To be strong enough to carry the load

In the gym this morning, I was thinking about why I train.  I’d just finished a squat/lunge/swiss ball curl superset, and was moving onto training my chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Then I looked around.  I was the only woman in the free weights area.  There were five or six men — all were musclebound, young, wearing headphones.

The other women were all on the crosstrainers and treadmills, heads down.  I could see why — it was intimidating in the free weights area.  All metal and grey and dirty.  And we women are afraid of growing big, manly muscles.  What I’ve learned is it takes a great deal of work to grow a muscle, and if they get too big, you just reduce the weight you are using and they shrink right away.  It’s like magic.

But anyway, I was there to train.  Heavy.  Because heavy weights to me equates to strength.  To the ability to carry my six-year-old daughter up a flight of stairs when she’s too tired to walk.  To being able to kick a footy far enough for my son for him to be mildly impressed.  And most important of all, to me, to be able to run fast and far and with agility.

It’s not about the shape of my thighs, so much as what they can do for me.

Like this woman I watched in the gym on Friday night.  She’d set up a Reebok Step with about ten small platforms underneath.  Then she leapt off the ground and landed flat on top of that step!  Then leapt back down.  Ten times, she did that.  It was like a leap of faith.  I watched in quiet awe — that step was high.  That girl had guts.  I’ve added the idea of that leap to my training –not quite so high yet, as I’m a beginner, and I don’t want to do a face-plant in the gym.  But I gave it a go today.  The power in that move will propel me up many a hill in my upcoming trail series.

That’s what I train for.  For life.  For power.  For strength.

I wish more women would come join me in the free weights area.  Push heavy things hard.  Learn what they are capable of.  And then take the power they’ve found and go out and do amazing things in the world.

Like carry their daughters up the stairs.  Like kick a footy.

Or maybe join me in the Tough Bloke/Cool Chick Challenge next year, shown above.

Just because you can!

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