I started lifting about 15 years ago as an effort to get stronger to care for one of our boys with special needs. I fell in love with weights and haven’t looked back! It has always been my favorite form of working out. I have been a pediatric nurse for over 26 years and taught bootcamp, spinning, and strength classes for several years.
After our youngest was born, I started doing triathlons as a way to get training cardio in a fun way done! After several years of doing those, I transitioned to running marathons as the training was far less time consuming as only one discipline is required. After numerous marathons, I moved on to the challenge of ultra running which is anything above that marathon mark.
For several years, I did 50k’s, 100k’s and my favorite distance – 24 hour races. Continuous running for 24 hours to see how many miles you can get in that time frame pushes your mental and physical limits to the max. You learn you are capable of way more than you ever imagined. During this time I also began Crossfit and still love and compete in that arena. I love (and need) having new goals to obtain. I love being a beginner at things, learning (and failing) until I get to that new goal. There is something about being a beginner at something that is so exciting – even if it can be scary.
I have always wanted to compete as a physique competitor but for years was not only limited by what I thought others would think but by my own mind thinking I could never be “good” enough to compete. I allowed my own insecurities and fears to limit me. Two years ago, as I approached 50, I gave way to those thoughts and decided to go for it. This past summer, I obtained my IFBB Pro card as a Masters Physique competitor and while that amazing moment was worth the wait, I do regret not starting years and years ago.
I hope with this column to encourage women of ALL ages to pick up the iron and get stronger both mentally and physically. There is a power of accomplishing things in the weight room that transcends into confidence and strength over your mind in all aspects of your life. I hope we can get more women of ALL ages to fall in love with lifting and competing. There are many myths around women who lift and compete and we will bust through them together!!