Train Like A Girl

How many times growing up did we chickadees hear such insults as “You throw/run/play like a girl”?  Boys still say it as though it is a detriment, but our daughters know better.  They have mamas with muscles and endurance, six packs and stamina.  Our girls are growing up with an awareness that training like a girl takes commitment and guts.  Dads better step up their game if they wanna compete…

There is a new breed of mama out there, lifting heavy and training hard.  We run marathons and compete in mud races. We teach fitness classes and coach team sports.  We do not diet to get skinny.  We eat healthfully to be fit.  Our exercises require weights, performance shoes, and sweat-wicking materials.  We cannot get by with little white Keds and sweatpants.  We do not leave classes or training sessions with beautiful hair and intact makeup.  One of my favorite get-me-goin’ quotes comes from Chalene Johnson during TurboFire: “You might come into my class lookin’ cute, but you better not leave lookin’ cute!”  In my case, I don’t smell cute either…

Of course, there is always opposition.  If I hear one more insult directed at Madonna’s well-muscled arms, I am gonna flex my own guns and release some tension.  Seriously.  The woman is beyond FIT!  And we’re gonna chastise her for her strength?  We watched the Superbowl halftime show as a family and I made sure our kids knew how incredible her body is.  I pointed at those biceps in admiration. Too many times we hear comments about a woman appearing too masculine because she has definition.  I work hard and I want to see results.  My bi’s and tri’s are increasingly a source of pride for me, and my abs are following suit.  I refuse to hide my progress for fear of looking “too strong.”  Puh-LEASE.  Boys (and sadly, some ladies), you are just gonna have to deal with the fact that women today are coming in all shapes, forms, and levels of fitness.  We flex, we run, we jump, we lift just as well (if not better) than you do.  And we do it for OUR OWN benefit.  I admit, I started out with goals of fitting into pre-baby jeans and regaining my previous posterior.  But now – that’s an aside.  I push through P90X with the full intention of getting strong enough to make it through the workouts with ZERO modifications.  I wanna be like Dreya.  I wanna be like Madonna.  I wanna be STRONG.

I consistently praise my daughter for her increased strength and her determined work ethic in gymnastics.  The girl’s got her own little guns to flex and her legs have some serious 7-year-old power.  I want her to know that’s something to be proud of, not something to hide from the world.  And she’s not the only kid hearing “girl power” from her mama.  I show off my progress to our boys, too.  In fact, the middle male is perhaps my biggest cheerleader.  He is regularly impressed with my efforts and results, commenting on my “pumps” (arm muscles) and lengthening runs.  I’m not aiming for a “girls are better” mentality, but more of a “girls are equal” lifestyle.  Where our Sis will be confident in her body’s abilities and appearance and her brothers will appreciate a girl’s curves and her muscle definition.  Because, let’s face it, both are beautiful.

So, girls, let’s go for one more pushup, situp, pullup…one more mile, rep, jump…Let’s flex our muscles and train like WOMEN.  Because we can.

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