So here is the pattern of thought before an event like Femsport, a fitness competition for women that tests your cardio, balance, agility and strength. Every part of your physical ability is put to the test. You start out thinking ‘yes, this will be fun, I will sign up for Femsport’. You go to your first workout and realize that a 40 pound kettlebell is really heavy and no, you cannot run with it, never mind run with two. A 70 pound kettlebell seems ludicrous, but hey, the event is a long long… long… time away. Time passes; the event is in two days. You have been training, you have noticed some improvement, and you are feeling all right. You meet your team at registration the night before the event. Head on a swivel, you eye up each and every woman that walks through he door. Oh my god that woman is a BEAST. We are in over our heads here people; lets get out while we can. The meeting starts. The event coordinator asks for ‘Hands up for first time competitors’. 75% of the room has raised hands. Relief. I start to notice some women who are older than me, older than my Mom; one girl looks like she weighs slightly more than a wet kitten. Relief.
The day of the event - should I really wear these long socks? Do I look like an idiot? I pack extra socks, short socks. I meet my team at the event. We congregate, exchange looks of horror and comments about how devastatingly nervous we are, and then… wait for the event to start. I watch the other women show up - Lots of long socks. Relief. The first event is announced and it is kettlebells ( Son of a….) There are 5 kettlebells placed in the middle of the ‘stage’ Weighing 30, 40, 50 and 70 pounds. You are to grab the weight and run with it, place it on a shelf and run back to retrieve another until all the weights are nicely balanced on a staggered shelf.
5 minutes until go time. ‘Do I have time to pee?’ ‘Are my shorts too short?’ Shaky hands and dizzy head; we do a quick warm up. I watch the first two competitors, the next two, the next…. now its my turn. Oh my good god. Whistle goes. I pick up that kettlebell and I run hard, place it on the shelf, run hard, I feel AWESOME. This is what it is all about. I pick up the 70 pounder and run like I’m 8 months pregnant. I place it on the shelf, share a quick yet intimate glance with the hot fireman at the end line - I am a sexy beast in my short shorts, and I run back. Done. High fives and hugs to my team…huge adrenaline rush. FUN.
I truly enjoyed watching each and every woman compete in this event. My eyes welled up and a lump formed in my throat when I watched a girl struggle to finish her box jumps. I looked away and covered my face when she fell three times, smashing her knees and legs onto the metal box. She was the last one left because everyone else in her group had finished. She was feeling desperate, exhausted and embarrassed and I could see it on her face. But the crowd was the loudest I’d heard all day. ‘Don’t stop’, ‘You’ve got this’ ‘Dig Deep’ ‘You are almost done’. It took her three minutes to finish 50 box jumps and when she finished she tossed her hands in the air and cried, her team ran out hugging her - then she threw up. Now that is a far more impressive show than the gal from the winning team who did her box jumps in 41 seconds.
I don’t want to degrade the hard work and dedication of the women that excelled in this event. They were inspirational and I appreciate a high level of competition.
But I am so impressed with my team, Fit by Design. For many of us competing in Femsport was way outside our comfort zone. We are all Mothers, some healing from injuries that have plagued us for years, we are in our twenties, our thirties, our forties and our fifties, we are battling self doubt and negative body image, we are on the path to a healthier weight, a stronger body. We are empathetic, kind, loving, hardworking and real. I am so thankful to be a part of this group of women.
To all the mommy Wellness gals who think they can’t do this event, you CAN and you SHOULD!