There’s More Than One Way to Lift Like a Girl
“My lungs feel . . . my lungs . . . my lungs feel like . . . they’re on fire.”
I uttered that phrase to my training partner as I walked around, panting, desperately trying to catch my breath after completing my sixth hill sprint.
The sun was hot and unforgiving that afternoon, and the humidity was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Even though it wasn’t the most comfortable of temperatures (which is, quite honestly, and understatement), and I had to deal with the sting of salty sweat in my eye, I felt great.
I was training hard, I was starting to get a little tired, I was covered in sweat . . . but I felt amazing.
I proceeded to slowly make my way down the hill in zig-zag fashion and mustered up some energy for another hill sprint. My goal, that day, was to complete eight hill sprints. After walking around for a couple of minutes, I was ready to go again.
“Six down, two more to go,” I thought as I started to accelerate. I charged as hard as I could exploding through my cleats as I made my way further up the hill. At the halfway point my butt and legs began to burn, but I kept sprinting. It only took about 10 seconds to get to the top of the hill, but it was a very challenging 10 seconds.
This time I got to enjoy a nice breeze as a I paced around, regaining my breath once again. The smell of freshly cut grass filled my nose and the scent hung heavy in the air as I started back down the hill.
One more hill sprint.
I wanted to put 100% into my last sprint, so I walked around for a couple of minutes to regain as much energy and strength as possible. By this point sweat was dripping into both eyes and pouring off my chin, and grass clippings were glued to my ankles and shins.
Finally, I approached the hill once again. Last sprint of the day.
I took a slow jog into the hill and then pushed as hard as I could, aggressively sprinting with every ounce of strength I could muster. My lungs were burning and my legs were starting to fatigue, but I pushed hard and fought against my mind as it pleaded with me to hold back or slow down.
I didn’t relent. I ran even harder.
After completing that tough final ascent up the hill I was greeted with the victory of accomplishing my goal of eight sprints. Since I ran the last one as hard as possible, it was a challenge to catch my breath. The humidity was so thick it was like breathing through a straw. Good ole Kentucky summer heat and humidity was in full effect.
I staggered around, breathing as deeply as I could in a desperate attempt to fill by depleted body with oxygen, and reflected on the previous challenge. Completing eight hill sprints on a very hot day was tough, but, in a weird way, it was a lot of fun. There’s just something about running up a hill that feels good, both physically and mentally. It was a rewarding challenge for sure.
After a couple of minutes I made my way back down the hill. I was a little tired, and yet I was completely energized with a euphoric rush of endorphins. Even though my tank top was drenched with sweat and I was covered in grass, I couldn’t help but smile.
Lifting Like a Girl can come in many forms — barbell exercises, bodyweight training, hill sprinting, and through the use of any other training tool — however, it’s mostly about an attitude.
It’s about taking on new challenges and seeing what your body is capable of achieving, and sometimes, withstanding. It’s about building physical and mental strength. It’s about becoming the best YOU possible.
However you choose to train, whatever method or tool you use, as long as you train hard and have the right attitude, you can boldly proclaim, “I’m proud to Lift Like a Girl!”