Michelle Carter: God Made Me Intentionally
Michelle Carter says, “I know that God is intentional with everything that He brings to me and what He does for me. I’m not here just to be here. God made me intentionally! He created me on purpose, for a reason! To throw the shot put for sure. That’s one of the things I am created to do.”
Michelle’s American record-breaking throw at the Rio Olympics thrust her to the forefront of shot put success, becoming the first U-S Olympic women’s gold medalist. And it came with suspense, on her sixth and final heave. Michelle remembers the moment saying, “You have 15-20 years of work for that one throw, that one moment. And I was like ‘okay Lord, this is it you told me I had the victory. So this is the time to show me’. And I’m going to give it all I have because this is my last throw in the Olympics. And so I just prayed that real quick, got refocused, walk into the ring, and then I just threw. I couldn’t believe it - that’s the furthest I’ve ever thrown!”
Sixty-seven feet, 8 and a quarter inches! Her dad, Michael Carter, a shot put silver medalist and three-time Super Bowl Champion, is also Michelle’s coach. She first picked up the shot while in junior high before competing internationally during high school.
Michelle describes the shot put as, “8 point 8 pounds which is the size of newborn baby.
You need to have explosive power. So you need to have good agility to move your feet quick and be in the right place at the right time. So you have to be an overall athlete, you need to be in shape to be able to throw.”
For Michelle, the phrase – “in shape” – opens a fitting cultural dialogue about body shape and body image issues, a subject on which Michelle crusades to encourage female athletes, women and youth. Michelle believes that “accepting your body and body image is very important, because there are images that are put out in the media and in your face every day that you need to look this certain kind of way that it’s gonna take you far in life. But God has created you the way you are created because there’s a job specifically for you. To throw the shot put, for sure, that’s one of the things I am created to do. So I’m larger than the average woman. I’m okay with that. I’ve embraced it.”
Michelle not only embraces it, she’s influencing her colleagues – and how the strong women who compete in it, are perceived. She says, “I throw the shot put, people expect me to look like somebody named Helga and not put on make up to be considered serious about my sport. I can actually dress up or bring my femininity in and bring my own flair and my own stout - and still be great at what I do. We’re created different to be unique!”
Success aside, her flair has made Michelle a shot putting pioneer. She’s also a professional makeup artist – known as “The Shot Diva”. Michelle has an added pre-event routine, putting on her own unique game face, saying, “I always believed if you look good, you feel good, you do good. Getting ready for a competition, I’m doing my hair, my nails are painted, I’m putting on my makeup and when I step in that circle - I’m free to do good.”
So what’s the must-have that she’s got to have on? Michelle answers with an emphatic, “My eyelashes! My eyelashes, I have to have those on. That completes the look for me.”
Michelle believes true beauty is more than skin deep, saying, “I think true beauty does come from the inside out. Fashion and beauty is a reflection of what’s on the inside. And if you’re genuine, they match up. The core of who you are will be the same. I can walk in a room of people who may not know Christ and still be myself. And they can still see Christ in me even though they may not know who it is, but I know that they can see that in me and I’m carrying that with me.”
She finds beauty in the shot put! Michelle says, “There’s a method to the madness, down to like even a quarter of a second what has to happen in the right order because the technique carries it. If you rely on your strength, it’s only going to take you so far. But when we rely on God, He’s able to back us and He’s able to work things for us. I’m not going to go far without Him because He’s in control of everything. And giving that power back to Him makes my job easier.“
Shot Put wonder Michelle Carter carries more than a medal and message - relishing the freedom to embrace herself with a love that’s greater than gold! Michelle says, “What I admire most about Jesus Christ is His love, His love surpasses all understanding! And God said I was created in His image. At the end of the day you’re yourself, and you’re who God created you to be!”