Strong New York

Over the past year, my relationship with my body has shifted significantly. These days, I find myself focusing less on how my body looks, and more about what it can do. This shift happened for me when I moved from yoga and running to crossfit and powerlifting. As a result, my body changed and so did I.

One person who has been instrumental in this change is Meg Squats, a powerlifter and YouTuber who’s goal is to “get a barbell in every woman’s hands.” With a motto like that, I really don’t have to explain why I abso-frickin-lutely adore her, but I’ll go on. She’s funny. She’s honest. She’s strong AF. She talks sincerely about her strength goals, body image, good days and bad, and how her focus on lifting and exercise has changed over the years.

So naturally I freaked out when I saw that Meg would be doing a seminar in NYC while both Gustavo and I are here. (Gustavo also needs credit for encouraging me to try lifting, and crossfit, in the first place. Good job.) Originally we were on the wait list and then two spaces magically opened up the day before, which I’m going to take as a birthday present from the universe. Thanks Universe!

The event was at Solace NYC, a super cool training facility in NYC. The event started with the athletes, well, lifting. The volume was insane, that’s all I can say. Terron Beckham literally had no space left on the bar to deadlift any more.

After, there was a Q+A with everyone. In responding to a question about how to deal with pre-performance anxiety, Christian Harris said something that resonated with me. Some athletes, he explained, are motivated by the hype – applause, yelling, getting amped up, etc. – and others are cerebral. Which is me! I had just been thinking earlier in the morning about how, even though I no longer do yoga, I still focus so much on the mind-body connection and it requires me to be able to lazer-focus and tune out anything else in the gym.

At the end, we all had the really unique opportunity to do some deadlifts and power cleans with the athletes. I managed to hit a PR (225lb/102kg) in the process, which was AMAZING. I got 235lb off the ground, but couldn’t quite get there. Nevertheless, it’s close 🙂

Towards the end, Meg walked over to me and gave me the best hug ever. I got the chance to tell her about my results with her deadlift program, and basically just fangirl out. She was so, so sweet and kind. I had already finished deadlifting before she came over, but I did manage to clean 85lb/40kg primarily because I was thinking, “Meg Squats is watching, YOU HAVE TO GET THIS.” (Cleans are still rough for me – at this point, it’s psychological because I’m afraid to hurt my shoulder, but nevertheless.)

All in all, I’d say this is a top notch way to close out my 20’s.

Mind blown. MIND BLOWN.

Author: Erica V.

Always seriously joking and rambunctiously soft-spoken.

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