Lifting her up

Senior finds confidence in fitness

The first time that Senior Grace Palmer walked into the gym on November 6, 2020, she knew that she didn’t ever want to come back again.

But, a year and a half later, Palmer can’t imagine her life without it. Fitness, specifically lifting, has helped her to grow, both physically and mentally, and become a better version of herself.

“Going into the gym, I don’t think twice anymore. I feel comfortable there. I just think my confidence grew,” Palmer said.

She has played sports for her whole life, and when she got to high school, she mainly concentrated on volleyball. But, after her junior season, she realized that the team at SHS wasn’t the right environment for her anymore and decided to quit playing.

Palmer already had some experience lifting from her time playing volleyball, and knew that she wanted to stay in shape despite not doing a sport anymore. So, she decided to take up lifting.

“I loved fitness, but I didn’t love playing volleyball anymore, so I turned to working out,” Palmer said.

She began to become more serious around October 2020 and lifted in her basement with limited equipment. She only had a few sets of dumbbells and a bench rack.

After some time, she built up the confidence to go into a real gym. This experience was “frightening,” according to Palmer.

But, even though it was hard at first, she continued to go, and now it’s become her refuge.

“I love that personal time that I get for myself,” Palmer said. “I think that’s huge in self care.”

Her mother, Heidi Palmer, can attest to her daughter’s love for the gym. Going to the gym can become a chore for some. But, according to Heidi, this isn’t the case.

“It’s not like a ‘Oh, I have to go to the gym,’ it’s like ‘Oh, I want to go to the gym. I get to go to the gym,’” Heidi said.

Since the beginning of her journey, Palmer has created her own workout schedule. She currently has a split, which means that she trains different parts of her body on different days.

Making her own workouts has been a learning process. She didn’t know much about how to create an effective plan in the beginning, but through research, trial and error and talking with others, she has learned the in’s and out’s.

“I didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning…,” Palmer said. “I’ve definitely grown a lot in knowing, just being educated on what to do, how to do it, different rep ranges, all the things.”

She says that lifting has helped her grow in all areas. Not only has she physically built muscle, but she has also built up determination and confidence talking with people.

Palmer said that if she had been asked to do an interview two years ago, she would have declined. But, because of her newfound confidence, she was willing to do one.

Additionally, lifting has improved her discipline and helped her to do things even when she doesn’t always feel like it.

She says she doesn’t always feel like going to the gym. But, she does anyway since it’s important to her.

“Obviously no one wants to workout everyday,” Palmer said. “So I think of it as an appointment. I have an appointment to go to the gym and if you have an appointment, you don’t skip the appointment.”

In the same way, even if she is lacking motivation to do school work, she now has the discipline to sit down and get it done. Palmer says that if she relied only on motivation, she would have “quit the first week.”

A main obstacle for many female lifters is public disapproval of muscular women. But, fortunately, this isn’t something that Palmer has had to deal with.

Her boyfriend of over two and a half years, Charlie Schott, who graduated in December 2021, says that he is in complete support of her fitness journey.

“That’s just what she loves to do, and she’s doing it every day,” Schott said. “She just loves to do it, and if she loves to do it, then I love it too. I’m all for it.”

Not only does Schott support her journey, but he also says that her dedication helps to inspire him to work harder in all areas of his life, whether that is working out or his money-making job.

Palmer has also helped to inspire her mother to start her own weightloss journey. Now, she helps provide guidance and support for her mother along the way and makes it something that she can enjoy and have fun with.

“She’s very positive and just very encouraging and never discouraging,” Heidi said.

The rest of her family also supports Palmer’s journey and is excited for what the future has in store.

“We’re just super proud of her and she loves doing it,” Heidi said. “And we support whatever she wants to do with it.”