FORT CARSON, Colo. – A 1st Space Brigade dual military couple placed first in their respective weight divisions at the Fort Carson Summer Lift-a-Thon, Aug. 15.
Michael and Imari Mars, married staff sergeants with Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Space Brigade, competed in three events – bench press, clean and jerk, and the deadlift.
“When people think of space units, there seems to be this stigma that we’re not the most physically fit or strong,” said Michael, 29, a signals analyst collector. “It always makes me feel good when people underestimate us. In the Army, one of the combat lifesaver skills is to be able to lift somebody to safety. That’s always in the back of my mind.”
Michael, competing against 10 Soldiers in the male lightweight division, benched 296 pounds, clean and jerked 322 pounds, and dead lifted 535 pounds. Imari, 28, a supply sergeant, competed in the female heavyweight division against four Soldiers. She benched 150 pounds, clean and jerked 171 pounds, and deadlifted 308 pounds.
“It’s great to compete and represent the brigade,” Imari said. “Also, this is, and has been, a way for us to bond over the years.”
Michael and Imari, both from Louisiana, met while stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, eight years ago. Michael said they bonded over fitness.
“We’ve been in competitions at every duty station we have been stationed at,” Michael said. “We like to see each other push the limits and we like to compete.”
The couple will compete in the upcoming virtual USA Weightlifting American Open Series III competition in September and the Strong Soldier Competition at Fort Carson in October.