A League of Our Own

Dorothy Harrell, star shortstop for the Chicago Colleens (Photo Credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)

Dorothy Harrell, star shortstop for the Chicago Colleens (Photo Credit: Bettmann/CORBIS)

On this day in history, May 30, 1943, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) made its debut. When I first saw the famed 1992 movie, A League of Their Own, that put these women in the public eye, I was inspired to do anything, and that  later included powerlifting.

As a freshman in high school, my volleyball coach approached me and asked me if I wanted to be a powerlifter. She said that there weren’t any girls representing our school and that I would be good at it. It is hard to remember, or recognize, ALL of the influences that gave me the courage to begin powerlifting, a sport that was, and still is in many ways, outside normal gender roles. Though, I would like to believe that watching a movie that hallmarked the achievements of women who succeeded in male dominated domains as a ten year old, left a lasting legacy on me.

I was THE female LCM powerlifting team for two years, if I remember correctly.  Title IX has so much to do with the genesis and growth of the Texas High School Women’s Powerlifting Association, as it gave us a league of our own. A platform, literally, to compete with ourselves, and others, and an opportunity to showcase our strength and stamina under pressure.

Growing up with two brothers, and supportive parents, I guess I just wasn’t intimidated by trying something different, outside the traditional expectations for females. As an engineer, I’ve remained in a male dominated world, and perhaps the resilience I learned from powerlifting has helped me to achieve my academic and professional goals as well.

As I reflect on the history of the AAGPBL, and what their legacy has done for women, I am grateful for the inroads women have made before me, allowing me  opportunities today. I relish the day when we should no longer need a league of our own, and the playing field is level and fair in all domains.

Read more about the history of the AAGPBL here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>