Colorado — It took me a long time to figure out how to enjoy working out. That’s when I found kickboxing. But then, I wondered if I was working out for the right reasons.
To me, it feels great to hit a boxing bag with a roundhouse kick. I love the way my body moves, and I love the rhythm that I can create with it.
But growing up, exercise always felt marketed to me as a way to lose weight. Women and girls are rarely ever depicted in the media as physically strong.
So when I found a sport I seemed to love, I wondered if I was doing it because I thought I needed to look a certain way. Over time, I realized I enjoy kickboxing because it makes me feel powerful and helps me stay healthy.
I think it’s important for women and girls to be able to define what exercise means for them. Because for me, when I think about how empowered I feel while kickboxing, it feels like I’m striking down society’s expectations.
Emma Schulman, (she/they) is a political science major at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Edited by Amber Ly