Be proud to be a strong, fit, and fast woman

I read a good article today written by a female weightlifter from Gubernatrix training for a strongwoman competition in which she addresses the discontinuity between women being feminine and having muscles. She nailed the points down to a tee: why is it that some people (both men and women) find that femininity and strength or musculature can't coexist? In my own experience I've heard plenty of women say as an excuse to stay out of the weight room, "Oh, no I'd never lift weights because I don't want to look like a man" or "I don't want my muscles too big" or I've even heard, "I need to stay soft, you know, womanly." The last one really gets me...stay soft? I think there are plenty of inactive people already taking care of that one! haha...But it does show that it is not only men who are averse to a strong looking woman.

Okay, I'm not saying that there isn't a point in which some of the strongwomen or other athletes start to look, well, a little scary with their tendons ripping through their necks like chords and their abs capable of grating cheese. BUT there are men who take it to the extreme too, and I'm going to go out on a limb and venture to say that there is most likely a little extra 'boost' they are taking in addition to hitting the gym and working out. For not only general fitness but also athletes building muscle is not only going to make you healthier, fitter, leaner, and better at your sport, but in my opinion it will make you look better too. In the article sprinter standout Allyson Felix is quoted, “Girls deserve to have strong muscles and bones and ligaments and tendons, etc. AND look good in their undies too!” I couldn't agree more and while I believe an Olympic medal is far more fulfilling than rocking a bikini body it doesn't hurt to have both; further would you not prefer to see a toned and strong bikini body than one jiggly and loose?

You don't have to be necessarily overweight either to just be soft; take for example many of those startlingly thin girls strutting down the runways. I've read that agents actually forbid the girls to run, but instead walk, because running will build up too much calf muscle? So while the ladies are by no means fat, or even of normal weight, you can still see they don't have muscle tone and are just soft...why is that supposed to be more attractive or feminine?

Finally there is also that same kind of mentality taken to females excelling in their sport or athleticism in general to a certain degree, and I'd say that it's mostly of men or older guys who are not at a highly competitive level but more the type that feel intimidated by a girl who can kick their butts. Runnerchicks, how many times have you been on an easy run and pass a guy only to find he suddenly 'picks it up' and refuses to let you pass? He starts to pant and moan, obviously killing himself just to prove a point that a lady isn't going to pass him; I've had some jerks swerve or try to cut me off in a mixed road race for the same reason. Finally, the classic is if you happen to be on a treadmill and the guy next to you has to increase his own pace, you then get sucked into some kind of unstated treadmill war. Again, I think this is more the men who aren't secure in their own abilities because at the highest level I've seen guys be more than happy for a girl to tag along on a warm-up, an easy run, or even help pace her through a workout; and I think that is because they know yea, they could her butt in a 'real' workout, but they also appreciate the hard work that the girl is doing and has done to get into the shape she has and race the times she has.

I guess the point is that no matter if you are an Olympian or just a generally fit lady being toned, or even ripped, is something to be proud of. So is being able to kick the butts of other guys and similarly that can also be beautiful and attractive (I think Sports Illustrated proves that every time they do a spread of high class athletic women, the mag's sell.) Still, we don't necessarily do it for only looking good in a bikini, but we do it because it is a great feeling to be strong, and yea, being able to win any treadmill 'face off' does have it's own sort of petty pride too. ;)

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