‘And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong.’ Ephesians 6:10 (MSG)
There is a myth that women aren’t supposed to be lifting because it makes them look manly and that it’s not a very feminine thing to do. Women should stick to things like yoga and pilates. The weights room is strictly for the boys…well that’s what they say. If your idea of a woman is one who is weak and follows every opinion but her own, then you’re right, maybe lifting isn’t very feminine. I mean you might just find yourself empowering someone else and who wants to do that?
One of the reasons why I found myself falling in love with CrossFit is because of the fact that it is encouraged to be as strong as you can be. No one apologises for their strength and you worry about the weight on your bar. You’re there to give it your all, not watch what someone else is doing. It’s an important thing to remember that you are not in competition with anyone but yourself. I am fortunate that I have grown up with the strong belief that God wants me to be strong and He delights in me being strong. Granted there have been periods in my life where I have been uncertain about whether this strength that He wanted me to exude, might be too much for people. But God has since taught me that the strength He wants me to have is one that doesn’t have to announce itself, it’s a strength that is loud, boisterous and unstable, a strength that gets lost in the midst of difficult circumstance. The strength God wants me, wants all of us to have, is a strength that is secure, confident and silent. It’s the type of strength that makes its presence felt as soon as you walk into a room. I used to be hate wearing sleeveless tops because I felt as though I would make the men around me nervous because women aren’t supposed to have muscles, I’m supposed to be a delicate flower and what flower has biceps? Over time as I grew in my godly strength, I realised that all that matters is that I become and grow into the woman God has planned for me to be, if that woman happens to have muscles then so be it. Fast forward to the present and all I ever wear are sleeveless tops. In fact if you see me wearing anything with sleeves then it must mean it’s really cold or I’ve lost my mind.
Being a woman isn’t about how you look, it’s about how you carry yourself. My early definition of womanhood has been replaced by a truer definition, which is one that rooted in God. Being a woman means being strong, it means having influence, it means not being afraid to do what YOU want, whether that be lifting weights, karate, yoga, kickboxing. You do what makes you happy not what makes other people happy, you decide what you want to look like. You’re not just strong for a girl, you’re strong period. So no more apologies, embrace your strength and whoever is intimidated by how ripped (and amazing,) your arms are…well that’s their problem isn’t it?