Diaz joins weightlifting, defies stereotypes

Junior Emily Diaz is taking weight lifting as one of her elective choices this year. She is taking it because she really enjoys exercise and likes that she gets a chance to actually exercise during school. This is Diaz’s first year in the class. 

Diaz wanted to join the class for many reasons. She has always loved exercise and wanted to do it.

 “[I wanted to join because] I have always liked exercise, but I have never really had the time to do it, so to have a class where I can lift and build my body spoke to me, especially [since it’s] in a class that’s full of boys because I don’t really do stereotypical things,” Diaz said.

Diaz thinks it’s  good to break gender stereotypes and be in a class that’s generally thought of as a boys class. 

“Honestly it’s empowering [to be in a majority boys class], because I get to break stereotypes while making myself happy. [Being the only girl in the class] doesn’t really make me feel like a minority because the boys always include me and we’re friends, so there’s nothing that makes me feel like an individual,” Diaz said.

While breaking the stereotype that a weightlifting class is a “boy’s class” Diaz has also slowly been developing friendships with the boys in her class. 

“We have made plans before but we haven’t really executed them, but I do see them around the halls and say ‘hi’ or wave,” Diaz said.

While in class, Diaz and her classmates hold competitions to see who can deadlift the most. 

“In the class we have done deadlifts, which is when you lift a bar up from the floor and you pick it up. I guess those are competitions, we just try and max out, do the most we can,” Diaz said. “[My max] for deadlifts is 185.” she added.

So far, Diaz has progressed and changed the way her mind was set at day one in comparison to now. She’s grown as a lifter, both mentally and physically, Diaz feels she has broken stereotypes and also developed friendships.

“In the beginning of the year I wanted to do everything. I wanted to get on whatever I could. I wanted to be one of the guys. I wanted to do what they were doing, but I realized that I was just in over my head. I was just getting started so I needed to build up. Now, I’m just going slower and adding on little by little, which helps me. It helps me gain more and build better muscle,” Diaz said.