"I loved that as my strength built, people were more and more surprised."
Most girls talk about getting into weightlifting to break a stereotype, but for me, the gym fell into my life… well, rather it hit me at about 70mph.
Around 7 years ago I was in a near fatal car accident. The car rolled several times and before I knew it I was in hospital with a punctured lung, spleen being removed, a broken pelvis and cut up head to toe.
Initially I was stuck in a wheelchair for 8 weeks, at that point all I wanted to do was walk, not being able to get anywhere myself took away my confidence, my strength and near broke my mentally. Now as anyone who has been hurt knows, the next step is rehab. I was sent to a gym to be trained through my rehab from my injury. But I was introduced to a few other bits along the way. The gym I used had a tiny weight section so wasn’t so intimidating, my PT took me straight into it where over time I learned to squat, bench and deadlift. I trained all the time but built a love for the bench, unlike any girl I met!
I loved that as my strength built, people were more and more surprised. This girl was out lifting men, in fact… everyone?
So my PT mentioned the sport of powerlifting and I took a look, and to my delight and surprise, the British records were pretty much the same as my best lifts! I entered my first competition and the rest is history. 2 years later I have British, European and World records and am the Current World Champion!
Of course I had my doubts. What would people think? What would they say? Will I be judged for having muscle? I worried about the stress of nutrition and bodyweight and of course that had its issues. Over time I met hurdles in training, nutrition, difficulty channelling the pressure that I put on myself, having worked closely with my coach and personally taking on study and education in the area, I was able to confront this. However, I would suggest for those taking training on (seriously) that they look to work with professionals within the field, not just the PT in any gym. I’m part of the CJBstrong team and the support I receive helps get through the tougher sessions!
Even more so, I now coach too and have been able to set an example for other women and even men, helping them find the strength I found. Strength brought me such great moments, helped be break down stereotypes and take pride in my body, no matter its shape. Once I was told I wouldn’t walk again, now I’m one of the strongest women around, how can I not love this?