PARK RIDGE, N.J. — Powerlifting coach Chris Della Fave of Park Ridge is no stranger to the sidelines.
Sure, being on the platform is fun for Della Fave, who finished first in his weight class at the Arnold Classic in Ohio last March.
Just as gratifying for the 28-year-old Fort Lee High School business teacher, though, is seeing his athletes’ success.
“It’s always nice to see your hard work as a coach pay off,” said Della Fave, a Rochelle Park native. “You can’t lift or play for them, but it’s nice to see the time put into their programs and practices translate on the field and the platform.”
Della Fave’s powerlifting team at Hillsdale’s Bergen County Barbell took home first place at a regional competition in May, and his high schoolers on the Park Ridge football team earned the school its first division championship since 2006.
Della Fave is putting his personal goals on hold as he recovers from surgery to his torn pectoral muscle — an injury he earned with pride last month while bench-pressing 425 pounds.
Right now, recovery is a matter of rest.
“I’ve been going kind of crazy not being able to train,” he said. “But even the doctor said this isn’t the end.
“I’m going to lift again, it’s just a matter of staying patient.”