Yesterday morning I headed to the gym for an early morning weight lifting session before work. As I walked into the all male filled weight room, a confidence came over me that I only find in certain environments. I feel empowered in the weight room, I feel strong in the weight room, and I feel like myself in the weight room. The weight room is the one place where I’m proud of my size, my body weight, and my abilities in one collective space. I have zero insecurities in the weight room and because of that, it brings about an empowering confidence.
Growing up, my size was never seen as a good thing. I was made fun of by classmates and judged by doctors. I was ashamed of who I was and was on a constant quest to be someone else. Because of my insecurities, I feared PE class and anything that had to do with it. In the 9th grade, in an effort to get out of PE class, I joined “advanced fitness”. This class was essentially the football team’s weight lifting class but that class forever changed me. As I started lifting weight, I learned that my body was capable of more than anyone had led me to believe up until that point. I started lifting heavier and before I knew it, I was lifting more than most of the boys in my class.
Weight lifting changed my life and it has given me a confidence that is replenished every time I walk into the weight room. My senior year of high school I won the state of Texas powerlifting championship, and though I don’t compete in powerlifting any longer, weight lifting has continued to be a passion of mine. It has opened doors that I never thought possible, throwing the discus and hammer in college and playing full contact football for the DC Divas.
I share this today because I believe with all of my heart that each of us holds the power to find confidence in a workout we love. Whether it’s weight lifting, spinning, running, dancing, taking body pump, or shaking your tail feather at Zumba, we each have a workout that makes us feel like our whole, total, and full self. Sometimes it’s hard to let yourself enjoy the confidence that comes with workouts you love, but if you let go and allow yourself to thrive, you’ll never look back!