Senior Canadian Championships

Training up to the Senior Canadian Championships, I had a great feeling. My training was on point. I was hitting my openers, and numbers even higher, with ease. I decided to move up a category from 69kg to the 75kg class because I was tired of cutting weight. I couldn’t stand starving myself for another minute; I needed all my strength and power for this particular meet.

The big day, Mother Nature had to surprise me with her best gift of all. I was determined not to let this minor setback affect me mentally, because I believe in mind over matter. And you can overcome whatever you`re faced with at a particular moment if you have a strong mind.

In my opinion, Olympic Weightlifting is 90% mental.


During warm-up, the weights felt light. I was moving quick and powerful. I felt confident and strong in my attempts. The snatches were over, but I wasn’t too pleased in my performance, I could have done better but I knew it was due to technical error, not strength.

The clean and jerks were next, I knew I had to shake the anger I felt about the last session and prepare mentally for what was next. My cleans were slow and not as powerful as my snatches and my coaches (Clance Laylor and Alexander Varbaov) were starting to worry. I was supposed to open at 110kg but they decided to drop down to 105kg opener. I knew the main reason for my sluggishness was due to Mother Nature`s untimely visit. I never let that affect me psychologically though. I was doing well up until my last clean and jerk, my rest time was cut short and I jumped 6kg without rest.


My dad moved up 1kg for extra rest, and the weight was now at 117kg. As I was walking towards that weight, I had no fear whatsoever. I was ready. I felt like I had turned into `She Hulk`. I got the clean. I was so ecstatic, but I knew I had to jerk it, so I was calming myself down while that 117kg was on my shoulders. I went for the jerk (put everything I had in it) but as soon as the weight went up and I was getting ready to lock it out I felt excruciating pain and heard the sound of cracking bones in my left elbow. I immediately dropped the weight behind me and dropping to my knees, I bent over grasping my left elbow, weeping inconsolably.

Instantly, my dad and several others ran to my side while I knelt down crying. I know in my heart of hearts, without a doubt, that I would have gotten that 117kg clean and jerk if my elbow had not given out!

Since the injury, I have seen three doctors. It turns out that I have torn my ulnar collateral ligament which is responsible for keeping my elbow and forearm stable and prevent them from flopping around. Many thoughts are running through my mind. I feel lost and have no idea what to do with myself. When I got home and told my sister Kia the diagnosis, I broke down.

I can’t believe what is happening to me, I do not want to accept that I am injured and have to stop Olympic Weightlifting for 3-6 months until I am healed completely. I feel useless.

But I will get past this, mind over matter.

3 Things Weightlifting Has Forced Me To Learn About Myself


The 3 things that weightlifting has forced me to learn about myself is that I am a fighter, I love food and I am a role model.

Number 1, In my 4 years of lifting I have realized that I am a fighter. When it comes down to the last minute, the last second, the last chance I raise to the occasion. I don’t just settle for okay, I fight to be the best. My fight or flight instincts kick in and its ALWAYS fight. I am an extremely competitive person, I hate losing.

Number 2; There is no question that I live to eat not eat to live. I am always thinking about what my next meal is going to be while eating my current meal. I am not what you call a “fit chick”, I don’t count my calories, I don’t like vegetables (I eat them because I have too and going number 2 helps me lose weight), and I never look for a healthier alternative for example; diet soda, no added sugar, zero calories…. NEVER!

Last but certainly not least I have just currently come to realize I am a role model. At competitions people would approach my dad or me and say how I inspire and motivate them. One comment really stood out to me was a woman who walked up to my father watching lifters compete had said to him how much she and her son love watching me lift. My presence is so calm, elegant, confident and strong as I walk and present myself on the platform before I lift. Her words sound as if she is mesmerized by my grace. People from all over the world comment how they love how I carry myself, my positive attitude and my hard work ethic. I am truly touched by all of the positive feed back sent my way, all I can say is thank you. I have come to learn a lot about myself both positive and negative and I am sure I will learn a lot more in my up coming lifting years.

The Things That Girls Go Through

Mother nature wasn’t having it on my last Junior Competition. The week before the competition my dad/coach decided to change my normal taper because I needed to get my legs stronger. So, two weeks before my competition, my squat went up. Because of all the squatting I had done, my
dad decided to try a different taper from my usual one.

The change from my normal taper plus Mother Nature (who kindly greeted me with her wonderful monthly gift) greatly affected my performance. The Friday before the big day I almost had a mental breakdown because things weren’t going as planned. I missed lifts that I normally lift on a regular. I was literally having a nervous breakdown. I didn’t want to accept the fact that I had to lift lower weights than I normally do. I was slowly feeling my pride creep away. After a heart to heart with my mom who gave me an uplifting pep talk, I relaxed.

The following day I just had to let life happen and attack whatever was on the bar. I didn’t achieve the numbers I would have liked but I learned how important it is to fight regardless of the situation. And I’m glad that I did because I performed better than I had expected, under the circumstances.


Fly kicks Maya

I’m not a party girl nor do I keep a wide circle of friends, but I do have a couple of close ones who I enjoy hanging out with. However, with my demanding training schedule, I don’t really have much time to spend with friends; it’s a good thing they are understanding. So many times I’ve had to turn down invitations because of training. I would often, and still do feel like I’m missing out. But I have to remind myself that my goals are much more than just going out and partying with friends in order that I don’t feel too bad about missing out on all the fun. When I was first starting out in Olympic Weightlifting I didn’t have any idea how many sacrifices I would have to make. But I have recently accepted the fact that I’m going to be missing many more get-togethers, movies and parties in order to attain the goals I have set for myself.

Some Quick Updates

150kg / 331 lbs Back Squat at the 2015 Ontario Juniors. I broke two junior records and one senior record with a 92 kg snatch at the 2015 Ontario Juniors. Read more...


Today on December 5, 2015 at my final Ontario Junior competition, I broke 2 Junior and Senior records in the snatch. I snatched 92kg breaking my previous record of 88kg. I was ecstatic about hitting that number after attempting it many times in competition, but when the clean and jerk session came around I couldn’t even clean 110kg in any of my three attempts. I was so bewildered because just the previous week I had clean and jerked 115kg, so I had no idea what was going on. And to add insult to injury, I had just missed my best female lifter Sinclair by missing that lift! Read more...

The Struggle

Being an Olympic Weightlifter is not easy; trying to be successful at anything is never easy. I have never liked training. I have never liked the burning sensation of reps, having to push my body to its breaking point everyday, and going home exhausted, not having enough energy to even take a shower. I have never liked the soreness in my body the next morning following a particularly difficult training. I have never liked the hard work I have to put in to get the results I want. But, in my mind, I have no choice. I do this because I want to, because I love, crave and am addicted to success. It is a constant grind; having to wake up when every single muscle, ligament and bone in my body is telling me not to; taking the TTC transit to training, all the while motivating myself for another training session.

The toughest part of being an Olympic Weightlifter is getting through a sticking point. A sticking point is when an athlete is at a standstill in weights, where there are no personal best being made, pretty much stagnant. It is essentially a mental block, and I have to constantly remind myself that “I am a champion and this is what champions endure, this is just mental” and to “keep pushing through”. My dad/coach always tells me to “just work!” when I’m having a particularly tough session. Ultimately, the struggle is well worth it. It is worth it every time I step out onto the podium to collect a medal, and it will be even more worth it when I step out onto the ultimate podium, the Olympic podium to collect the ultimate medal!

The Hookgrip Spartakiad Competition

I was super excited to compete at the Hookgrip Spartakiad competition in Philadelphia on October 4. It’s always fun and exciting to travel out of the country to compete. My family and I were having a good time shopping and passing time waiting for the big day. The morning of, I woke up feeling awful! I was puking, experiencing diarrhea, excruciating abdominal pain and cold sweats. I had no idea what was going on! Turned out I had FOOD POISONING! It was so bad my mom considered taking me to the hospital, I was almost certain that I would not be competing that evening based on how I looked and was feeling. Couple of hours later I was feeling a lot better, I had taken pain relieve pills my mother had given me. A few more bouts of vomiting, the runs and abdominal pain I was able to sleep, thanks to the all the TLC my mother had given me. I was able to compete that evening no question.

Hours before the competition, I was very anxious about how I’d perform, considering how sick I was. I was planning to open with a lot higher numbers but seeing how the morning went, I had no option but to lower my attempts. In the middle of the session when the snatches were over, my sister Kia ran up to me excited and said “MAYA!!! You came second in the snatch!!!” I was so shocked and thrilled, that that was all I was thinking about from then on. Turns out I placed 3rd in the clean and jerk, 2nd in the snatch, and 2nd overall. So in total I was awarded three Hookgrip metals. This experience helped me learn a lot about myself and how far I can push mentally and physically. I am very proud of my performance after battling a debilitating bout of food poisoning that very morning.

CBCTV: Maya Laylor Profile


Birthday Record at Variety Village Open

After returning from a 6th place, not so good performance at the IWF Junior Worlds Poland June 11th by her personal standards. Maya competed at the Variety Village Open on her birthday July 4th and breaks her clean & jerk record of 112kg/247lbs with 115kg/253lbs. She totalled 200kg and won the best lifter award for pound for pound strongest female. Happy Birthday Maya!