I do dynamic stretches to warm up, and get moving.

My weightlifting shoes, my pre workout, and thumb tape. I can do almost any lifting day with just those things.

2022 USAW Nationals. I made a pretty severe weight cut in a very short period of time, all while starting a new full-time job, coaching, and training. I ended up doing a hard water cut and made weight at the last second. I had less than 90 minutes to recover before I had to be warmed up and ready to compete. My lifting that day went awful but I made a total and placed second in my category.

I had inhibiting hip pain and issues for years. I finally got into surgery to repair my torn labrum in December 2019. After going through physical therapy and recovery not going as planned, with no actual training for 9 months post-op, they found I had to go in for a second surgery in November of2020. By June 2021, I was competing at USAW Nationals.

Spend time with my family.