By Emily Kimball –
My involvement in fitness began in high school. One of my favorite teachers suggested working out would be a good way for me to manage the anxiety and depression I was experiencing.
I started out in the high school weight room. My boyfriend, Daniel, joined me there. He had already been working out with his aunt, who is our very own Denise.
That was 10 years ago. For the first six years of fitness workouts, I followed a body building style of training with cardio and weight routines. Then, four years ago, I shifted to strength training, focusing on The Big Three— squats, bench work, and deadlifting. A friend at the gym suggested I try powerlifting and encouraged me to participate in a powerlifting meet.
Once again, I switched gears to focus on training for powerlifting. In the summer of 2015, I competed in my first powerlifting meet. I was hooked!
Training for strength, not just for the aesthetic results of fitness, meant wanting to be as strong as possible. As I challenged my body’s capabilities over the past four years, the limits of what I could do melted away.
I have always been active; as a child, I spent summers living on a dairy farm doing chores, unafraid of getting my hands dirty. I attribute this attitude growing up surrounded by strong women.
Even though I was a skinny kid, I strove to perform physical tasks as well as anyone else on the farm. I remember how great I felt the first time I threw a bale of hay, and the first time I was able to carry two bales of hay, one in each hand. It was a perfect twist of fate that I discovered powerlifting.
It’s taken me a long time to develop the physique that I have now. Powerlifting and my focus on fueling my body properly with adequate nutrition (not under eating) in order to build healthy lean muscle mass has made a huge difference.
It’s a common misconception that lifting heavy weights will make women “bulk.” I’ve found the opposite to be true— I feel that my physique has become more feminine because of powerlifting.
I encourage all women to pick up a barbell, lift some weights, and discover the power and strength of their bodies. The barbell doesn’t discriminate!