As a child I was very active. I was that kid that parents would have to go out looking for because they lost track of time climbing trees, building forts, or knocking on all of the doors to get a baseball game going in the cul de sac. During recess you could find me playing soccer, dribbling a basketball across the court, or running to catch a football.
At some point in my life though wanting to be athletic and strong became shameful. At a young age I was told my skin was too tan from being out in the sun all day. My forearms were too large. My upper arms were too big. My shoulders were too wide. I had too much muscle on my legs. My tummy, OH GOD my tummy. How dare my stomach even make contact with my shirt… I vividly remember one spring/summer season in elementary school I wore full length jeans and a winter jacket outside in the sun every day during recess because the thought of my arms and thighs being exposed terrified me. My shirt sleeves never went above my elbows and the highest I would allow my pant legs to go were to the knee.
Fast forward to October of last year. I realized that something needed to change. I tried going to the gym but commercial gyms are just awful. One day I google searched “gyms near me” and Solcana Fitness popped up. At the time I had no idea what CrossFit was. All I knew was that I wanted to be a better version of myself and I needed help. I saw 5 stars, good reviews, close to my school, filled out my information, submitted, and the rest was history!
October marks my 1 year at Solcana Fitness and since then I have seen progress. 8 months ago I started wearing shorts that went above my knees/mid-thigh (what?!). Shorts that actually fit my body instead of oversized. Now that is all I wear to the gym! 3-4 weeks ago I wore a shirt without sleeves to the gym and in public for the first time since I can remember and it scared me. I was very aware of how exposed they were, what they must look like, when they moved, how they moved… But at the end of the day, no one cared. No one did any double takes, laughed or made any comments. The only comment I got was how impressive my farmer’s tan was because I was never brave enough to wear a sleeve length shorter than that. What really encourages me to keep improving myself is seeing Solcana homies embrace and share their body positivity journeys. Everyone’s body is different and it has given me the courage to start loving and appreciating mine.
Prior to joining Solcana I never expected to have so many strong female role models. Women who are not afraid to lift heavy sh*t, grunt, sweat, be unapologetically strong AF, and encourage each other to keep being strong despite how challenging and exhausting it can be. They are what I aspire to be like for others. I wish that as a child when someone asked me “what do you want to be when you grow up”, I would have had these amazingly strong and beautiful people to point to and say “them! I want to be like them!”
Solcana is also where I discovered my love for olympic weightlifting. My partner mentioned it once and it is something I hold close which is that lifting is one of the few moments where I get to be inside of my body. When I lift, nothing else matters. Time, conversations, stress, responsibilities, they all go away. What matters is the weight on the barbell and how it feels in my chalked up, callused hands. To have such a thing to run away to when everything else goes wrong is something I am very grateful for. I feel like Solcana is that for many people. As soon as you walk through the door, put all of your baggage in a cubby and get into that circle, the only thing that matters is getting through that workout. Experiencing how your body moves and feels, and knowing that you are on your own personal journey. Every moment in that gym is another strong, powerful, intentional, and loving step you take towards achieving your goals.
I am nowhere near perfect nor do I want to be. But I am forever grateful to the Solcana community for accepting every bit of me.