I was in high school when I started to lift weights. I signed up for zero P.E. “Strength Conditioning” solely because it got me out of school early. I was one of five girls in a class of over 50 boys. The other girls were there because they wanted to be around the football players. The was no separation between girls and boys. I was doing squats, bench press, pull ups, etc and keeping up with the boys. It was our job to keep a journal of how much we lifted and how many repetitions. This is where I found the athlete in me. I was never a competitive team sport player. Even when I ran track or swam on the swim team, I still never got the competitive drive like other athletes. it was finally in the weight room where I found my competitive edge. I couldn’t wait to lift heavier, to do more repetitions, to beat my own “score”. I became so addictive to competing against myself. After years of being picked last on team sports, I finally had the respect and attention of other athletes. After growing up as a petite Asian American, I finally felt strong and larger than life. It was an empowering moment in my life. That experience still fuels me now and is what drives me to work out.