Initially, this weeks blog was supposed to be another great interview, but I decided to postpone it and talk about something that has been on my mind for the past couple of days. The Muscle Can Be… Muscle Is… campaign was created to encourage women to become more active through playing sports, dance or weight lifting. It was started because I believe adding activity to your life is one of the best things a woman can do for herself. I am a muscular woman, and truthfully, I can’t imagine being any other way. I have lifted for years and am beyond comfortable with my body, to the point that I often don’t think about my differences. Every time I see athletic women, or things encouraging women to become more active, I think, “FINALLY, they get it.” My hope is that women, will begin to realize being athletic, muscular, fit, is OK, and the “stigma” of being fit will eventually be nonexistent. In some communities, this hope is slowly becoming a reality. Athletically built women are becoming more prevalent. Which is a sign that women are not just going to the gym to do cardio, or lift the pretty pink weights in a body conditioning class. They are going to the gym to train hard and heavy, because they want to make serious changes and they love the results. I see the changes in some communities, but in others, not so much. As I use public transportation, or walk through the streets of these communities, I will get a nasty look, people will point, whisper, and laugh or make rude comments about my body to let me know, to them, my body is not acceptable, it is unappealing because it is not their “norm.”
I float between two worlds, the fitness world, and reality. In one, I am seen as a “phenom” to many, in the other, a freak, but those two opposing opinions keep me grounded, balanced in a sense. Accepting of myself, and how other choose to live their lives. You see, it’s easy to be accepting of one’s self when compliments are readily given. The true test of self acceptance is in being proud of who you are when the positive words turn into criticisms. When the negative comments surround you and the compliments are nowhere to be found. If you know who you are, the negative will make you stronger, because you understand where it is coming from. You will know it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with that particular individual, and how they view themselves.
A muscular physique is not appealing to everyone and that’s OK, but for those women out there that have them, know that we are a special breed. We are athletes, but we are also artists. Our bodies are our canvases and the weights we lift are our brushes. We create beautiful masterpieces that are as unique, as we are individuals, and to see the development and change, is a glorious feeling. Our bodies are the evidence of all the hours of heavy lifting, hard work, and dedication. The showing up, even on days when we just don’t feel like we have it in us, but doing so, because we are determined to be better. It’s hard, but we welcome the challenge because we know, “it’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” It’s what makes us great. Yes, we are a special breed, beautiful and strong, because we choose to be. We are indoctrinated into an unsaid club that is not exclusive, it does not discriminate, anyone can join, but many won’t, because to be a part of this club, you have to be willing to change your lifestyle. Respect the process!