A few weekends ago I was at our powerlifting meet at here at Union Fitness, where there were some very heavy lifts, and even some records set. But that wasn’t my favorite part. My favorite part was seeing the excitement when a strong female lifter hit a lift that she has been trying to accomplish for a while. The confidence and happiness these ladies radiated on that platform was something I hope every woman gets to experience in her lifetime.
I encourage all women to lift heavy, to get out of out comfort zone and see just how strong you really are, because I promise however strong you think you are right now… you’re way stronger. I see it every day, when I am training female athletes and I convince them to just put a little more weight on the bar, and they lift it. It gives them the confidence to keep putting even more weight on the bar. After all, we can only grow by continuously stepping out of our comfort zone.
By lifting heavier weights, it builds confidence and can help you focus on the strength you are building instead of focusing on how our bodies look. I think this is something a lot of us women can benefit from. We start to see ourselves in a different light and fall in love with our bodies again. I want all women to see just how strong and powerful we are, when we start to focus on our strength instead of things society has convinced us that we should focus on.
Once I started powerlifting, I started to see myself as this strong, powerful, badass woman instead of being so worried about how I looked in the mirror. Now I am happy, strong, AND I love what I see in the mirror, and before lifting heavy weights I didn’t think I could ever get here. Many people in my life recognized the confidence I was starting to build after I started lifting heavy. And I recognized it too, which is why I believe one of the best ways to empower women is through strength.
When most people initially join a gym, they don’t realize the opportunities that the experience can open for them. Sure, you could go ahead and do your own thing at home, but you won’t be gaining the social and personal benefits that you would get from being present at the gym. When you sign up for a gym membership, you are signing up for way more than just a membership. The gym is a great place to build new relationships and network while also strengthening your mental and physical health.
For those who are new to a gym and are maybe just starting out their fitness journey, it can be intimidating to walk into a gym for the first time. We have all been in that situation, and I was personally in that position just a few short years ago. My advice would be to not be afraid to try new classes and exercises that you may have never considered doing before. Check out a new class and use this opportunity to see some new faces and maybe learn some new exercises. From there, you could potentially build relationships and find gym buddies to have during classes and outside during your own training time as well. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Our members and our staff at UF are some of the friendliest people and are willing to help anyone and answer any questions that come their way.
No matter what stage of being a gym member that you are in (brand new or old), each of us have our own background and experience, but we are all at the gym to do the same thing: to better ourselves. So, whether you are coming in just to take classes, have a personal training session, or to hit that PR, there are several ways that you will benefit from joining and utilizing a gym.
Make sure to say hello to any new faces that you might see throughout your training sessions and ask questions if you’re ever unsure of anything. You never know where that simple question or hello might take you!
March is women’s history month and we here at UF are home to many strong and awesome women. I would like to take a few minutes to highlight just a few of our awesome female members. This is a very short and incomplete list, but please take a moment and celebrate these (and all the other women of UF and all other places in our world).
Kelsey Garonzik– If you have not met Kelsey you should. She is the superhero of UF female lifters. She is one of the finest lifters and a very nice person. One warning is Kelsey has one of the best dry sense of humors in the gym.
Madison Fitzgibbons– Our own west coast transplant. Madison shows her hard work through her consistency at UF.
Ashley Koltonski– Ashley brings a ton of positive energy every time she arrives at UF. She is our own bad ass, yoga, weightlifting lady. We are better for having Ashley at the gym.
Isabella Mustane– Try to keep up with Isabella, I doubt you can. Isabella is business in the gym. She could be outside doing handstand push ups or squatting big weight, either way she is probably outworking me.
Emily Twargowski- Emily is the model of consistency at UF. Emily never misses a class and we are always impressed by how she is always willing to try new things.
Diane Johnson– I am kind of nervous typing this as if I mess up Diane might fight me. In all seriousness Diane comes in daily to work hard and is committed to improvement daily.
Rachel Davis– Rachel is one our hardest working cardio members at UF. Coming back from Covid shut downs cardiolab classes have not been busy. We have all seen Rachel in there taking a class by herself and working hard.
Give each of these ladies a hand and your respect for showing strength and dedication daily. I personally thank each of you as without you UF would not be what it is.