Fitmark Athlete, Sarah Hopping, gives her take on lifting heavy.
When I was in college, I trained alongside Jillian Camarena (now Williams) who went on to become one of the best shot putters in the world. She was always much stronger than me, and I found myself always adding more weight to my own barbell in an effort to keep up with her. When I started CrossFit, my PR in the snatch was 135. This weekend I power snatched 190. Again, I’m left in the shadow of another strong woman, Lindsay Valenzuela, who recently posted a video of herself snatching 200. I’m grateful for people inspiring me to get better and stronger. Why?
First, there’s the act of getting strong. I think lifting weights is so fun. For me there’s a moment as I dive under the bar in which time stops and I feel incredibly powerful. Not in an aggressive, masculine, green hulk sort of way, but in more of a graceful, effortless, dance. I want to share that feeling with other people.
Second, there’s the condition of being strong. I love being able to carry my groceries for the week in one trip – across the garage, into the elevator, down the hall and into my house without putting them down even once just because I can. I love not having to hire movers. I love letting my boyfriend or my dad carry my bags because they want to, not because I can’t do it myself.
It never ceases to confuse me when people ask if guys are intimidated by my strength. What’s there to be intimidated by? My ability to snatch is an indication that I’ve spent hundreds of hours over the last 15 years trying to get really good at lifting. It doesn’t mean I’d intentionally hurt anything other than a trespassing spider, or that I’m trying to be like a guy. I’m just having fun getting, and being strong.
Next up? 200 lbs. After that? 100kg. Why not? I’m seeking that feeling of ecstasy that goes with a new PR. I hope anyone, male or female, that wants to lift more will do the same. Add weight to the bar, little by little, work on your technique, believe you can do it. Before you know it, you’ll be better. And people will be afraid of you. It’s weird.