I can still remember lying in the bed and scrolling through social media. Nestling up with my comforter and fiddling around a bit to be sure the covers were allowing no unwanted cold breezes in. I pulled out my phone for a bit and begin swiping every so often through social media. I was stopped in my browse by a woman who was doing what I now know to be snatches. I replayed that video at least 6 or 7 times that night.  In that small clip I experienced this momentary awe factor. I appreciated this tenacity she possessed behind the lift and what seemed to be an innate ability to lift more than what her body weight. It left such an impression on me. The next day I went to the gym and requested to meet with my trainer at that time because I wanted to revisit my goals. We discussed my goals briefly and there was some offered insight about lifting in general and then more specifically, Olympic Lifting. There was no claiming of ever doing this sport in his noted experience, but neither encouragement for me to learn. I left the discussion with a familiar sense of discouragement and I couldn’t understand why.

I spent some weeks unconsciously toiling over the recent transitions in my life—leaving dead relationships, renewing my walk with God and being open to assessment of self. However, this interaction did not leave my mind. I was fighting with it. I was upset. I was offended and I couldn’t really understand why.  It was not until I sat down and opened up my mouth to speak to my Father about how I was feeling did I realize this one interaction ignited some past flames I thought were burnt out. The feedback given was merely a representation of the small voices trying to convince me of what I CAN NOT DO.  God revealed to me that I was offended—not necessarily by the feedback but by all those who said I couldn’t be. He said to me, “that has kept you from moving. You’ve been toiling with and over thoughts and relationships I pronounced dead a long time ago.” He gently reminded me that you have suffered and stopped your own maturation because of the binding of others opinions of who you are—allowing their voices to be bigger than mine. God spent much time affirming that I am his child and YES I CAN, do all things for He strengthens me. The Spirit of God left me with the awakening word of FEAR NOT, I AM WITH YOU, and so why are you afraid?

I was drawn to tears. I had no idea that deeper than offense, deeper than forgiveness—my thought process around developing of self was based in fear. Ensuring that my choices did not offend or step on any toes, I was subconsciously choosing fear over faith—not fully comprehending that faithful steps will not appease the masses.

That night, I took a firm look at God supplying me with all that I need—the necessary tools, persons, and His promised word for growth. I sat in bed that night and wrote until my fingers tired. I reflected on the clips of watching other women lift. In that moment, I realized this journey in fitness—this longing to lift weights was more than physical growth but a representation of the work to gain mental tenacity. With a renewed excitement I began texting a trusted friend and it was reaffirmed that it was time to move. Not to a trainer, but a coach. Not occasional meet and greets, but to community.

…and I found that.

I found this in a group of women that I greet almost daily as “Sis.” I found a cheer and excitement within myself to see my teammate make a lift. I found that in the times they’ve stayed to cheer for me. I found that in the times we’ve poured into each other between sets with simple words of, “don’t overthink it.” I found that in the patience, laughter and straight savagery that exudes in the atmosphere. I found strength in hearing every weight drop. I found love in every hug we enter and exit with. I found community.

So my response to fear is, God is forever present. 

"The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 

Psalm 27:1, KJV


…and for that one moment everything silences around me

I look down at the weight

I give it a slight smirk

This smirk serving as assurance of self—affirming that what lies before me is lifeless

I receive glimpses of all I’ve been fighting and toiling with

I am reminded of the lack of movement in my life once keeping me stagnant and complacent—only to create a breeding ground for depression.

I am reminded that I am no longer the same.

I am no longer my circumstances—for I have been changed.

I recite, “He has supplied all that I need.”

I am created and equipped to WIN.

I realize this woman—this conquering woman is ready.

For she, has been guided.

She has been coached.

…and she is now UNLEASHED.

Fear has no place here.

Being still is no longer an option.

...and in that moment, moving the weight is THE ONLY choice.