New weightlifting club provides workout outlet for female students
November 20, 2017
It’s not uncommon to see the weight room full of students working out most days after school. However, it is uncommon to see many female students. While the weight room is open to everyone, it can often feel intimidating to be the only girl in a room of male athletes. This is one of many reasons why South music teacher — and certified CrossFit coach — Sarah Minette has decided to create a weightlifting class for female identifying high school students at her CrossFit location in Linden Hills.
“This is a club that is a response to girls who might not always feel comfortable in the weight room after school, and they want to lift weights but they’re not really sure how to lift the big weights like the barbells and deadlifting and squating, and they don’t necessarily feel comfortable approaching one of the coaches in there for a variety of reasons,” she said. “This is me trying to create a space where they feel comfortable.”
Many South students have already signed up for the class, including Senior Renee Smith. Smith said, “I really like weight lifting on my own but it’s also pretty intimidating with a bunch of guys saying like “are you sure it’s healthy for a girl to be lifting that much? and I just think it’d be really nice to have a place where you don’t have to hear those things.” Another
South student, sophomore Jordan Dotson explained, “There are so many spaces for men to do anything pretty much, the entire world basically, and I think it’s important to have a space for girls to be able to express themselves through whatever they want to do.”
The club takes place Saturday mornings from 10:30 to 12:00. During the class, students will learn how to lift weights and develop strength in a variety of ways. “It’s more than just weight lifting, but it’s through weight lifting that we’re going to become better people and form a kind of sisterhood,” said Minette. “It’s about empowering women to feel good in their bodies and that the shape of your body does not define you.”
Classes will start December 2nd and cost $15, although it is sliding scale and no one will be turned away due to financial situation.
“It’s really important to give girls encouragement because a lot of girls are scared to try weight lifting,” Smith said. “They think it’s a super manly thing to do and they’re worried about guys commenting on their bodies, and to just give them an all female space where we’re all going to be supportive of them is really important to boost confidence.”
Minette has been lifting for four years and says that although she’s worked out all her life, something changed when she began lifting big weights. “Something happened to me mentally where I thought ‘Oh this is cool,’ my body is changing and it’s because I’m getting stronger,” she said. “It’s really changed me and my outlook as to how I view the world but also how I view myself as a person, and that’s not just based on how I look and it’s not just based on how I lift, it’s so much more than that.”