A conversation happened in our group chat a while ago and I would bet an obscene amount of money that we are not the first girls to have this conversation either! We were having a big event in the next day or two; guys, girls, husbands/wives, kids everyone we would train with on a normal basis and then some. A big cook out as a family with some beer, music, and a water slide.
Can you guess where this is going now? A water slide…you mean you want me to get down into my bathing suit in front of everyone and their families? You want me to willingly show every single stretch mark, fat roll, and cellulite dimple on my body to the people I train with on a weekly basis?
The girls started opening up and admitting how much we did not want to get on this water slide because we did not want to show our bodies to anyone else. One message after another they slowly trickled out to how self-conscious we were about going to this family event now. I had already had this same conversation with another friend the day before, trying to figure out what we should wear. I felt the need to make sure I shaved my legs, make sure I could do as much as possible to look “presentable” and “lady like” in front of my teammates.
As I watched the conversation continue to go on, I thought to myself, why do we need to be self-conscious? First off, these people are family to us! Why should we be afraid to be in a bathing suit in front of them in the first place? Why does it matter if we look a certain way?
Then I thought these women do amazing things! Things that some men are not capable of doing! Powerlifters, strongman competitors, runners, marines, teachers, etc. we train in the gym harder than anyone else does!
We are strong! There is absolutely no reason for us to be ashamed or self-conscious of how our bodies look when we are capable of doing these amazing things. We can deadlift two-three times our body weight, we can overhead press more than our body weight, we can walk with hundreds of pounds our backs and be quick, run up and down hill with outrageous weights. We are so much more than just how we look.
We all agreed by the end of the conversation that we would wear bathing suits and not shave our legs yes, that was part of the agreement! We showed up that day and while it may have taken some of us more time than others. We all eventually went down that damn water slide! I speak for myself and maybe the rest too that I felt 100 times better about myself after getting off that slide, and not one person cared what any of us looked like at the end of the night.
I know we are not alone in this feeling; there men that have those same feelings about themselves! I am lucky to have a group of people who participate in strength sports like myself; we range in all sorts of sizes and ages but most importantly, we support one another. We openly talk about how we can better ourselves as human beings, how we can contribute better to our community.