Although Michelle Fayant left Bonners Ferry in 1980 while still in high school, she said growing up in this tight-knit community set the groundwork for all of her life’s experiences.“So much of the foundation of my life—the obstacles, the triumphs, the support and the resulting strength—all came from life experiences and friendships in Bonners Ferry,” said Michelle.
She shares that learning to grow past her pain and physical and emotional scars she endured as a child, and the support that her childhood friendships provided her, was something she looked back on when she fought to become a world champion in powerlifting.
She competes in three lifts—squat, bench and deadlift—and has won two Masters World championships for the 3 Lifts competitions in raw/classic powerlifting and two Masters World championships for bench only in raw/classic as an over 50 lifter. Michelle has earned a total of 15 world records and still holds the world records for bench in both the 3 Lift competition and the Single Lift competition.
Now living in Boise, last year Michelle made the decision to transition into her own business and now works as a public speaker, breakthrough coach, author, healer and event promoter. “I am currently working to continue to build that business alongside continuing to compete in powerlifting,” said Michelle, who is the USA Powerlifting Idaho state chair and organizes and promotes powerlifting events in the valley.
Although she just began her career as a public speaker and life coach, Michelle has already presented to Mastermind groups and workshops affiliated with Women Ignite in Boise. She has several more events planned for the near future.
“My target audience is women over 40 facing transition in their lives and who are now struggling to find fulfillment for themselves that is based outside of family and children; motivating women to find that they are enough and can still achieve the things they have dreamed of, becoming their own superhero in the process and finding their brilliance within,” said Michelle.
Michelle has co-written a book and just completed her first solo book, “Lifted Up, A Memoir of Overcoming Obstacles to Find a Champion Within.”
When she looks back on her time in Bonners Ferry, the memories are vivid, and she is grateful for the time spent here.
“I loved the bond, the small-town closeness and lifelong support that has come from the area. I still have fond memories of cliff jumping in Moyie Springs, riding my bike up and down the old North Hill, Kootenai River Days and the wilderness that surrounds my childhood home,” recalls Michelle. “Memories of working in the theatre, the hop fields and several restaurants, building a work ethic from an early age. The hot northern summers and the deep snow and snow-laden evergreens are always near to my heart.”