I am Oni.

My package arrived at the post office on Monday. It was registered mail. I couldn’t WAIT to rip it open. But I had to wait until Saturday – I would never get to the post office before 5pm on a weeknight. Ever.

Saturday mornings are bench day 2 and mean I need to be to the gym by 10am. The post office (in it’s infinite wisdom) does not open until 9am. I live 30 minutes from the gym so this meant I needed to be there soon after they opened or face a long line of people in my situation. I arrived at 9:10 and watched the clock tick away as ONE person worked the line – there were already 10 people ahead of me.

Slowly the clock ticked, slowly the line moved. There was an appearance of a second postal clerk, but she moved slowly with a couple false starts. Finally it was my turn! I handed my slip over and waited some more. She returned with the package, I signed a form and headed to my truck. I would have to wait to open it – it was past 9:30 and I couldn’t miss the gym.

I benched. How much? I don’t know. I was busy thinking about the package waiting for me in the truck. I was giddy and just wanted to finish so I could rip into it – the anticipation was high. As I got into my truck I opened the box and there it was: my new singlet.

When I agreed to lift in the 2016 USA Powerlifting Raw Nationals I didn’t realize I would need to get some new IPF Approved Equipment – specifically a new singlet (the #TeamGreen Adidas singlet isn’t on the list) and a new belt. You may not know this about me, but I am kind of a fashion snob so all of the big players on the approved list disappointed me – their singlets were sooo boring and predictable – black, red and black, blue and black. There was no “wow” factor that made me want to rock one at Nationals. I kept looking at the more obscure brands, brands I had never heard of before and one caught my eye: the Bukiya SAKURA-Oni.

It’s black. It’s pink. it’s ME!

While the singlet does have style (seriously, have you SEEN the Inzer singlet?) it had another selling point for me: while I was playing on the site deciding whether to buy it I saw this in the navigation: WhatIsOni_Button and I had to click on it. What it  lead to was nothing short of AWESOME

What’s Oni? “Oni” means an ogre. The symbol of the strength in Japan. Our products are powerful like Oni!

Ogre. Symbol of strength. I was sold.

On the surface being compared to an ogre may not seem like something to be happy about. I mean, LOTR fans would definitely prefer NOT to be compared to ogres, but I since I am also a SHREK fan all I could thing was: I AM an ogre – just like Princess Fiona and all her bad-assery.

This got me thinking: Fiona definitely had a split personality. She knew what it was like to be the “ideal” woman AND a “monster” who doesn’t fit the mold. At first she was repelled by her ogre side, afraid she would never fit in but she eventually learned to embrace her strength and found that being strong was a gift and she could love herself no matter whether she fit the ideal. And in many respects I AM Fiona.

I have been leaner than I am now but I have never been stronger mentally or physically. I know how to use my strength and how my strength is and always has been an asset. But it has been a journey to fully embrace this version of me. As often happens, life got in the way of the ideal and I made some choices and changed. How I changed led me to The Movement Minneapolis and my coaches and helped me embrace MY ogre side. And I am happy to say I am excited to see what else it can do.

I am Oni.

Next up: my belt.

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