Ten years ago or so, when my daughter was in diapers and the world’s cutest baby girl (obviously, now she’s the world’s cutest preteen), she and I frequently went to the local farmer’s market for organic milk and vegetables. There was one particular curmudgeonly couple that I enjoyed buying these things from instead of going to the grocery store. They were so grumpy, but they liked me because I carried my daughter in a wrap instead of a stroller. (I know, that’s a lot of pressure. After the first time the wife commented on how glad she was to see that I didn’t have “that baby” in a stroller like “so many mamas these days,” I felt it necessary to carry her in the wrap every single time we went. That’s probably a whole different post.) I like people who like me, so we shopped there.
One day when we visited, I found that the 2% milk we wanted was on the highest shelf. I’m really short, in case you haven’t seen me. I’m about this tall:
When I reached up for the milk, Mr. Curmudgeon leaned over to grab it from me. And he said, “Women shouldn’t lift anything heavy over their heads.”
So the milk gallon is a bit of an extreme example, but we’ve all had something like this happen, right?
“Let me get that for you.”
“We need a strong man to do this job.”
“You lift/throw/kick like a girl.”
What’s the deal here? Why do people think that women can’t be strong? Without getting too far into cultural and gender assumptions, let me just ask you this: Do you think you can be strong?
I love to deadlift. I work with women who deadlift heavier than I do. But I also work with more women who believe they “can’t” lift heavy. They can only do “girl push-ups” (ugh, it makes me throw up a little just to write those words). They have this outdated belief that they should only lift light weights so they don’t “bulk up.”
What’s happening there? If that’s you, I’d like to challenge you on it. Start lifting heavier. If you’re new to weight training, do this under the direction of a trained professional. Read more about it to get comfortable and to be inspired. Make it your goal to get stronger. And next time someone tells you that “girls shouldn’t” or “women don’t,” you can lift that person up…then drop them on the floor.
Want some inspiration? Start here:
- Meet Staci, at Nerd Fitness. I love her the most.
- Lift Like A Girl with Nia Shanks
- Be Unapologetically Strong with Jen Sinkler