I never thought I could develop any sort of feeling toward a heavy piece of metal, or even more, the range of feelings I can have toward said heavy piece of metal. That inanimate metal object is a barbell, and it is home to many of my new favorite workout movements. And least favorite. Sometimes those favorite and least favorite are one in the same.

The barbell used to be a guy thing. In my mind, and the minds of so many women out there, and probably some men too. Images of big, bulky, sweaty guys, with hands coated in chalk, grunting through barbell movements and tossing the barbells to the ground. Loud. Masculine. Dangerous. Heavy.

But not anymore. Now the barbell is mine. And hers, and hers, and hers…I could name off a dozen other women in class who are starting to own that barbell just as I am learning. Our once soft hands are calloused and coated with chalk. Talk about girl power. We’ve found our grip on that grimy, harsh piece of metal, and we’re finding so much more. Strength, confidence, power. Challenging our previous notions and weaknesses. Becoming vulnerable to the weight on that bar; pushing it to the limit and learning to say “when” and dropping the bar with purpose, lest it fall down on us from overhead.

It’s fascinating what you can learn about yourself when you spend quality time with a barbell. Male or female, old or young. It’s a versatile teacher with so much truth to be told. My words don’t hardly do it justice or remotely express where I’ve been in my new barbell adventures. But Lisbeth does it best. Below are a few of my favorite barbell-centric posts from her inspirational writing about life and fitness.

The Moment
Crossing Over
The Barbell Hates Skinny
The Ring of Fire
Yell at Your Bar
Bad Girls