My Weightlifting Journey (So Far!)

I’ve never considered myself to be particularly athletic. When I was in high school, I rode horses and played in the band. I never participated in an organized sport (although, looking back, I wish I would have). So, when I started weightlifting about four years ago, I’ll admit I was completely lost in the gym. I had a daunting journey ahead of me.

I am very thankful for my husband’s guidance during this time. (I jokingly refer to him as “Trainer Al” when we are working out together. He’s tough!) Over the past few years, he has patiently showed me how to use every machine, navigate the free weights section, introduced me to great resources like bodybuilding.com, and cheered me on as I accomplished my fitness milestones.

Me, last week, between leg press sets.

For the longest time, I had a love-hate relationship with weightlifting. The workouts were always so daunting and no matter how hard I tried, it never seemed to get any easier. I wasn’t seeing amazing results, either, due to my poor diet and too much drinking on the weekends. I often wondered, “what’s the point?” Some days, I wanted to skip the gym altogether and just stay home.

Slowly, as my confidence, general mindset, and strength improved, I began to really love weightlifting. It’s not just a physical sport: it’s just as much of a mental workout. Quite honestly, it’s exactly what I needed in my life.

Weightlifting has shifted my perspective on a lot of things. It’s shown me strength I never knew I had. It’s brought me to tears when I made the impossible… possible. It’s taught me discipline, courage, and patience. Perhaps most importantly, it’s taught me to stop whining.

After months of hard work, I could finally see my abs!

When I first started lifting regularly, I kept waiting for the workouts to “get easier.” Now, I look back at that and laugh. It’s not really supposed to get easier. I’ve learned you should always be pushing your boundaries and challenging yourself. If you don’t, how will you ever know what you’re capable of?

I thank weightlifting for getting me through some tough times. I know it’s helped me become an all-around stronger person. My attitude and follow-through have improved considerably. I believe it helped me have a relatively comfortable pregnancy with my daughter and it definitely helped me recover after my daughter was born. Weightlifting helps me keep up with Daphne on the playground. It helped my confidence when I stopped having to strategically choose clothes to hide my dreaded problem areas.

Although I love it now, it certainly wasn’t an easy road. It was hours and hours of training, crying at the gym (yes, I’ll admit it), cuts, bruises, and never-ending soreness. Although most of these things still happen (except maybe the crying in public), I embrace them now, instead of wish them away.

My husband, aka “Trainer Al,” after completing the Pittsburgh half-marathon.

I’m excited to see where weightlifting will take me in the future. I’m looking forward to setting new goals because I know anything is possible as long as I stay focused!

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