I’m a food writer who, with zero previous interest in anything athletic, was lured into powerlifting and found a love of getting strong.
On this blog I chronicled my year-plus long experience of transforming from a couch-loving writer with a penchant for macarons to an athlete, a record-holding powerlifter, with a truthful look at the moments of glory, despair — and a whole lot of work — along the way. My powerlifting career ended with an injury and surgery in winter 2012 but the power I discovered didn’t vanish when I hung up my weight belt. I’m on a quest for my next adventure now. To find a new passion I’m learning new sports around the world — trying rock climbing in Vietnam, white water kayaking in Oregon, and Muay Thai in Bangkok among others.
I had (and still have!) a lot to say about heavy lifting for women — have a look at some of my stories:
What happens when a sport changes your life-and then you can’t do it anymore? Carried away by the power of powerlifting, Dana McMahan discovered new abilities and hard limits. Read
We need to stop accepting the magazines stories that tell us to avoid bulking up at all costs, especially when that cost is our bone health.
Let’s stage a coup of weight rooms across the country, tell the magazines and their five-pound weight routines where they can go, and get serious about heavy lifting!
If girls started getting under the bar with some serious weight, the market for diet books, gadgets, pills, food-like products, exercise gear, Spanxx, and so-called health/fitness magazines might just entropy.
“Our little bodybuilder is waking up,” I heard the nurse say through my haze of anesthesia and morphine. I struggled to sit up and a nauseating wave of pain slung me back onto the hospital bed. “I’m not a bodybuilder,” I muttered. “I’m a powerlifter.”
“No pain no gain needs a lot of explanation. That’s the trouble with clichés.”
That’s Dr. Eddie O’Connor‘s much nicer way of putting something I’ve been saying for a while: “no pain no gain” is bullshit that gets you hurt.
Brimming with elation, exhilaration, exuberance. Racing heart. Face-splitting grin. Did I win the lottery? No. I reached a goal – an epic, seemingly unattainable goal. I conquered a 200-pound – nearly double my bodyweight – lift.
I spend four days per week in a gym; on days off, I pine to be there. I lift hundreds of pounds, sport smeary chalk prints on my sweat-soaked clothes and listen to cacophonous music at dangerously loud levels when I train. I attack large, bloody-rare steaks like a caveman. Am I a 275-pound shaved-headed dude with my bench total dangling as a charm from a gold chain around my thick neck?Nope. I’m a 100-pound 30-something female food writer who has fallen in love with powerlifting.
- Lifting Big & Eating Big: Not Just For The Boys
- Strong is the New Skinny
- Who are you calling an athlete?
- Interview With Squat Record Holder Dana McMahan
- From the dining table to the chin-up bar
And I’ve talked about lifting on a local news show. Take a look!
- The final numbers (beheavy.wordpress.com)