By: Lyra Telles
Lyra is a young writer, avid reader, and a junior powerlifting competitor. Here, Lyra writes about her passion for strength training and the power it has for transforming a girl’s perception of what is possible. “The world would be so much better if girls knew that they can be really strong, that it is possible, and that it has benefits.” She trains alongside her grandmother and brother, and they have yet to stump her uncle and Starting Strength Coach, Nick Soleyn, with one of their brain teasers.
“The Sky Isn’t Actually the Limit!”
I’m Lyra, I’m a 15-year-old girl, and I started weightlifting a little more than three years ago. I don’t do it to help me improve on other sports (even though it does help with them), but I know that it’s pretty common for people my age to lift to help them improve with football or soccer or other sports that require strength training. Weightlifting isn’t just an exercise though. Weightlifting is a whole sport within itself.
It took me a while to realize that a girl weightlifting isn’t a very common sight. And the sad thing is that didn’t even surprise me very much when I learned about it. I would like to change that. The world would be so much better if girls knew that they can be really strong, that it is possible and that it has benefits.
Before I started lifting, I thought it was something that only certain people were able to do and certainly not me. But when my uncle offered to coach my brother and me, I decided that I would give it a try and I’m so glad I did. Now, three years later, I’ve almost reached 200 lbs on my deadlift and I can finally move all of my book boxes without help. One of the best things that also happens besides getting stronger, is getting to compete with my grandmother in lifting twice a week. (And she is still stronger than me, despite all my attempts.)
Recently, we have begun bringing in riddles and puzzles and asking each other in between sets and in the process, exercising our brains along with our bodies. Weightlifting has just been such a great sport for me in these last few years. It’s just so…fun to step up and then beat the bar. To stare “Heavy” right in the face and than lift it, or fail, which is almost as good, but not quite.
Weightlifting has also helped improve my mindset. Now when something challenging occurs, I can think “Oh, I’ve lifted a hundred and seventy-five pounds, this is nothing!” It’s amazing how lifting a bar loaded with weights off the ground or above your head can build confidence. Also, there is the fact that if I commit, work hard, don’t get injured, and don’t quit, there isn’t any number I can’t reach, given time. The sky isn’t actually the limit!