My name is Crystal, and I wanted to share my story with all the other women out there who feel too scared to start. For all the women out there afraid to walk into the gym for the first time and get started on their own journey.
Quick history of facts:
- June 2005 – Pregnant with my first baby.
- July 2005 – Married the man of my dreams.
- August 2005 – Buried my mother. She had taken her own life.
- March 2006 – My daughter was born.
- January 2009 – My son was born.
- October 2011- My son was diagnosed with cancer.
- August 2012 – My son finished his lengthy treatment.
- December 2012 – I felt like I was at the lowest I had ever been in my life. I felt like what’s the point of anything? What’s the point of taking my kids to school? What’s the point of getting up in the morning? We’re all just going die anyway.
I allowed myself to feel this way for a few weeks before I knew that I needed to drastically change something in my life.
- January 2013 – I started counseling.
- October 2013 – I felt intimidated and scared to death but I walked into the PAC doors with blinders on. I walked past everyone, signed up for a membership and joined a bootcamp they had going on.
I spent the next two and half years learning about nutrition, portion control and strength training. I didn’t know anything about carbs, fats, proteins or how different foods could fuel my body and mind in different ways.
Weight Lifting was my changing point. I thought weight lifting was for men and body builders. Little did I know that it would become my niche.
- August 2017 – I came across a post about a fun competition where you get to lift heavy weights in a timed session. I spent a few days thinking about this, until I approached my trainer Alicia at the PAC to ask if she could help me accomplish this goal. So, we had 1 month to prepare my body. Over the next few weeks, I pushed my body further than I could ever have imagined.
It was during this time that I finally realized that I was never meant to be a size zero. My whole life I’ve felt pressure from society and social media to look a certain size. I realized that I needed to stop focusing on what I’m not and to embrace who I am. I wanted to be strong and be me and realized that this is how I felt my best.
The following weeks taught me how empowering being a strong woman could be. Not only personally, but the feeling of being strong within the community of the gym and people who I interact with on a daily basis. By conquering my mental health and changing my perception of myself, my body started to change too and I now feel at my healthiest!
- October 6th 2017 6:30pm – I stand in a room of strangers blissfully ignorant of what I am about to do.
I run through in my head:
-I’ve taken my pre workout drink.
-I have my belt.
But am I really ready to do this?
I stand at this bar with many weighted plates on both sides. The bar and weights total 250lbs. All eyes are on me, the room is quiet.
In my head;
Can I really do this? The 24 yr old who was pregnant and lost her mom from mental illness who has lived in constant fear of going down the same path. The 29 yr old who slept with her toddler in his hospital bed fearing every day she would lose him. It all came down to this weighted bar and this now 35 yr old who could conquer it all.
I wrap my hands around the bar, I lock eyes with the time keeper and its go time.
In that moment the room went from silent to cheers of encouragement and motivation. In what I feel was the most important 60 seconds of my life, I lifted that 250lbs 12 times and took third place.
The feeling of being strong is the most empowering thing I have ever felt. Being aware of what my body could accomplish is amazing.
- June 30, 2018 – My first actual Powerlifting Competition – the Trench Open Powerlifting Competition in Regina. I stepped out on a stage as a powerlifter. I did it. I accomplished it. This is me.
Competing is something I never thought I would do because I never saw myself being a size zero in a bikini on a stage. I now know that I can be on a stage competing doing powerlifting.
This is just the beginning of my journey. The PAC is my second home and it is here that I have become the woman I am today – Strong both mentally and physically.