Mental Strength as a Female Plumbing Apprentice


Unfortunately I have just woken from a bad dream and I can’t get back to sleep. Of course, I have to be up in a couple of hours for work so I thought I’d get started early on today’s ‘to do’ list.


Due to my inability to get back to sleep, it reminded me of a time when I would wake in the night while doing my apprenticeship as I’d writhe with feelings of being overwhelmed and sometimes severe pain in my back.


When I started my apprenticeship, I told my husband that he would need to be strong for me emotionally and that there would be times where I would say that I wanted to quit but I would need him to encourage me to keep going and not give up.


There was a particular time (ok there were a few) towards the middle of my apprenticeship where I wanted to give up. One particular time that I remember was when I was helping put drainage in for a new bathroom facility at a Sports Centre in Logan.


The trenches had to be hand dug and due to the limited space in the work area, the excavation had to be wheel barrowed 50 meters away from the job site. Because I was the apprentice onsite, it was my job to dig the trench and wheelbarrow it outside.


Silly me filled the wheelbarrow over what I could handle all because I wanted to ‘prove’ myself onsite and show that I could ‘work as hard as a man’. But my body certainly paid for it that night.


As I slowly rolled into bed that night, I woke in AGONY a couple of hours later and started bawling like a banshee.


My husband woke up and asked what was wrong, to which through strong teary outbursts exclaimed, ‘I QUIT, I can’t take this anymore!’


My husband did what I asked and told me ‘You’re being emotional and you told me when you first began that you wanted me to tell you not to quit, so I’m telling you now. Get some pain killers and look at the bigger picture.’ I hated him for it at the time, but as I type this blog, boy am I glad he was there to be my strength when I felt my weakest.


I might be doing a ‘man’s job’, but I can’t do it like a man. I’m also not afraid to admit that I also rely on men to help me out when needed. That’s what makes my partnership with my dad so unique and why it works so well.


The other lesson I learned through these ‘weak’ moments is that sometimes you just have to push through the pain so you can make your gain. It doesn’t matter how slow you are, as long as you finish what you started. I had to have mental strength as a female plumbing apprentice as well as physical strength.

Have you ever had to push through something hard using your mental strength?