I found the sport of Strongwoman during a very tumultuous time in my life. A lifelong struggle with poor body image had resulted in decades of crash diets, starvation cleanses, clinical depression and crippling low self-esteem. I spent most of my adult years hating the way I looked, and hating myself. During one attempt at exercising myself into thinness, I stumbled upon a local barbell gym and signed up for a beginner Olympic weightlifting program.
I was terrible at that, bu t soon discovered I was still naturally strong, and the gym owner encouraged me to sign up for their amateur Strongman competition being held in just a few months. I did — and I won. I’m pretty sure it was the first thing I ever won in my life.
Suddenly I was thrust into a community of women I had never experienced before. Women who supported each other. Women who were not concerned with how thin I was, how expensive my clothes were, or how my body looked. They simply cared about how much I could lift — and how they could help me lift more.
Strongwoman is a quirky, niche sport full of misfits. A sport founded on circus acts where the athletes do crazy looking events like log lifting and truck pulling. A sport often made up of people who feel like they don’t really belong in other spaces, a sport full of individuals who buck the trends of conventional appearances and expectations.