Three years ago, I walked into deadlifting competition, which was hosted by my former college’s weightlifting club. My professor for my nutrition class offered extra credit if we attended and competed. I was curious, and in need desperate of the extra credit points - so I went.
The smell of rust and chalk choked my discomfort, as I timidly watched other women pull over double their body weight on a barbell. The room clashed with heavy metal music and hammering metal plates. One girl effortlessly lifted over 300 pounds, and slammed the 6 plates back onto the wooden platform.
“Alyssa, you’re up!”
I was called onto the platform. For my first deadlift, I lifted 65lbs from the ground. The weights kept increasing. Finally, I stood over 135lbs. The metal music shrank into a silence and I felt my heart drum against my fingertips. My nerves converted into caffeine-supported adrenaline and I only concentrated on the weight on that bar. There were no bodies, no music, no fear. It was just me and the weight. My hands swallowed the bar, and I pulled a few pounds shy of my bodyweight. I stood up with 135lb.
The girl who had lifted over 300lbs followed me to the water fountain. “Hey, was that your first time deadlifting?”
“Holy crap. You’re strong. Most people can’t lift that much weight on their first try. Congratulations!”
The strongest girl who was in that room congratulated me. That was my first time I had ever deadlifted. That was my first time I had even touched a barbell.
It was love at first grip.