Athlete Factory Fitness Powerlifting
August 21st, 2013
I lift heavy…for a person.
I follow a bunch of athlete’s on instagram, one of which appears pretty hard core, (Bobby Ashhurst) today he posted a picture that said.. “Better sore than sorry” and “deadlift, because somewhere a girl is warming up with your max weight.”
Are you kidding me?
Here is the conversation that followed:
I love how he added the “in general” about the pain but not about the lifting. My point here is using a specific group to define something to be “not as good” is just plain rude, and for someone that appears to want to motivate people it goes beyond rude and can not only be demotivating but also sets a horrible example for expectations in the gym and how men and women should look at there accomplishments.
I train at The Athlete Factory with Michele Helmeczi, next to me in those squat racks along with weekend warriors and people working on general fitness are Olympic swimmers and skiers, world class rugby players and elite level hockey, football, basketball and soccer players. NOT ONCE have I felt any disrespect, NOT ONCE have I heard “for a girl,” NOT ONCE was it pointed out that I wouldn’t lift as heavy because I was lacking a penis.
I have been RESPECTED.
Those athletes and trainers have stood by me and cheered while I tested lifts. They spot me when needed with NO judgy comment about if I make the lift or not. Not once have I ever heard.. that’s heavy.. for a girl. I get respect for what I am lifting because I am lifting it. I put in the work, I put in the time, I fought with my head and I made those muscles strong. I have cried as I walked out the door and I have also high fived my way out the door.. none of that was due to my sex. I will say straight up that I have been frustrated while working on my bench because the guys seem to be able to lift so much more so much faster, and we had the male vs female muscle talk.
Powerlifting is about you and the iron. Period. I love the records I hold in powerlifting and I strive to hold on to them and set a few more, in the process of doing that I will out lift other people. Am I motivated because someone can lift more then me?
I am motivated simply because I can lift more tomorrow with hard work then I did today. I don’t need to be motivated by someone else’s achievements male or female. I can admire them, they can let me know it is possible, but the motivator for me is simply.. that I can.
I am a strong but over thinking over emotional girl that doesn’t always feel that she fits into the powerlifting world or the sports world at all. I guess I should change that to “I was” until I found a place that I belonged. Who knew it would be with some of the best athletes in the world?
If you are motivated to lift more because a “girl” is warming up with your max weight, it is time to rethink a few things and perhaps consider how some of the women lifters who are working just as hard as you might feel about a statement like that.
Hi Susan, I feel your pain in this… however I have been in the same type male dominated industry/sport environment all my life in the golf world. Believe me when I have heard many comments completely chauvinistic and uncalled for. In your circumstance, I personally thought this comment Bobby Ashhurst was a compliment to the “woman” lifters and the gym in which she would be training… it means to me if you want to take your game to the next level, find a place that is serious about it… Golf is a game both men and women can play, but there is always the strength factor – it’s a fact! I play in professional events with Male professionals and they hit the golf ball 100 Yards farther off the tee …. this does not deter me from the game, but in fact I am just appreciative to see this skill set and it motivates me. Be proud of what you do and keep doing it… there are always going to be backhanded compliments, but know you are a leader in your field and gender and keep the faith!
Thanks, Tara Roden
PGA of Canada
Thanks Tara! I agree that that generally speaking and especially for people at the top of their game the men are stronger. I guess for me the comment goes hand in hand with “you throw like a girl,” “don’t cry like a little girl,” and one that I won’t even type.. at least the comment does acknowledge strength.. but the thought of it being motivating for someone made me sit back and have a good think about why that mad me so mad.
Thank you for commenting!!
While this guy may pump a lot of iron, he is a lightweight in the brains department, the respect department and the human civility department.
While I don’t look to make trouble with people, I think it is important to stand up to them when they demonstrate their ignorance. Otherwise, they will continue to run roughshod over the world with their ignorant musings and ideas – especially over people who don’t feel that they have the voice or the ability to stand up for themselves.
As I remind the occasional bully who ends up standing before me – I wasn’t looking for you but fate has brought us together so that I may teach you a lesson in human kindness.
I had a disturbing experience with a candidate for the position of Ward 12 / 14 Calgary Public School Board Trustee last Saturday. Here’s what I had to say about it – http://harrytucker.blogspot.ca/2013/08/when-education-stereotypes-and.html
Well done on standing up for yourself, female lifters and frankly, anyone who gets slammed by an ignorant person spouting generalities.
Create a great day, because merely having one is too passive an experience.