Interestingly, at first sight, I’m not the athletic “type”. Ya know the kind of girl that can be on American Ninja Warrior, wearing a bright-colored sports bra with matching Nikes and cute shorts. I’m short, I’m overweight and I’m very emotional. But those are the exact reasons why I lift. There’s something about the whole idea of being a powerlifter that appealed to me and so many women that I’ve met. I get asked a lot why I lift heavy so here's my 5 reasons for lifting heavy...what are yours?
- Confidence: Powerlifting has given me some much-needed confidence. I remember the first time I squatted 135 lbs. This guy walked by and said, “Whoa that’s a lot of weight for a girl!” If you said that to me now, I’d probably say something smart ass back, but at the time it made me feel great and then that need to feel that good drove the obsession. Every time you hit a PR, have a good training session or learn something new and fun you are going to naturally be more confident and that confidence spills into the rest of your life. And a confident person is more likely to have more fulfilling and happy life.
- Achievement: "If you want to have a happy life, tie it to a goal..." - Albert Einstein. Having goals in life is so important. They allow you the opportunity to be successful. Currently, I have two main goals: 1) to lose weight and keep strength and, 2) to do my first meet. Everyone should have small goals and big goals. But regardless of the size of the goal, finally achieving it makes all the work, sweat and tears so worth it.
- Community: I’m kind of a newbie to the powerlifting community, but it was one of the first things that attracted me. Hearing everyone at a meet screaming, “UP, UP!!!” at one person on a platform, regardless of who’s team they’re on, what gym they go to, or where they live is one of the most amazing moments you will ever live to see. In the small time I’ve been lifting, I’ve never had a single person, male or female; ever say anything negative to me. Everyone that I’ve met has always been supportive, encouraging and motivating. Powerlifting is like no other community out there...hence the #UpLiftAndLiftHeavy hashtag and moment.
- You can eat: Let’s be honest… This should really be number one!! The beauty of lifting heavy is you need to eat in order to accomplish your goals. Your body turns all that food into fuel. So eating is important! Especially doughnuts. Doughnuts are life.
- Mental Strength: Powerlifting is so much more about mental strength than physical strength. Getting through all the failed attempts, the tough workouts and just all around sucky days make you stronger mentally, which I've noticed has carried on to other parts of life.
These are the reasons why I lift. Whatever your reasons are stick to it. I love this sport and the community behind it. Just don't be afraid to try it for yourself and for those of you that already do it, keep it up and uplift other women. Being and feeling stronger is one of the best feelings out there.