How Do You Feel Powerful?
POWER: what does it mean to you? Where is it found?
Does it hide from you, running to the dingy corner as soon as you enter the room and turn on the light? Or does it display itself proudly, waving its flag in your life as you march like General Sherman on his way to the sea, asserting your presence and leaving flames in your wake?
As womxn in a patriarchal world, there is no shortage of places we're told we can't be. There is no dearth of reminders of our status, supposedly submissive. In the board room, in the bedroom, in the gym, in the damn left-hand lane—we're underrepresented, told we don't belong, deemed, "too emotional," to handle it.
POWER: it isn't something supposedly meant for us.
Which is why I'd like to ask you where you find it for yourself.
For me, there's power in ripping a heavy weight off the floor. Deadlifts are a metaphor for what I can overcome with practice, patience, technique, and focus.
Loading up the bar, the extra plates wink back at me, feeling my trepidation. They sense my apprehension and stand there, simple and plain, but daring me: try me.
But I dare them to try me back. A deep breath in, a squat down, a low hip wiggle, a brace, and a wedge. I'm ready. With a clink and a pull, the iron breaks from the floor, sliding up, snagging a bit near my knees as the energy transfers from my body,
...and with a rush, I stand up to claim my victory.
⚡ POWER. ⚡
Nothing like it. You can find it in the gym; I've coached hundreds of womxn to learn who they are, to assert their values, and to boldly take up space, particularly in the gym, but, you know, that carries over.
And, a perhaps-uncomfortable thought, if you're conditioned to believe power is always, and only, and necessarily, loud and dominant:
It's also in the stillness.
It's available to us, right now—no long-term periodization or 16-week programming block or fat-torching, muscle-building diet between here and a quiet, gentle roar.
Every time we question a beauty standard, evaluate an ineffective habit, advocate for ourselves at work, ask for support, or even say, "I'm not sure," we're winking back at those plates loaded on your metaphorical bar: challenge accepted.
The act of allowing yourself to consume energy and space in your own life for your growth, edification, pleasure, or peace is power—make no mistake about it.
It doesn't have to be loud, chalky, or neon (unless you'd like it to be).
Declaring your worth is strength.
What about you? Leave a comment and let me know: where do you feel most capable? Where do you find reminders of your power?