I joined CHAARG 3 months ago, one day before my 19th birthday after attending their on-campus callout session at Purdue University. I had heard only briefly about CHAARG prior to the meeting, as my roommate had a friend back home who is a member of her university's respective chapter. Immediately following the meeting, I paid my membership dues and was welcomed to not only Purdue's campus chapter of CHAARG but the 10,000 women strong national sisterhood that is CHAARG. I have yet to regret my decision of joining at all.
Being apart of CHAARG has taught me so many invaluable lessons, all of which I am forever grateful for. From learning to be the best-fit version of myself I can be, learning to never limit myself because of my gender, and finally learning to love myself, including my mistakes and faults.
The first lesson (being the best-fit version of myself) was the lesson I expected to be taught seeing as the group is centered towards health and fitness, however it still means the world to me. What makes CHAARG unique is it doesn't set a preconceived image or standard for fit, but rather emphasizes finding the fittest version of yourself because it differs so widely from each individual woman. To do this, CHAARG encourages its members to try as many workouts offered as possible and hone in on what makes us feel the best or what boosts our confidence. Further, CHAARG also ensures that we motivate one another through our fitness journeys and never compare nor judge the accomplishments of one another, because of we all progress differently and positive support can be the best asset to success.
The second lesson CHAARG taught me was to never limit myself because of my gender. In essence, this means that I shouldn't isolate myself to typically female garnered workouts (ellipticals, bikes, etc) because society told me or I'm afraid of judgment that could arise from my decision to try something new. Workouts shouldn't be genderized and no one should be made to feel like they can't do something because of their gender identity. In efforts to change that, CHAARG routinely offers workouts that are typically more masculine such as Crossfit, weight lifting, and ROTC workouts. By partaking in these workouts, women are able to see just what their bodies are capable of doing and often left feeling unstoppable.
The third and final lesson CHAARG taught me was learning to love myself through my failures, mistakes, and faults. I've always been a hypercritical person, honing in and picking out everything I've done wrong or everything about me that is wrong so this was a hard lesson to learn but eventually hit me square in the face. CHAARG encourages us to love every inch of ourselves, from our stretch marks to our acne or the weird birthmarks we may possess because there is no right way to be beautiful- rather beauty is set by whoever possesses it. Further, CHAARG also emphasizes that because no two human beings are alike that we shouldn't spend time comparing our looks, achievements, or goals to those around us because everything is unique to the individual. Lastly, CHAARG also encourages its members to continuously support and uplift one another, so it's rough being hard on myself when I have hundreds of women hyping me up whenever I need it.
In summary, CHAARG has made me a stronger woman both mentally and physically and has truly shown me all of what I'm capable of both in the gym and in regular day to day life and for that, I am forever grateful.