Women in Weightlifting
by Tyera Zweygardt
“You’ll get big and manly!” “Muscles are only for men!” “Girls cannot possibly lift!”!
Unfortunately, these are statements I hear all the time. I am guessing that if you are a female who enjoys lifting or fitness, you probably have heard similar remarks as well. Do not fret, for what do all of these comments have in common? They are false. There is a perpetual stereotype that Weightlifting, CrossFit, and other sports centered around strength, are only for men, and if you participate as a woman, you will merely saunter in the shadows of other men or “turn into one.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. Weightlifting, strength, and muscles are absolutely important for men, and everybody should embrace themselves, and ultimately do what they love. However, all of these things are equally important for women.
In a sport that has traditionally been dominated by males, female participation in Weightlifting is more revolutionary now than ever. We are creating an equal playing field, and constructing productive opportunities for ourselves. I think it is fair to say that female lifters decades ago, who were not even able to compete at the Olympic level, would be proud of our headway. Women are finally diminishing stereotypes, and demonstrating to the world that females can be powerful, yet still feminine.
Personally, I know this truth quite well. As most of you know, I am currently in the process of breaking three American records. I am more tenacious to make my dreams come true than I have ever been, and each and every day I progress further towards achieving my goals. In fact, last night I nailed a PR 76 kg (167.2 lb) snatch, which is only 2 kg under the American record set in 2006. Interestingly enough, the fact I had my hair in two pigtails, wore eyeliner, and rocked my pink polka-dot socks did not make this lift any harder or change my attitude. My power does not strip me of my femininity, and it won’t strip you of yours either. It is possible ladies, I promise.
While we all might know deep down inside of us that anything we desire is, indeed, possible to attain, sometimes walking into a gym full of muscly men can still be intimidating, whether we want it to be or not. Whenever this happens, just take a moment and reflect on who you are. Review how desperately you want to achieve your goals. Understand that your own mind is the only thing that can prevent you from accomplishing greatness. Never give anybody else that power over you. If you create fear, you can destroy it. Behind every fear is that person you want to be. So don’t let inexperience, peer pressure, or fear dissuade you from beginning your journey and chasing your dreams.
OH MY GOODNESS! Tonight I snatched a PR 76 kg!! This is only 2 kg under the AMERICAN RECORD which was set in 2006. I'm so pumped! I will break that record, and I will do it with pride. This is my ugly ugly 75 snatch, but right after I hit a beautiful and legitimate 76. I'm coming for you 79. >:) #weightlifting #olympicweightlifting #crossfitweightlifting #likeagirl #girlswholift #trainhard #lushlegs #dreambigdobig #youlovemylegs #youthnationals #americanrecord #weightlifting63 #sexyflexy #dominatetheworld #protein #pr #lifting #snatch #cleanandjerk #fitness #fierce #powerfulladies #health #heavy #bossmode #lifterface
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