by Theresa Garee
It happens all the time. You may have done it yourself.
I lift. I am a mom. These are just two things that define me. But those two factors mean I am around many people who do not understand me.
When I take my kids to a playdate at another mom’s house and they offer me coffee cake, I sometimes have to politely decline due to an upcoming competition in which I must weigh-in. I can see their face when they think I am crazy because I don’t LOOK like I need to lose weight.
But this kind of judgement and misunderstanding does not bother me as much as people who misunderstand and choose to rob me of my accomplishments.
Let me share the most recent example:
I recently finished working up to about a 85% max squat session and was moving onto some accessory exercises. I noticed a group of young boys using the leg press.
I was tired and it was my last exercise so at the encouragement of my husband, I asked to work in with them. They were using two plates and their legs were basically the length of my entire body although some of them may have weighed as much as me.
When it was my turn, I pressed out about 12 reps and smiled when they said things like, “see look how she’s doing it” and “she has strong legs”. During their next set I offered my advice on improving their technique, but not too much. My next set I did the same as before. This time I heard, “You should do it like she is.” The other boy responded with, “well look at her husband, that’s why she strong.”
This comment did NOT make me smile.
Yes, I work out with my husband. Yes, we both compete in strongman. But as many of you know, no one but me can make me lift. Once you are under the bar, weighing near or more than you, only YOU can tell yourself you CAN do this! I was angry and felt robbed that those boys felt my accomplishments were a product of my husband. I am not saying that he isnt a MAJOR part of my successes. He is my partner, in the gym and out. This way of thinking is perhaps only a projection of these boys insecurities but it hurts. And as I said in the beginning we have probably all done it at some point.
I know I have. And now being on the other end, I am going to be better at acknowledging others accomplishments. I write this to explain how fragile we can be and how comments can easily tear us down. This was my initial response. When I asked myself why the comment bothered me so bad…I realized it was my insecurities and dwelling in that WAS robbing myself of my accomplishments.
No matter who helps you with your programming or nutrition or technique, it still comes down to YOU doing the work. You deserve the recognition as much as those who help you.
Let us try to always lift each other up.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
THERESA GAREE is a stay-at-home Mom with two children, who enjoys lifting, volunteering, writing and competes in strongman. This year she is excited to be compete in her first powerlifting meet! She loves lifting because it enables women to encourage each other in a society that promotes disconnect and develop self-esteem and personal goals that are not based in materialism.