I look back now at my first venture into the gym when I said I wanted to start lifting. I walked in, in my Lululemon’s and Nikes and an old volleyball shirt. Some would say my first day was laughable. But by starting something, and having the courage to pursue it day in and day out, that to me is my greatest success. I walked in and immediately felt uneasy, and shy. I felt intimidated by other people, but why? We were all there for the same reason, and we all have to start somewhere.
So a year and a bit have passed. Sure I am not as strong as a lot of other girls, I am not lean, and cut like others. But to me, being able to commit to something fully, find success, and enjoy it that is worth more than any number on the scale or the platform.
When I first started I had really no direction, and I was kind of clueless, I knew I wanted to lose weight and I knew I wanted to lift weights but I didn’t see it as a long term thing. I knew I would start it, but even for myself I doubted I would still be doing it now a year and a half later. In the end, I lost fat but gained quite a bit of muscle, and I know weigh even more than when I originally started. No flabby booty’s around here.
The biggest lesson I learnt was the thing we fear the most, we grow the most out of. That is where the biggest joy and pride comes from. I live for the small successes. Seeing the progression from week to week, and then looking back to see how far you have actually come. I went from squatting just the 45-pound bar to 265 pounds in a matter of a year, a hard year mind you, but a year. That was the scariest moment for me, I knew I could do it, but I let a number define me yet again. I conquered it, with ease, and from there I grew.
Many people like to boast their numbers, and their weight, but honestly the gym to me is very personal and I view it as a personal journey. I know what it is like to see someone else have such amazing successes and feel diminished because you’re not there yet. It all takes time. And just because someone else has found success and is exceling – doesn’t mean you aren’t. That is a something I still struggle with.
Tonight my gym buddy told me a bunch of guys had approached him and actually asked him if I was using steroids. At first I was extremely offended and angry, how is it that because I am ‘strong’ and can probably pull more weights than an average woman I must be using steroids? Is it so impossible to think that women can keep up with men and if not out lift them? I was absolutely furious. Just because I am strong I would never cheat myself, or the sport. But then, I realized hey, if they think I’m using ‘roids’ they must just be weaker then me, intimidated, or not have enough balls to say it to my face. But really, I think it is such a shame that in their minds that I (a young woman) can not be this strong naturally. Well, folks let’s just say this fueled my fire to work even harder and get even stronger, I do love proving people wrong – especially men at the gym. I will forever be ‘All Natty Bro’.
You get the people who are negative, but you also get the lovely people who encourage you. I have met a lot of wonderful people at the gym here in Dee Why who have only nice things to say, and its so encouraging. A girl tonight said I was ‘a beast’ and she loved watching me lift, like how inspiring is that. I was flabbergasted that someone even noticed me. But really, I believe we don’t encourage each other enough. No one ever doesn’t take a compliment, so I have started to put an effort in to congratulating and cheering others on. What you give out, you receive back. So put out your good vibes!
But in all honesty, the best thing for me is knowing I did it all by myself, I built this, and I put in the hours. The decisions you make today will set you up for tomorrow.
So here I am a year and a half later, I feel confident and happy and I feel at ease. Everything takes time, we can all conquer our fears and who knows what I will accomplish this year. Do not let other peoples feelings towards your passion discourage you, don’t let a number define you, and pursue your goals day in and day out.
Keep chasing and all the best!