Over the weekend, my Coaching team and I trained out of HQ for the first time in almost a year. With a 24 hour gym opening up around the corner from us, we decided to go and check it out.
That morning I had already given myself a stern talking to. I was feeling a little shady and knew that if I didn’t take control of my morning and my attitude I would not complete my prescribed numbers. As I warmed up, everything was feeling alright. I was nervous to have to lift my numbers that day as its the heaviest triples I’ve lifted since I had my baby 8 months ago. The first set was fast and looked technically very clean. 120kg for 3 reps with two more sets to follow. I had felt like I had this!
As I sat on the ground resting until my next set I could feel a pair of eyes on me. I watched my recorded set on my phone and stayed in my zone.
After observing me for my one set, he approached me and proceeded to tell me what I had done wrong “I’ve been deadlifting for years and what your doing is wrong”. As I opened my mouth to offer a part in this conversation, starting with a Hello, it was clear that he didn’t care much for what I had to say. I sat and took his “feedback”, let him get it out then said thank you and moved on.
As soon as this gentleman approached me, that confidence in myself took a major blow. I felt extremely self conscious and very awkward. Questioning my abilities, pulling down my shorts, fidgeting around.
One of the things in my life that provides me with so much confidence was shaken up. I got angry at myself that I could allow this guy to have that power over me. For the rest of the session, a battle was present in my head. Your not good enough. Maybe you do deadlift like shit. Ugh just ugh!
I felt anxious and vulnerable. I felt like everyone was watching me. I felt like this guy was scanning my every move. I pulled my shorts down, I fidgeted with my hair, I just felt uncomfortable. I wanted to get away from this feeling immediately. I wanted to pack up my gear and leave.
As much as I wanted to retreat. I didn’t. Instead I used tools within myself to let it go for the time being. Harbour my strength within and get those heavy triples out. They were a grind, but I did it! And now I sit here to share some insight about this encounter.
This is not something that I have had to face recently. Training out of Barbell Babes Brigade HQ, the environment that surrounds us is nothing but constant support, love and genuine care. It is a place where we feel empowered to chase physical goals without having to worry about dudes throwing their opinions at us.
Unfortunately this type of unsolicited advice is more frequent for women than you may think. Speaking to one of my ladies last night, she told me that as she was training Saturday morning at a 24 hour gym, a gentleman felt it was necessary to offer his opinions “That is really heavy, do you think you should be lifting that”. Little did he know that she can deadlift 142.5kg and is in prep for her third Powerlifting Comp. Little did he know how that comment made her feel. Little did he know that she then used those feelings to stick to him with added aggression in her next sets.
Prior to opening HQ, comments like these were far too common. All very similar in nature.
“Your a girl, you don’t need to be lifting that much”
“Don’t you think thats a bit heavy for you”
“You should really be careful”
Going back into an environment that is so far from what we have created, we often forget that these types of comments still get thrown around and it always brings me back to why I continue to spread our message and devote my career to a mission that is extremely important to me.
These types of comments can knock us. As strong as our physical abilities are, these seemingly small comments can create large effects. If we let them.
The reality is, everyone often wants to put in their own 2 cents. It seems like so many people love to share their opinions on what you are doing. Thats not going to change.
What can change is the way you deal with these comments.
This is why at Barbell Babes Brigade, HQ is such a sacred and special place to me and our ladies. It is a judgement free zone where our women can unleash their true capabilities.
Our women need to feel empowered. Our women need to have the tools to tackle situations that arise and challenge this.
We teach our ladies how to build the capacity to deal with different situations that may have once knocked them down in the past and shattered their happiness.
Dealing with comments that rock their self confidence
Facing negative self talk head first
Stepping into uncomfortable conversations with friends and family
Taking ownership for where they are not taking responsibility
Acknowledging where they are comparing themselves to others and break that hold
These are some of the common issues our women face. And without acknowledging and committing to making a change these things can manifest into different areas of our life. How we speak to our partner, how we tackle conflict in the workplace or how we deal with that shitty dude at the gym who decides he has to give us his unsolicited advice.
Physical strength is important, but whats more important is the strength we have in our day to day life.
How we build our own PERSONAL POWER and CONFIDENCE can feel like an uphill battle-but with the right tools and strategies we can reframe our thinking to flip this in our favour.
Whether its the deadlift dude over the weekend or an uncomfortable conversation, there are times when I feel anxious and vulnerable. These situations wont go away and thats something I have learned to respect and embrace. Utilising many tools and strategies, we can reframe our mindset. I have control of my emotional state and the way I choose to react. I have control of my feelings.
And you can to.