“If the mind can heal the body, but the body cannot heal the mind, then the mind must be stronger than the body.”
My head dips slightly below my shoulders as I lean over resting my hands on my knees. Sweat pours down my body plunging to the ground like raindrops. I am breathless.
It’s my morning cross-fit class where we just completed a round of uphill sprints. My body is fatigued. My confidence peaked. I just out ran every man and woman in this group of athletes.
We take a few seconds to recover and move on to the next part of the workout; over-head presses. I grab a set of 25 lb dumbbells. After five solid lifts my arms grow tired. The man next to me continues to raise his 40 lb dumbbells, effortlessly. It is the very same man I just blew past moments ago. I am greater in speed. He is superior in strength.
THE REASON; ON AVERAGE A MAN IS PHYSICALLY STRONGER THAN A WOMAN, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF RONDA ROUSEY OF COURSE.
Now before you go calling Gloria Steinem or burning your bra, let me state a woman can do everything a man can; sometimes better. But, there is no denying that the natural make up of the male body is built bigger and stronger than the female body. Studies have proven again and again that men have a greater amount of muscle mass than women. Not only do men have more muscle, but pound for pound, their muscle is slightly stronger.
I consider myself a strong woman both mentally and physically; I run, lift weights, I can change a flat tire; I gave birth twice for crying out loud! Yet, I still summon my husband to open a stubborn jar of apple sauce or carry in the Christmas tree.
I enjoy watching him scoop up both children at the same time without difficulty. I on the other hand struggle to grant a single piggyback.
It’s moments like this that remind me of just how physically strong my husband is. I admire his strength. It makes me safe and protected. I would hate to think of his power in such a way that would ever cause me harm. But the truth is if he ever raised his hand to me I would be face down on the floor in an instant.
I once took a self-defense class and while I was taught how to fight off an attacker the number one rule is to get away as quickly as possible. In order to survive a horrific incident like this, I would need to utilize every bit of my strength and training in order to defend myself against a male opponent. Unfortunately, more than 4 million women face this situation daily. Not from a random attacker, but from a trusted partner.
There are many reasons a woman will remain in an abusive relationship; financial dependency, shame, not having any friends or family to turn to, fear that her abuser will harm her children and ultimately, fearing for her own life. The terror these women face is very real and often misunderstood. Walking away is not as easy as one might think. Leaving an abuser does not come without major risk. If a victim is caught trying to leave or found shortly after escaping, it is almost guaranteed she will endure a beating far worse than a previous one. With no one to turn to, these women are left alone to physically defend themselves against a male abuser. They often feel trapped and isolated from any form of assistance.
So what can we do to help a victim safely escape domestic violence? We can offer her support. Let her know she is not alone. Inform her of hotlines and services that are available to victims of domestic violence.
Most importantly, we can stand up for her!
While men and women may vary in degrees of strength, together they form an unparalleled force capable of saving lives and ending domestic violence.