“Your body is yours… express, lift, craft, challenge, and DO whatever it may be you want with it.”

We all want to feel strong, determined, and confident in everything we do. Whether that’s carrying heavy shopping bags, moving furniture or even scaling a mountain, being safe in the knowledge our physical strength isn’t going to let us down is important.

I always thought I was strong – I’m sporty and I’ve always been quite lean – but, having recently taken up strength training (admittedly with a little trepidation)  it transpires I’m not all that strong at all.

By lifting weights and building strength my goal was to improve my core fitness ahead of my next adventure. I wasn’t sure whether it would work for me but two months on I can honestly say it’s completely transformed how I approach fitness.

My biggest fear was that weightlifting would make me bulky or turn me into some kind of she-man. It hasn’t. In fact, it’s a massive myth that puts a lot of women off strength training when, the reality is, it’s likely the most effective training they can do to see results.

For me personally, it’s been a total game-changer. I now treat fitness as a means to be more, as opposed to viewing it as a never-ending struggle to be less and it’s an incredibly liberating feeling.  Pushing my body to the limits of its capabilities rather than trying to reduce myself is a mindset that’s largely against the status quo – especially for women – but shifting to use training as an opportunity increase strength and, ultimately, apply it to my real life adventures is empowering.

As my strength develops so too does confidence. And self-belief. And determination. And the willingness to throw myself into bigger, more daring challenges.

Getting stronger and using my body as a tool to achieve is a good feeling. I’m part of a growing movement of women helping redefine what it means to be feminine – and that’s important to me.  We all train hard to become better versions of ourselves, pushing our bodies beyond the boundaries even we thought possible.

As well as about being strong, lean and healthy, strength training has helped me develop a positive relationship between my mind and body, showing me how powerful what I’m crafting can, and is, becoming is rewarding and addictive.

But it’s not about chasing some illusion of perfection or sculpting my body into an unrecognisable shape. It’s about pushing myself to reach optimum potential – not to increase my number of reps at the gym – but so I can go harder, faster and for longer with adventure than ever before or than I ever believed I was capable of.

I want to take on a harder climbing routes, run on the trails for a little longer, smash a steeper hill climb on my bike and I’m learning that the more I put into strength training the further I can go when applying it. Our bodies are pretty slick little machines and the thought of continuing to train to see what more I’m capable of fills me with excitement and determination.

“The harder you sweat in battle, the less you bleed in combat.”

Ladies, lift. x