A few years ago, I may have been uncomfortable sharing certain aspects of my life for fear of being judged. Now I’ve learned to embrace those things that I’ve gone through because I realized they shaped me into the proud woman I am today. Hopefully, this small story of struggle might help you in some small way.
Women’s fears. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately. Why do so many women allow fear to prevent them from having their ideal lives and bodies? Why do so many women fear training with real weights in the gym? Is it just the gym or does this fear creep into other aspects of our lives?
Some years back, I was estranged from my family because of some poor life choices. I was going through a troubled relationship and couldn’t find a day job that would pay me enough to survive. I was getting evicted from where I was living and didn’t have anywhere to go. I was drowning and I needed a life raft.
The life raft came in the form of a job offer working commercial construction in an overnight position. The overnight position paid well and afforded me the time to start balancing my life during the day. But there was one thing standing in the way…fear of failure, scared me to death. We’ll get back to this in a moment.
My Father passed away late last year. It was especially rough for me and still is in many ways. We had a very tumultuous relationship to say the least. He was an abusive alcoholic who ran his own demolition and construction company in New Jersey. My Father was a tough guy and he proved it to his kids. Despite that and our strained relationship, I loved him and I know he loved me. He just didn’t know how to show it. He died in his hospital bed the moment our plane landed in New Jersey. I never got to say goodbye to him.
One thing I learned from being around my Father’s business and all his business friends was construction. It was like the familiarity of riding a bike after many years. What I didn’t know I could learn pretty quick having been around it so often over the years. I drew upon those experiences to take on that overnight construction job and made the best of a bad situation. I put on my knee pads and joined the all male crew in laying tiles at a large commercial bank.
Things got a little worse before they got better, as they often do. I was finally evicted despite my newly acquired job. I had to move in to a Woman’s Shelter, which fortunately for me, was right down the street from where I was living. I worked during the night and volunteered during the day at the shelter to keep my spot and help put food on the table. I was literally living out of a few bags I could carry around with me. When we go through tough times like that in our lives, sometimes the silly little things that happen resonate with us years later. I was down to one pair of panties and couldn’t afford buying any more. I was so angry about it that I literally tore my last pair in half. The last pair of panties represented the end of the line and the beginning of a revolt for me. I had it. I was going to fight my way back out of my hell hole I created.
SO I MURDERED MY PANTIES.
Why is this relevant?
In retrospect, my last pair of panties represented fear. I was scared of so many things in life. I was scared of trying and failing. I was scared for my future. I was scared I wasn’t going to get through my hard times. Putting on my work jeans without my panties symbolized a rebellion against all that I had failed and now I no longer had any excuses for myself. The only direction I had was up.
I made it out of that Women’s shelter after 9 months. I made many friends and tried to be a positive example to the women that found themselves in a similar circumstance. I worked that construction job until I got life in order. I landed a better day job, bought a car, and found a small home nearby. I’m grateful for what I went through for it made me who I am today. This is just a small window into the things I have had to endure and overcome.
Fear, as it turned out, was a big motivator.
Last week I wrote about “Women & Weights”. I brought up some routinely talked about topics among us women like the myth that lifting heavy weights builds big and bulky muscles. We know this to be false. I touched lightly on our body image problem as it relates to the social media bombardment. I also talked about the habitual cardio junkies that think they can treadmill themselves to their ideal selves. Finally, I ended “Women & Weights” with the power our minds have in crushing the limits we unnecessarily set for ourselves and how to overcome those limits at Wolf Den Strength. This week, I wanted to raise the topic of fear.
Fear, in its many forms, is a mammoth obstacle for women preventing us from all sorts of great accomplishments. A common goal most women have is to feel good about themselves and build a physique we are comfortable with. More often than not, we turn to unhealthy fad diets, under-eating, those popular TV get fit in 20 minutes programs, pill popping, laxatives, and so much more I can go on and on. We turn away from proven conventional methods of proper nutrition and weightlifting because we are paralyzed from fear.
- Fear of failing.
- Fear of lifting heavy weights.
- Fear of not knowing what to do, especially in front of others.
- Fear of getting big & bulky.
- Fear we can’t do those things that others do, especially men.
Fear leads to self-confidence issues. The lack of self-confidence may lead us to do things like seek out foolish methods of weight loss that are harmful to us over and over again. And the vicious cycle just continues.
I am here to tell you, as a woman, it’s ok to be scared. It’s ok to fear change, to fear failing, to fear all the things that go through our minds, rational or irrational. But there comes a point in our lives that we have to make hard choices. Are we going to let fear keep us from our goals? Are we going to let fear of failing prevent us from bettering ourselves? Are we going to let fear debilitate our potential?
Take a stand. Face your fear. Take the first step. I promise you won’t regret it.
Murdering my panties is nothing but a metaphor for the fear I had to overcome to endure through a very rough time in my life. I had failed so much that failure no longer carried any weight with me. I put this small chapter of my life out there to help you understand that you are not alone in your struggle.
Like I said earlier, the only direction I had was up. Wolf Den Strength was created to provide a safe space to explore our limitations and break them. It was, and continues to be, a place where we use the training environment as a mere tool to become better, stronger, resilient, and overcome the crippling fears that prevent us from becoming our ideal selves. If we can overcome the fear we have in the gym, we can apply that to every other aspect of our lives. Fear is no longer a limiting factor. Fear becomes the motivation that breaks down barriers to anything we want to take on in life.
I want to challenge you, woman to woman, to join our movement. A movement of liberation, empowerment, and encouragement. Women of Wolf Den Strength starts with you. A step by step approach to bettering yourself where fear no longer rules your life.
Don’t you want to see what you are capable of? Don’t let fear keep you where you are!
Join our training facility (Start Here). We offer small semi-private training with a variety of morning and evening classes. If you are interested in joining we would be happy to discuss how we can help you develop yourself into a strong and confident woman. Your comments and questions are welcomed.
Co-Owner, Wolf Den Strength & Conditioning
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