If we told you to picture a badass female athlete, someone like Molly Kelly might not spring to mind. Which is a shame, because the Boston University senior is the epitome of a fierce competitor. So why wouldn’t a tattoo-sleeved powerlifter (who also happens to intern at the State House!) fit the bill? Perhaps because for all the times they’ve been told they run the world, girls are still expected to do so with a perfectly petite frame, sun-kissed complexion, and six-pack abs.
In this moving video, Kelly discusses what it’s like to defy expectations about strength (“I’m not strong for a girl. I’m just strong.”) and body shape. Once incredibly insecure about her size, she has since shifted her focus from how much she weighs to how much she can lift. But even if deadlifting isn’t your exercise of choice, Kelly’s empowering message about not being afraid to take up space is well worth a listen.