"Becoming the representation I needed growing up has been the most healing journey of all.” - Gabi Dixson
"Hi, my name is Gabi Dixson & I've been an athlete for about as long as I can remember. I was strong and talented, but also the sweet, chubby, homeschooled kid and thusly endured a lot of bullying from my peers.
Sports were always my outlet, my haven, my place that I could prove to myself and everyone else, that I belonged.
Being the chubby kid, folks always underestimated me & my abilities to keep up. I took it upon myself on many occasions to lead the pack, run faster, jump higher, and work harder than anyone else in the field or court & I laugh now thinking of my dad cheering from the sidelines, "don't let the skinny girls beat you!" And me kicking it up a gear.
Even then, I was often overlooked due to my size over someone who "looked" the part. I have dozens of examples, but a simple one is that It legitimately took my high school basketball coaches FOREVER to let me do the tip off, even though I had the highest vertical on the team!
In college, I had a scholarship for Throwing & though my best and favorite event was the discus, my coach was convinced I'd be a shot putter due to my size and would often tell me that my weight was my barrier to greatness.
It wasn't until after I became a 4x national champion (2 of which in the discus) 14x all American, and got an Olympic Trial B Standard throw in the discus that he realized I'd had it in me all along, regardless of what the scale said.
When I returned to sports post collegiately, I discovered rugby, and for the first time ever — someone not only wanted me, but respected me for my size and strength. I loved it — tackling, scrumming, and working hard for my teammates. I loved it so much I decided to travel overseas to play in New Zealand for a year!
It was there that I discovered strongman — a sport that somehow combined everything I loved and was good at — where my size was ALSO an advantage! It's been a wild ride over the years and I'm still healing my relationship with food and my body daily — but becoming the representation I know I needed growing up has been the most healing journey of all.
My name is Gabi Dixson, I am a professional strongwoman who loves Thai food, sushi and ice cream, and I am proud to be Kinda Fit, Kinda Fat!"
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