Rachel is our Spotlight Member for November and just did an awesome job in our Breakthrough Strength Challenge last month! She shares how discovering physical strength has helped in finding mental strength and confidence – as well as a being great stress reliever!
BREAKTHROUGH: Thank you, Rachel, for being our Spotlight member for November! I’m really excited to chat with you because we just did our Breakthrough Strength Challenge, and you were amazing!
RACHEL: Thank you!
BREAKTHROUGH: You did such a great job in your training leading up to the challenge as well. Tell me how you feel about the challenge and how it all went?
RACHEL: It feel goods. Yeah. I never thought I would be able to press double 20kg bells overhead, so it is amazing! I did my little dance after! I feel like it was an accurate representation of what was going on in my head once I did that. And then the 75 swings is just – I wanted to get 50 – like 25 on each hand. And then I just kept going. I can’t believe I did that!
BREAKTHROUGH: So exciting! Tell me about what you were doing before you started training with us. It’s been about a year and a half. What made you join in the first place?
RACHEL: My old soccer team went to another place once a week. It’s like a strength, agility, and they also have physical therapy there. It’s not really like this, but we would do pull ups, and we would do hex barbell deadlifts and stuff. I didn’t like it at all.
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh, no!
RACHEL: We really didn’t do much. The coaches would always joke around with us and we wouldn’t really try. So, when my dad started here, he showed me swings about a week before the swing seminar you guys had. And I was pretty good at it, I guess, because I think I’m a fast learner and stuff…
BREAKTHROUGH: You are!
RACHEL: And so, when I came to the seminar, I loved it! Then a week or two later, he said, okay you can go. Then once I started here, you, Caleb, RT, and Livius – you are all so amazing and so nice.
RACHEL: And just the atmosphere – I just love it! Everything that I do here is super fun. I love deadlifting. I love doing everything. It makes me want to come back!
BREAKTHROUGH: That is so awesome! I feel like sometimes people think of exercise as a task that they know they should do, but don’t really want to do it. So, what do you love about it? What is it that fuels you to keep going? What’s your why?
RACHEL: It makes me feel accomplished. I am so young, and I am already in this mindset that if I keep doing this, I will just keep getting stronger and stronger. Like when I finish doing a set of 5 deadlifts – I feel accomplished.
BREAKTHROUGH: I get that. There is a sense of accomplishment in doing something hard.
BREAKTHROUGH: Do you feel like it carries over into other things in your life? Like outside the gym? I know for me, I am kind of shy and kind of nervous about stuff – and when I started lifting and training it kind of gave me some confidence – Like whoa, if I can do that in the gym, then I can tackle this thing that I am nervous about doing outside the gym….
RACHEL: Oh, yeah. I get that too. I am still super shy and stuff – like it is hard for me to talk to most people… ha-ha! But when I think of doing something, I’ll just think I can do this. I can do snatches, I can do deadlifts, I can almost do a pull up… So, like why shouldn’t I be able to do this? I don’t know if that makes sense. Ha, ha!
BREAKTHROUGH: It totally makes sense! You mentioned being a soccer player. Do you feel your strength training carried over into your sport?
RACHEL: Yeah, it definitely did – well, I don’t really play anymore.
BREAKTHROUGH: Yeah, it is a weird time right now, obviously. But last year when you were playing…
RACHEL: Definitely! Once I got back from my surgery, I was still a little weak. Sometimes my knee would just give out randomly. My kicking wasn’t as far and then after I came and I started training here, I noticed that I can kick so much farther. I scored from the 50-yard line in one game. I was like, “Wow I can’t believe I just did that!” If it was a year before, I don’t think I would have been able to do that at all.
BREAKTHROUGH: That is awesome!
RACHEL: I think during the actual game, it helps like, I am able to focus my breathing a lot more. I think coming here helped a lot with that, too.
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh great!
RACHEL: So, it’s not just like the physical strength; it’s also the mental part of it too, which helped a lot during games.
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh my gosh! That is huge. The mental aspect of things is a huge part of everything, but definitely in training. You actually had an example of this in the Challenge last week where you missed your first attempt at the 20kg press. You came back and were able to get it the next time. That takes a lot of mental strength; mental focus. That is a huge accomplishment! OK, is there anything that you would say to other people who are maybe still looking for an activity to help them find physical and mental strength?
RACHEL: I would say, start slow. Like once you start doing something, it’s ok to start out slow and see how you like. If you do start to like it, you can keep doing more with it.
BREAKTHROUGH: It is totally ok to start slow! I was thinking about that this morning actually – this is a totally overwhelming time for a lot of people. You just turned 18 and got to vote in your very first election – and today is election day as we are sitting here chatting! So yeah, there is a lot going on. But even a tiny step is still a step forward. So, you are absolutely right. It’s ok to start slow and then let things build. I like that advice!
RACHEL: And it helps because it takes your mind off things. As a student, my life is so stressful with school. Not high school sports anymore but with classes and tests and everything. It is so stressful. Coming here and training, it’s nice to take my mind off the stress and focus on something that is making me stronger.
BREAKTHROUGH: Oh yes! I don’t know if there is any better way to put it than that. We need something to make us feel physically and mentally stronger – especially when dealing with all of the challenges we have these days! So, thank you, Rachel! That’s great!
RACHEL: Thank you!