I have been thinking a lot lately about strength and what it means to be a strong woman.
Something you may not know about me is that I am a power-lifter. Not in any official capacity, rather, that is the lifestyle that I lead. What this means in my day-to-day life is that I eat a lot and get my butt to the gym every day. That isn’t always easy when I’m trying to run a business, keep a house clean, look after a lot of pets (seriously, I have way too many pets!), have full and meaningful relationships with friends and family, and still have some time for R&R!
It also means that I don't conform to the commonly accepted idea of beauty. I am bigger and stronger than a woman is 'supposed' to be. It makes people uncomfortable when I don't need a man to do things for me. I am not weak or submissive. Some people might see me as self-absorbed for how much time I invest in strength training, health and mental wellbeing. But it's important to me. It is the physical embodiment of my inner strength.
Physical strength is just one type of strength. Being strong woman doesn't have to mean that you are loading 20kg plates on to a barbell at the gym. It could be showing up for your family, pushing through a difficult time at work, finding time to nurture friendships or kicking some personal goals. It all comes from the same place and no matter how you choose to show your strength, there are going to be battles along the way. The less important things fall away to make room for your strength. People might not agree with the choices you make and the things you sacrifice in order to stay true to yourself. Things are evolving, though. There is a growing movement amongst women to support each other in our pursuit of our authenticity and showing the world what it truly means to be our version of a strong woman.
So stand up, be loud and proud. Flex your metaphorical muscles (or literal muscles) and show the world where your strength lies. Personal strength, whatever form it may take, is a way of fighting back when it feels as though all the world is trying to knock you down and squeeze you into the box of 'what a woman should be'. It's a way of saying that I am enough, as I am, take me or leave me. I won't be pushed around. I will fight for what is right for me.