Hanging out with strong women

Rachel Flanagan Uncategorized Leave a Comment

PicturePost workout selfie from Wednesday’s lunchtime workout. That workout was just what I needed that day.

Wow, friends – this has been quite a week. And when life dishes up a week like this, I seek solace in three things, usually in this order:

  1. My family
  2. Lifting heavy
  3. Running hard

My husband PJ is the yin to my yang. When I’m an anxious mess, he’s a steady, unshakeable force.

And when I’m feeling like the world is full of hate and vitriol, I hang out with my kids for a while. There’s something about seeing the world through the eyes of a six year old girl that brings me comfort. Everything is so literal, and down to the basics. The thing Paige spent the most time thinking about and planning this week was which sneakers she was going to wear for her school’s Fun Run and how she was going to wear her hair. There was a lot of consternation.

On Wednesday morning, Paige said to me, “Mommy, you can make a difference!!” She was talking about her Fun Run pledges, but something about her saying that struck me, especially on that day.

I can’t change who is at the helm of our government right now but I can change my tiny corner of the world. I’m in control of how strong I can get and how strong and confident I feel. So I worked out pretty hard that day in the gym and ended the workout with a superset of pushups and chin ups. Because there’s something about chin ups in particular that makes me feel powerful, strong, and in control. Which is exactly what I needed that day.

And I don’t know it it’s the cold weather or the heightened stress, but my clients are KILLING IT in their workouts this week. I have seen some amazing strength gains lately, and it makes my heart fill with joy. One of my clients told me a story about her little granddaughters, then stepped over to the barbell and knocked out a set of 85lb deadlifts like it was no big deal. It was so stinking cool. There was just something about it, about seeing her take her strength seriously that was just so awesome. She just gets it. She gets how important it is to stay strong, and how being strong feels amazing, especially as you get older.

There’s also my small early morning group, who came out on Tuesday morning when it was 32 degrees and just plowed through a pretty hard workout. I absolutely love that group—the supportive vibe, the sense of community with each other, their work ethic, and their strength that just starts my day on such a high note. Most of them are busy moms of young ones like me but one is a 68 year old women who is determined not to get frail. After watching her bang out goblet squats with a 25lb dumbbell, I don’t think she has anything to worry about at the moment. And that’s awesome.

Seeing women fight hard to get strong just fires me up, and makes me feel good about the world. My favorite part is the look on their faces when they finish a set with weights that they didn’t even think they could even lift off the ground at first. Their look pretty much says, “Whoa, I just did that. YAY ME!”

So let’s keep showing the world how strong women can be, and let’s be sure to show that to our daughters, nieces, and granddaughters. Because they’re watching. My hope is that this next generation—Paige’s generation—will just think strength is just part of what you do, and that confidence is not something she will have to dig deep to find.

Here’s to strength for all women. It’s never too late, and there’s no minimum requirement to start if you start simply. Let’s just get at it.


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