I read a couple lines in a 70sbig blog post a few days ago that stopped me short:
Now that you are a female who trains, you no longer get a cookie just for doing the lifts. Instead, devote yourself into that training and consistently improve. Don’t just get stronger than the anorexic girl who rang you up at the super market, get strong for a woman that trains. Eat right, train hard, and do it consistently. The activity of lifting revolves around performance, not attendance. You are now held to higher standards. Do something about it.
I think I was just called out! Yeah, I know, they don’t know me and aren’t talking to me. But I’m guilty as charged. I’ve caught myself thinking when I see a skinny woman, “I bet she can’t do chin-ups!” And the less-nice side of me thinks “and I can!” I know, I said it wasn’t nice.
But so what? So I can do chin-ups (or handstand push-ups or fill in the blanks) and most women can’t. Why does that matter anymore? The answer is it shouldn’t. What should matter is how much more I can train to do. How much can I improve? Who cares that I deadlifted and squatted180 pounds and benched 100? How much can I add now? Can I lift more than the other women in my weight class when I get to the USAPL championships?
And how willing can I be to put aside what I think I need and do what coach says? I was balking about using stacked mats and plates for handstand pushups this week, grumbling in my head about being treated like a sissy with training wheels. If I would just learn to trust my program, I wouldn’t waste energy on wrong assumptions. When I finally whined out loud about the mats, I got an answer that made perfect sense: “You get ab mats on the handstand pushups because I need triceps, not traps and shoulders. I need a big bench not a bunch of handstand push ups.” Oh. Oops.
I’m still new at this, yeah. But I’m not so new that I should be getting pats on the back just for lifting a few weights, or making the mistake of thinking I know better than coach what I need to do to improve. So keep your cookie, and hang a kettlebell from my foot so I can start doing some weighted chin-ups.