Women and empowerment are buzzwords you can find everywhere these days. One of the ways women feel empowered lately is by getting fit and physically strong.
This is certainly not a new movement – women were taking fitness classes in fabulous spandex and leg warmers back in 80’s. But it is a movement that is gaining new attention thanks to TV shows like “American Ninja Warrior,” and the popularity of new ladies’ only workout classes, like Pole Fitness.
Barclay Stockett is new to American Ninja Warrior fame, rocketing into the spotlight during this past season when she became the shortest athlete to complete the 14.5-foot Warped Wall.
Stockett got involved in American Ninja Warrior because the courses she saw on TV looked like a playground for adults, and she never wanted to feel too old to play. Even with an impressive background as a level 10 gymnast, Stockett understands that it can be tough to stay motivated, and she reminds herself sometimes that it is okay to just rest and recover.
She knows it’s not just important to be physically strong but it is also important to be mentally and emotionally strong as well. Her best advice to those just starting on their fitness journey? “Try new things even if they are scary, get used to falling (safely), and have fun!”
Heather Gudisko has been running a women’s only gym called Sweat Like a Girl since 2011. Gudisko believes becoming physically strong is empowering, not just because it feels good to be physically fit, but because it helps you become mentally strong as well.
“By doing something for herself, a woman builds confidence and strength of mind and emotion. This can often come before the physical strength and is even more important,” says Gudisko.
She opened her gym in eastern PA because she saw a need for women to have a gym where they could feel comfortable, not surrounded by men who think a gym is a nightclub. Moms can even bring their daughters to Sweat Like a Girl, and they can workout together in a friendly, positive environment, learning how to get fit and be healthy.
Jessica Pilch started her fitness journey with Gudisko in 2010. “Fitness has really changed my life by allowing me to be myself, and I have the confidence I never had before because I feel stronger all around,” said Pilch.
“Pole fitness, especially, is such an amazing way to express myself in grace and beauty, in addition to the sense of accomplishment I get when I conquer a trick I’ve been working on.”
Christina Baurkot of eastern Pennsylvania is a woman who loves Pole Fitness and has been taking classes for the past two and a half years. “I started taking Pole classes because I hated working out, and it seemed like a fun way to get in shape,” said Baurkot.
“I ended up becoming addicted and realized I was getting so much stronger. As I became stronger, I became more confident, too.”
All of these amazing strong ladies are proof. Whatever your motivation, whether you decide to become an American Ninja Warrior or just want to build some muscles so you don’t have to ask your significant other to open the pickle jar, there’s no doubt becoming physically strong will build your confidence and help you feel empowered.