Saturday, March 17, 2007

Silly Boys, Weights are for Girls

This New York Times article today made my day! This is Serious Girl Power...

I will point out that one of the coaches says the girls on his team respond better to positive reinforcement than being yelled at. Maybe positive reinforcement would be a great motivator for all the members of the team, not just the girls? Have we conditioned boys to respond to being yelled at? Rock on for the girls who say they won't be a part of a team where they get yelled at, and kudos for the coaches who change up their approach.

Check out the awesome quotes from the girls in the article-- they are my new heros....

NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — She was an Atlas of the exurbs, hoisting a 210-pound barbell over her ponytailed head and holding it there, arms just barely aquiver, while the high school gymnasium exploded in cheers.

At that moment on a recent Saturday, Jessica Reynolds, 17 and weighing in at 261 pounds, broke the state record for girls’ weightlifting, a high school sport sanctioned only in Florida and embraced, improbably, by girls of all shapes, sizes and athletic abilities.

At an age when appearance often seals reputations, they squeeze into tight singlets, step on scales while their peers watch and grunt their way through bench presses, clean and jerks and other decidedly uncute moves.

“It might not have been the most, like, girly or cool thing,” said Hannah Feliciano, a willowy freshman at Sarasota High School who started lifting last fall. “But I like the fact that I can prove to people that I also have, like, a rough side.” Or as Sara Hansell, a senior at St. Cloud High School who won her second consecutive title in the 154-pound weight class explained her passion for the sport, “I get to say I’m stronger than most of the boys in my school.”

No other state has officially adopted weightlifting for girls, as the Florida High School Athletic Association did in 1997, a sign that the perception endures of weightlifting as a sport for he-men and the occasional bodybuilding queen who slathers her preternaturally bulging biceps with baby oil. “I find it very surprising,” said Jackie Metcalf, the weightlifting coach at Sarasota High School. “because it’s a great way to get girls involved for gender equity. You don’t have to be a skilled athlete to do this.”

The presence on many teams of cheerleaders — who become better jumpers and fliers after lifting — has helped remove the stigma from the sport, several girls said. Many wear bows in their hair at competitions, and at a recent meet, one wore pearls with her singlet. They share weight rooms with boys who admiringly call them “beast.” T-shirts emblazoned with “Silly Boys, Weights Are For Girls” and the like are de rigueur.

“In our school, it’s pretty much understood that weightlifting is O.K. and you’re not a boy and you’re not gross if you do it,” said Leigha Nave, a senior at Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange who is the state champion of her 119-pound weight class.

Read the rest:

1 comment:

goin2college said...

Loved the article, thanks for posting it!!!