This Body Can series guest post #3! I am so excited about how many people are willing to share their stories with me. When I first decided to start this series of stories I thought of my boyfriend’s sister, Kayla. Like me, Kayla really enjoys strength training and she has her own #garagegym – which has grown to be a pretty impressive gym. Also like me, when she started on her strength journey she was one of those girls who wanted a more “toned” body and to “be in better shape”. Which are such generic and actually lame, unhelpful goals (tone is not really a thing that your body can be more of, and what is better shape? How about focusing on abilities…but I digress). Thank you, Kayla for sharing your story and sharing your love and knowledge of strength with others.
… (Standing up from my chair)… “Hello, my name is Kayla and I’m a strength-aholic.” (Group replies in unison)… “Hi, Kayla.” As I stood there wondering where to start and how to share my story, it was then that I realized I actually had one to tell.
Ok, ok… so I’m not actually in group therapy. And yes, of course, I realize it’s no laughing matter. In all honesty, though, when I received an email from Haley asking me to share my story, I had a million thoughts run through my mind. All of which I had (have) NO idea how to put on paper in ANY kind of organized fashion. So here it is, in a very non-organized kind of way.
So as I said before, my name is Kayla. I am 31 years old. I can be pretty forthcoming and abrasive at times. I live in a small town in the Central Valley of California where dust devils and tumble weeds are born and retire. I’ve lived here my whole life. In 2008 I met my husband, Robert, who introduced me to weight lifting, jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai. At the time I was like most girls who just wanted to “tone” their muscles and be in “better shape.” After a couple years I started developing a passion for strength training. I fell in love with the way it made me feel – like I could accomplish anything. I kept up with jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai training, and still do to this day. In fact, I am currently a blue belt in Gracie jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu has helped me find my center, my balance. It has taught me patience, strength, fortitude and persistence. All of which can be applied to anything life throws at us.
But my heart and soul lies in strength training. It always will. Am I the strongest woman that has ever lived? No, of course I’m not. But I AM the strongest ME that has ever lived. And that feels fantastic. There’s nothing like walking up to a cold metal bar loaded with 250+ pounds and lifting it up. I believe that everyone should do what makes them feel good. No matter what it is. I also believe in balance. For every hard day with the weights, I take a day to relax, stay active and let my mind and body recover. And, of course, we can’t forget about eating healthy and feeding our bodies what they need to perform at their best.
These days, I offer my experience and knowledge to others who wish to embark on their own journey. And I will continue on my journey, learning and growing every chance I get.