What do a 33-year-old Glenn Hills High School teacher and mother of one and a bunch of big, strong, junk-talking, imposing power lifters have in common?
Plenty, says Rhonda Sams, aka Big Kuntry. She can throw a lot of weight around and recently was the only woman competing in the Augusta Open Drug Free Powerlifting Championships, held Jan. 21 at Holiday Inn on Gordon Highway.
Tee Meyers, contest organizer, power lifter and Python Gym owner, said: "She's tough; she don't back down, and in the area there is no one that can touch her. I challenge any female in the area that wants a piece of Rhonda 'Big Kuntry' Sams. Three words: Just bring it."
He continued, "Actually, it's not her. She has such a great coach, who is very sympathetic and never yells at her."
Mr. Meyers might be a little biased - he is her coach.
Ms. Sams said Mr. Meyers approached her at his gym and told her he could make her "one of the best."
"So I trained for about six weeks for my first competition," she said.
That was about seven years and one child ago. Three months ago, she weighed 181 pounds but now is at 155 pounds and feels much better physically and mentally.
"I called Tee and said, 'I can't do this mess anymore; can you train me?' This time, I promised myself I won't quit."
The contest in January was her first in several years.
At the competition, Ms. Sams benched 125 pounds, squatted 325 pounds and dead lifted 385 pounds. She said she wasn't happy with her bench press but thought the contest went well.
"My dead lift is my best." she said. "I have dead lifted 405 pounds before."
As the only woman lifting, Ms. Sams says she competes against herself.
She said she is ready to stick with the sport.
"I really enjoy it. It's a wonderful sport, and all the guys in the gym, they love me, because I am the queen," she said, laughing. "The guys in the gym talk junk, but that makes it (lifting) fun."