When You're The Girl At The Weights Rack

When You're The Girl At The Weights Rack

What Happened When I Broke The Stereotype
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Why is it that girls are intimidated by the weights section at the gym? We feel perfectly comfortable on all the cardio equipment, but in our minds, the weight rack is the guy’s unspoken territory. There’s some very clear segregation at every gym I’ve ever been to. Well today I’m here to share my side of the story, and break down the unspoken stigma that the weights room is a guy’s only zone.

I’ve been working out regularly since I was fifteen, because I absolutely love fitness. I love seeing progress, I love the way it makes you feel, and I love the sanity that it brings to my sometimes crazy life. My usual workout routine over the past few years, has consisted of cardio, hiit training, yoga, and light hand weights. I’ve never had weights be a part of my everyday routine, because I work out at home, so I was working with what equipment I had. I usually throw some five and eight pounds weight into the mix, but nothing heavier.

This semester I decided to sign up for my school’s gym, and eight weeks ago I stepped inside for the first time. My school’s gym is designed as one big room, with cardio equipment lining two sides, the weights rack on one side, weight machines on another, and an aerobics circuit in the middle. For the first few weeks I stuck to what I knew. I felt intimidated, and didn’t want to mess up, so I stuck to the aerobics circuit, elliptical, and stationary bike. My workouts were great, but they became a bit repetitive. One day, as I was scrolling through my Instagram feed, I realized something. There was nothing holding me back from being like every other fit girl I follow on Instagram. If they could lift weights, so could I. So the next day I went back into the gym, and I hit up the weights rack. I didn't stop there- I used the stairmaster for jogging and leg abductions. I used the bosu balls for incline crunches. I did lat pull downs, chest presses, leg extensions, and so on. I had forgotten how much fun new workouts could be!

There is nothing that holds me back in the gym now. I do the workouts I want, and I do them with a smile on my face. I've formed new routines, that are always changing, so that I'm constantly challenging different muscle groups. The results have been amazing. My arms are finally gaining real definition, and my quads have taken on a life of their own. Today I leg pressed 85 pounds, which is a big difference from the measly 40 pounds that I could do at the start of this semester. I love seeing my progress, and changing up my workouts every week.

I’m a girl at the weights rack, and here’s what I’ve learned. I don’t care what anyone else thinks of me while I’m in the gym. When I’m there, I’m in my own zone. I put in my earbuds, blast a good playlist, and get to work. Yeah, I still get people that stare at me sometimes, but I just ignore them, and remind myself that I’m one of the few girls that actually lifts weights at my school. I stand out, but I’m okay with that. I’ll proudly be in the minority, because I’m happy with myself, and the workouts that I’m doing. At the end of the day, my workouts are about me, and not what other people think of me.

Cover Image Credit: Emalee Fox

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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5 Tips To Help You Feel Better If You're Sick

A few helpful tips if there's a bug going around.

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Not to brag, but I don't get sick very often, maybe once a year. When I do find myself a little under the weather, there's a few things I like to do for a faster recovery. I have no idea if any of these are 100% accurate, but I'd like to think they do. None of these will immediately make you feel better, but they'll help quicken the process.

Drink lots of water.

This one is a no-brainer, but it can be hard to do sometimes. I know when I'm sick, I definitely don't think about it. Water can help flush toxins out of your body, makes you hydrated, and can help you feel more awake and energized! If you're not a huge water drinker like I am, Tea also helps.

Stay home.

If you're sick, it's honestly better if you just take a day off and focus on feeling better. If you're worried about going to school or work, it's better that you don't spread anything. Let me just say, I'm fairly certain the last time I caught something was because someone behind me in a class was coughing through the entire lecture.

Rest.

This one goes with the last point, but sleeping will help your immune system fight off any infections. It's good to take some time off and get any extra sleep you can.

Clean everything.

I like to wash all of my clothes and bed sheet, because they're what I wear and touch the most, especially my pillow cases. This will help get rid of some germs and stop them from spreading. It's also good to disinfect anything you touch often, like doorknobs and table surfaces.

Take medicine.

This one also sounds like a no brainer, but seriously if you expect to feel better soon you should be taking some sort of medicine. At the very least, it'll help with your symptoms, so you're not couching or sneezing every couple minutes.

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