International Women's Day: Christina Schneider

International Women's Day: Christina Schneider

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Real Lifters: International Women's Day 2020

This International Women's Day, we're celebrating the women in our lives who lift us to our goals, to our potential and to our truest selves.

We stand by each for equal, and the ideal that every single person - no matter their race, views or upbringing - should be entitled to the same opportunities as the person next to them. This being said, none of that would be possible without the selflessness, loyalty and courage of the women who support us in everything we do.

So, in order to support the females in our lives that lift us to fight for glory; realise our potential; push boundaries and break misconceptions, we're bringing you six days of incredible and inspiring stories, from six amazing women. 

Today, marks the fifth and penultimate story. To find more from this years International Women's Day campaign, click here.

. . . 


Christina Schneider: Proving That She Is Enough On Her Own

This is the story of Christina Schneider. A tale which explores the perception of disability, and how she managed to challenge it in every way possible, by herself.

[Our Learning]:
Only you are responsible for the boundaries and limits in your life. You have to find them, get close to them, and then surpass them.

. . . 

Growing up, Christina had a complicated relationship with sport; it was a love triangle, and her carbon fibre counterpart was at the very heart of it... 

Her prosthetics aesthetic, vs its ability, vs her own mental perception of how she would perform - all to be compared against the other girls in her sports class.

"My fitness journey began back in 2013... I was eating the typical 'student diet' and, in retrospect, was an absolute couch potato" admits Christina. Consciously aware of now both her prosthetic, and her weight, a decision was made.

"I didn't want to use my prosthetic as an excuse for not doing exercise any longer. 

"This is where I drew the line."

. . . 

Having found the drive and courage to explore different fitness classes and forms of exercise, Christina wanted to push herself further to find out just how powerful her counterpart was... "I was curious to see what was actually possible with my prosthetic."

Her ideology of 'what if she's better than me' was soon replaced with 'your only limit is your mind'. And unbeknown to her at the time, that strong-willed decision to trial and test her limits, would actually be the first step in discovering who she really was. 

Lifted By Herself

It was a heroic celebration of sport, as a powerful platform to make a statement.

"The biggest difficulty to overcome, was actually all in my head...

"I was bullying myself, by telling myself what I couldn't do. I'd set limits that technically didn't exist." Christina reveals. 

The way you perceive yourself - both mentally and physically is so important. Guaranteed, a journey of self-discovery sounds nothing far from terrifying, especially so when you realise that the reflection staring back at you is not yet who you want it to be. 

But, understand that discovery takes time. It's a non-judgemental relationship, with yourself. You're building self-trust: in this case, it was Christina recognising the power that her prosthetic held. 

Reflecting back on who she used to be, and looking at how far she's come, Christina exclaims "I have so much power, love for life and most importantly, self-confidence. Things I never thought possible. Fitness has genuinely turned me into a new person, and I've got myself to thank for that."

"I now know that I am the only one responsible for the boundaries and limits in my life." 

When asked to expand on the above message, Christina put it simply: "I can only find out where those limits are, by slowly getting closer to them, and then surpassing them. I've stopped telling myself that I can't do something before I've tried it and given it my best."

How you define your limits, and how you perceive life's challenges is something that you're always going to be in control of. Never forget that.

WHO LIFTS YOU?

Celebrate your lifter with #RealLifters and tag @Gymshark 

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