This guest post was written by Johannie M. This post was first posted on her blog, Pathways to Fit.
Headphones are on; as Lindsey Sterling’s violin begins to sooth my already sore muscles, I begin to lose myself in the moment. No one and nothing else matters right now. I lean over and grip the bar with chalky hands, my feet pivot in my no longer white chucks. I inhale deeply, forgetting everything I push through, and lift.
The most common form people give up their power is by believing they do not have any. I was raised to believe that women were subordinate to men. I was socialized to believe that strength was a quality that only men possessed. I knew from very early on what was expected of me because of my gender. When I began lifting I became a woman. I became a self-defining woman who was breaking expectations while also breaking personal records.
When I began lifting I gained so much more than physical strength, I gained vision. Learning how to lift led me to re-create myself, it allowed me to see beyond my limits and abolish my fear of failure. My limits in reality were their limits. The limitations my culture, my family and society had imbedded in me. Lifting allowed me the ground to break free, most importantly granted me the opportunity to really find myself.
Lifting lifted me up, elevating my perspective and understanding of myself, challenging me physically, mentally and spiritually. Lifting build my character, pushing me to work hard daily. No matter how I felt, or what I was going through, I could always escape at the bar. Lifting motivated me to develop a relationship with my body, devoting time to it, respecting it in every aspect. How I talked about it, viewed it and treated it. My body was no longer up for discussion or comparison. Never again would I believe the lies others had told me or hate any part of myself.
My callused hands are not as pretty as they used to be, but they are proof of persistence. I don’t dress the way I used to, but I wear confidence everyday now. The bruises on my legs (from cleans) the soreness on my collar bone (from snatching) are marks left behind from my battle as an athlete. It is no longer me verses them or her, it’s me versus me.
Lifting gave me something no one could ever teach me. As I keep pushing forward I will never forget how powerful a woman I truly am. I will never give up on me. I will take every opportunity I have and share with others how lifting has lifted me.
Johannie is a Blogger who believes in lifting as a way of life. Follow Johannie on Instagram @youlovejohannie.