Why Exercising With Other Women Is Unbelievably Empowering

Okay, imagine this — It’s a Wednesday night, and you only got three hours of sleep the night before because you had your organic chemistry exam the next morning at 8 a.m. Basically, you are exhausted, and your only wish in the world right now is to stay in your dorm, be cozy, and go to bed. Despite your wishes, you remember that you promised your friends that you’d go to the gym or your school’s weekly workout club with them. That said, this is the last thing you want to do because of how tired you are, but you don’t want to let your friends down, so you decide to persevere and just go with them. Ironically enough, after the night ends and you come back to your dorm, you feel FREAKING AMAZING —like you accomplished something. You feel stronger. You feel happier. You feel fierce, unstoppable —you feel EMPOWERED. 

Ladies, if this has ever been you, raise your hands up, because girl, same. 

If you’re anything like me, it’s hard to find the motivation to work out, especially after a long day of classes, homework, and studying. The thought of forcibly moving my already-weary body in an intense manner is undesirable, to say the least. However, for as much as I may not want to work out, the other thought of being able to see my friends, listen to some seriously good bops, and have a few good laughs in the midst of it all is what makes the idea of working out a little more appealing. This year, I came into college knowing that I wanted to be more physically active, but the question became ‘how’? At Michigan State, there are plenty of options from IM West, to the neighborhood cardio fitness rooms, to KIN classes, to sports teams and fitness clubs. That said, I chose to join a fitness club that focuses on empowering women and educating them on aspects of health and fitness with weekly workouts in Jenison Fieldhouse and/or workout facilities within the greater Lansing area. Unapologetically, joining it has been one of the best decisions I’ve made in my short time here at MSU. 

 

When I walk into Jenison on Wednesdays, I won’t lie when I say that I’m happy to be there. But as happy as I am, I’m also tired. Nonetheless, when I walk back to my dorm one hour later, I feel stronger and better about myself, knowing that I did something that benefits my body and my mind. That said, I owe this ultimate feeling of empowerment to the women I work out with. When you work out with other people, especially a large group of girls who are collectively going through all of the feels of college with you, it is inevitable to say that the energy in the room is on a superior level. The tiredness and stress of school, work, and other responsibilities dismisses everyone’s lives. Laughs about incoordination among practically everyone circulates the room. The sight of each person having fun within themselves and with their friends and celebrating their bodies is one you can’t miss (and believe me, you don’t want to — in the body-conscious world we live in, it’s a breath of fresh air to see people let go). Lizzo’s “Good as Hell,” Ciara’s “Level Up,” and a plethora of other songs lift each girl’s spirit. There’s sweat, but believe it or not, it’s a happy sweat —sweat that makes you feel good because you did something for yourself that day. Compliments and positive, motivational messages from your friends (and sometimes people you don’t know) are what helps each person drive another. 

 

You get the picture - it’s pretty freaking amazing. 

If empowerment, confidence, or stress are things you frequently struggle with, my best suggestion is to find some friends to workout with once a week or join an organization or team at your school that focuses on this. The fact that I’m able to come together with all of these women once a week is a part of what motivates me to get moving. Even if your school doesn’t have a club or team you are interested in or you don’t want to purchase a gym membership, move some stuff around and invite your friends over to your dorm! Create a playlist, wear your favorite leggings and a sports bra that help you feel confident in your body, form a simple, but challenging workout set with your friends you all enjoy - whatever you need to do to feel inspired. In the end, you’ll be glad you stepped the first step. 

Good luck, girl. You got this.