After Weighing the Odds, Lauren Mulinski Is Lifting Them

There’s a stereotype for the weightlifting team–strong, muscular, sweaty, male. But don’t tell that to Lauren Mulinski. She’ll agree with only 75% of the stereotype. She’s been smashing that other 25%.

When Mulinski asked around and found out from the athletic department that there was no weightlifting program for girls, the athletic office presented Mulinski with another option: she could lift with the all-boy team.

“I took that chance,” said Mulinski.

Her interest in weightlifting didn’t only start recently, Mulinski has liked lifting heavy things for a while. In April 2017, Mulinski became a junior firefighter. As you can imagine, that job entails lots of heavy lifting. In an effort to improve her weightlifting performance, Mulinski sought out a weightlifting program.

“It’s definitely going to help with the firefighting,” Mulinski said.

At first, she was a bit hesitant to join. She knew it would be a hard sport, and that she’d be the only girl, then a close friend of hers, who is on the team, convinced her to join regardless of all of that. Mulinski’s choice was set in stone.  

Her family was also extremely shocked by her decision.

“They thought I was crazy,” she said. “They were like, ‘are you serious’?” 

“If anyone knows me though, they know, I don’t quit. I don’t get discouraged very easily; I don’t give up.”

– Lauren Mulinski

According to Mulinski, their initial reaction was “no”. After Mulinski talked to them and displayed the benefits weightlifting had for her, they finally agreed to let her join.

When she first joined, she felt as though many people were shocked by her size. At 90 pounds and 59 inches, Mulinski is quite small compared to the rest of the guys on the team. The conflict didn’t stop there though,

“I feel like people thought that I’d quit,” said Mulinski.

She wouldn’t let this speculation from the rest of her teammates discourage her, or keep her from being a part of the team.

“If anyone knows me though, they know, I don’t quit,” said Mulinski. “I don’t get discouraged very easily; I don’t give up.”

Now after a few months, Mulinski is fully integrated with the team. She has made new friends and endures the hard workouts with everyone else. There were times when she wanted to quit or didn’t think she’d be able to do it, but overall she’s happy with her decision.

“I worked through those times where I don’t believe in myself, to believe in myself.”


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