What A Woman Can Do

Jenna Sturgeon, Staffer

Due to genetics, males seem to be engineered to be physically stronger than females. This isn’t necessarily true when in comes to specific individuals, but generally men can build and retain muscle easier than women.


When I was in seventh grade and starting to become more serious about volleyball, I also became involved in other training, leading me to Crossfit. I learned how to squat with proper form, deadlift, power clean, snatch, jerk and many more moves that helped me improve my strength and self-esteem. I have learned to love working out, which was something I used to dread.


I know I am not the only one who has heard their teacher say something along the lines of, “can I get a few strong boys to help me carry these boxes to the office?” I remember watching on multiple occasions as a few boys in my class, some who were not involved in any sports at all, got up and grabbed the boxes. Some carried them with ease, but others seemed to struggle. I wondered if anyone knew I could lift at least five times what those boxes weighed with ease. I wondered why teacher after teacher didn’t think there were any girls capable of moving the boxes, and if my skills would be underestimated my whole life.


About a year ago, I got involved with Krav Maga, a self defense and street-fighting technique developed by the Israeli military. It is not exactly a martial art, but it’s close to it. My first day, I went with five members of my volleyball team, my second day I went with two and by the time I went to my third class, I was flying solo. I was one of two teen girls in a class with about 25 adults, most of whom were men. Most people would be uncomfortable in a situation with strangers who were stronger than them, but I was intrigued by this opportunity. I learned how to punch, block punches, kick, elbow, escape choke holds, escape being pinned on the ground, escape being corned against a wall, get a gun, knife, or stick away from an attacker, and other basic fighting and defense skills. I learned to never give up in a fight, something I apply to all areas of my life. The people there were very welcoming and patient instructors, but I also got some looks that seemed to say, “what is she doing here?” Never did I once think about stopping because I shouldn’t be there — because I knew that I belonged there.


For some reason, I am attracted to things that are unexpected of me to do. I enjoy doing things that make me feel powerful, in control, and challenge the stereotype that girls can’t be strong. I love seeing the look on people’s faces when I tell them I do Crossfit or Krav Maga. I like having an element of surprise about myself.


I want to encourage other girls to push their boundaries in what they think they are capable of because there is no limit to what a woman can do.