Archive for December 6, 2011

“Well I don’t go around Smiling all day if that’s what you mean… “

Posted in Articles on December 6, 2011 by oldcountrystrong

There really is little I can say about this next writer. There are few people  that can brighten my day and gives me headaches all at the same time whenever they walks into the room… 

But when I was considering the writers for this years “Strong is Beautiful Edition” I knew I couldn’t forget this individual. She’s funny, she asks the most off the wall questions, and she is one of the strongest people I know. The scary thing is she doesn’t even know how strong she is, I dont think I could truly tell you either. And I’m just talking with a barbell right now.

What I could tell you is that she carries a really beautiful inner strength. One that shines through in this article. She may give me headaches but she honestly brightens my day every time she walks in with that smile of hers.  And you know what? When I read this article it made me think of that smile, and like always it brightened my day. Z

I joined Crossfit for all of the wrong reasons. I didn’t have any goals other than to get thinner, maybe tone up a bit. Half my family elders originally came from another country. Their ideals of beauty or even acceptable appearance or behavior is pretty narrow. From a young age I was a tom-boy kind of girl, which was frowned upon. My brother was allowed to play basket ball after school when he was in junior high, and when I asked while in 7th grade I was told, “No, your legs will get too big.”

I didn’t look like the rest of my family, my height was acceptable, but my “shape” wasn’t. As years went on, some of the elder family members started to loosen up on their ideals of body image. My mother did not. She paid someone to Photoshop my wedding photos.

It might seem extreme, but really my mother’s act was just a straightforward manifestation of how society puts pressure on people to look a certain way, especially women, and more specifically young women. I am sure I don’t need to get into what these messages by media, family, friends and whoever will do to the self confidence of our society, our youth and us as individual.

I had spent several years working out frantically at the YMCA and Hot Yoga before that. I had suffered nearly two years of Weight Watchers meetings hearing stories of people avoiding birthday cake at office parties, counting calories and points.

Then cut to me walking into the gym on the Monday after the Superbowl in January 2010. I was rebellious obese, out of shape and nervous. Who are all these intense people? Like most girls, while joining a gym I literally said to the owner, “I don’t want to bulk up.” Honestly, I just wanted to be “skinny.” I didn’t care about athletics, skills, techniques or friendships.

Little did I know that my life was going to change, rather than my just body. I never did sports. I was uncoordinated. I didn’t know left from right. I couldn’t remember instructions to all these new and seemingly complicated movements. I couldn’t finish workouts in the cut off times.

As time went on, I learned I could actually move some significant weight. I joined the Caliber Cycle in January 2011. I learned to trust that I could do these movements without injuring myself. My coach called me an athlete and I nearly fell over. He would tell me I was capable of doing something, I trusted him, so I would try and accomplish it to my astonishment. I started learning to trust myself.

Yeah, I lost some weight, but I never got “thin”. More importantly I lost a lot of emotional baggage along the way. I didn’t know as I strengthen my body, I was strengthening my self-confidence and my soul. I learned that I could rise to all sorts of challenges that I never thought possible. I even completed a marathon five months after coming in with only one single day of “marathon” training.

My spirit grew more adventurous and now I do all sorts of activities I couldn’t have imagine trying before. I am so lucky to be around the great group of people, who support and encourage each other without a mean competitive undertone.

Life isn’t a made for TV movie. There was no heartfelt apology or sudden approval from my mother. In fact, I don’t think I have reached her level of “acceptable body shape.” But, it turns out that my life is better than a movie.

I lifted weights, my body grew strong and my self-confidence grew stronger. Lifting weights changed my life in a way that years of step aerobics never did. I am strong, not just in body but mind, body and soul.

Strong is Beautiful 

Article by: Michelle B.
Posted by: Z