Powerlifting taught me what magical potential the human body has – mine, everyone’s. It also taught me what a profoundly meditative experience it is, trying to lift something really bloody heavy.

It started as a thing to share with my boyfriend, and as part of the later stages of recovery from anorexia: making myself stronger not weaker, bigger not smaller, by eating more not less.

It continued as a competitive thing, taking part in Drug-Free Powerlifting Association meets in 2013-15, and then as a social thing, with my happily expanding crew of Oxford Platemates.

It gradually became importantly about feminism, about not subscribing to the ideal of female diminishment. And it remains that, however many women try to ruin lifting by promoting it as just one more way to lose fat and look good.

If you’d like to find out more, take a look at this fact sheet I put together for the taster sessions I ran at the 2018 Women’s Festival at St John’s College, Oxford. (A slight female slant, but fairly general-purpose.)

You can also watch a few of my old competition and training lifts here.

And Oxford University Powerlifting Club’s video Lift Like a Girl: