I grew up very introverted. I grew up in a family that remained in silence at the table. What was said was typically surrounded with negativity – a lot of which involved overweight people. I don’t know what my Father had against these people. Or why he thought him not being overweight made him feel he had such a high standard. But what I did know, even as a child was that it wasn’t fair for him to say such things. I hated the fact that he labeled. Labeling meant judging. I hated feeling judged. I wasn’t allowed to voice this to him, or I would get told to shut up. That always really hurt. And when I hurt I would cry, because I had no other way to release. But if I cried I would get called a bad name like “bitch.” That would hurt even more. My Mother never defended me. I still never figured that out either. So I held it in. I stayed quiet. That was always the safest option. He hated fat people. I hated emotional pain. Even worse. I hated being called names. I hated being labeled as something I knew I wasn’t. It also made me question the feeling of love. I knew I loved myself though. I made me happy. Dancing made me happy. Moving made me happy. I guess that’s one of the reasons why I lift. It’s like hair spray and makeup for emotional pain. This is why lift. This is how I pump.
My parents relied on my grades to determine who I was. Unlike my older brother, I didn’t get very good grades in school. I was always really distracted. My mind always wandered. My feet always tap danced underneath my desk. My teacher really hated that, but I didn’t care. I wanted to dance. School didn’t make me happy. I made me happy. Dancing made me happy. Moving made me happy. I wanted to dance like they did on Broadway. As I got older my grades got worse. My parents started to hold me back from dance classes and seeing my friends in the hope they would get better. I hated feeling held back. It made my grades even worse. I tried to tell them, but they didn’t want to hear it. If I did I would get called a bad name. And I didn’t like those names very much. I didn’t care I didn’t get good grades. I knew I was good at dancing. Dancing made me happy. Moving made me happy. I made me happy. I wanted to move on a Broadway stage. This is why lift. This is how I pump.
I never let my dream of moving to NYC go, but I also never auditioned for Broadway. Being on Broadway means you sign a contract and belong to someone while they tell you who to be on stage. I don’t really like being told what to do or who to be. However, I never stopped moving. Lifting has me moving. Except, when I lift, I create my own scene and the weight room is my stage. The weight gloves are my costume. The music plays from my headphones, and I rep to the beats. My hair can still be curly with spray and I can still wear makeup with deep red lips. It makes me feel like I’m dancing. That’s my favorite feeling. Being up on stage. Except no one can tell me how to look or who to be. What matters is the feeling of my pump. No one has control of that but me. It makes me happy. Lifting makes me happy. Moving makes me happy. That’s happier than Broadway to me.