We asked some strong women their take on getting into lifting and what they've learned through strength. Here are their words.
"I’ve learned some great things and some bad things about myself that I didn’t know before strength training. I learned that I am not very good with balancing priorities in my life. I’ve become more aware of the fact that I need to work on keeping every priority in my life in moderation, equal amounts, equal attention. I’ve also learned that I am much stronger than I ever thought possible. Beginning of 2017 (January 4) I hit my first 205lbs deadlift. Beginning of August of that same year, I hit 315lbs. My first three plate deadlift. Never in my dreams would I have thought that to be me. Then I competed in November of that same year. I have severe social anxiety, I’m very shy, quiet, and indecisive so signing up for a powerlifting meet was very out of character. I’ve never been more proud of myself for just showing up. I pushed myself through that prep which was a mental struggle in and of itself since I had to cut weight. Not eating cake on my birthday? A nightmare. Then I broke an Arizona state record at that competition. No cake but a gold medal? I’ll take it."
"Strength Training in important to me because it makes me feel beautiful. It gives me an outlet to express myself in a way that I am comfortable.
I have learned that I am a stronger person that I give myself credit for. Strength training is not only physical but mental and there are days where I feel like I can’t do it or don’t want to get out of bed to work out. But strength training has helped me overcome.
I started my strength training journey alone. It was intimidating at first but what I did was I used an app that would really explain the exercises to me, Jefit. And that gave me the confidence to walk into the weight room and at least look like I knew what I was doing. Yes it’s intimidating, but people aren’t going to judge you if you’re trying. Most people won’t say anything to you even if you’re doing something wrong, unless you’re doing it so wrong you can hurt yourself.
I am most proud of the person I am today because of strength training. I have become more independent and more mature because of all the discipline strength training takes."
"I've learned that I am worth it. Period. I was walking through life looking for new ways to try and "get fit" and "be healthy". Realistically, there is no "one way". I had to find what works for me. Bodybuilding through strength training has done just that. Taught me that I am beautiful just the way I am, but I am also beautifully molding into something greater. I see this with the way my body is changing and getting stronger, but more importantly, I am seeing it on the inside. I've learned to be more patient with myself as well as congratulate myself for the small wins. I've also learned that nothing happens overnight. It is all a process. These skills are invaluable and without the strength training platform I am not too sure where I would be-maybe still trying to run from myself instead of accepting myself for who and where I am right at the present moment."
"Don't be scared go out and lift weights... embrace your journey, don’t be afraid to be strong, positive and prepared.
I’m proud that I’m cancer free and that strength training has helped me become a better mom and role model to others and a better athlete. I’m proud to say I have won the battle and I will continue to always be the best for my daughter."
"I come from a very traditional Korean family and culture. Even as a child, I have never truly "fit in" to the stereotypical Korean mold, especially in the health and beauty industry. Growing up, I always noticed that I was never as thin as the girls and women on the TV. Growing up in a culture where it is normalized to critique people on their figure nonchalantly, I know that I have developed a complex about my looks. I have struggled with this for my entire life and it wasn't until I started lifting that this complex loosened its grip on me. Once I started lifting and started PRing, I started to gain some real confidence. I realized that I was a STRONG woman and that people genuinely found me attractive. I won't lie and say that it's always great and that I'm cured because I'm not. I'm human and have hard days too. The difference is, now I have my stress relief and that I know I am a STRONG woman that can push through.
If you're intimidated/scared/worried about starting a strength journey, that's okay. You are more than entitled to your feelings and it is always nerve-racking to begin a new journey. However, I want to encourage you to start because you WON'T look back. Once you reach the moment where you are lifting FOR YOU, you will feel an incredible sense of accomplishment and excitement."
"For women who are afraid to start their strength journey, either because they fear straying from the conventional standards of a beautiful body or because they fear they aren’t strong enough to compete, I IMPLORE you to just give it a try. Everyone started somewhere. Just because you happen across someone in the middle of their personal narrative doesn’t mean your own story wont be equally beautiful and equally valid. You don’t need to be the strongest, or the leanest, you just have to want to be better than you were before. And striving to better yourself can only have positive outcomes. I have never felt so empowered or been part of a more empowering group of WOMEN than I have when I found the powerlifting community. We encourage and support one another. And we want this community to grow!
I am most proud of showing up every day in my life to the best of my ability. Sometimes that just means getting out of bed. Sometimes that means killing it at work and in the gym. But whatever it is I feel or encounter that day, I am here. And I am proud of that."