March is Women’s History Month and March 8 is International Women’s Day. In celebration, Lively connected with four strong female leaders in fitness to get the scoop on what they’ve done to help bolster their success. Turns out there’s one common theme—empowered women empower women. From sharing mantras to sharing what helped them overcome obstacles, you’ll feel extra empowered and inspired by their journeys. Read on!
Jen de Leon, OpenFit Coach, Wundabar Pilates Ops Manager
“As a woman in fitness some of the obstacles I’ve had to overcome are some perceptions that society may have of me to be a certain size, look a certain way, eat certain foods and even to exercise daily. I am constantly inspired by the heart and soul and the fire and passion of the women in the fitness industry. We harness community over competition and we are always rooting for each other. As a woman in fitness, I’m strongest when I see our community succeeding.”
Kristen Kurihara, yoga teacher, founder of Move Forward Community
“As a woman in fitness, one of the obstacles I’ve had to overcome is knowing my value and asking for it. It’s taken me years in the industry to know my value and not be afraid to ask for that raise. Something that inspires me is seeing women lift each other up. It’s all about sharing resources and knowledge because we’re stronger when we’re in it together. What makes me feel strong is knowing that no matter what’s going on in my life, I can choose to get up and move and that will clear my mind, help me connect with my body and uplift my mood. It’s something that’s within my control. We all have that ability, we just need to slow down and tap into that strength.”
Megan Wenstrup, founder of FitGive Movement
“When I started in fitness about eight years ago, I found myself surrounded by an incredibly strong beautiful community of female fitness instructors. When I tried to figure out how I was going to differentiate myself. I developed a very unique motivational style, which was telling stories. I find that motivational stories can be found in non-profit and charitable work. What empowers me is being surrounded by these strong beautiful women who are not competing but lifting each other up—and listening to a great playlist at a very high volume.”
Yaa-Asantewaa Boakye, Personal Trainer & Dietetic Intern
“What inspires me is seeing other women win! One of my favorite quotes is thousands candles can be lit by one candle, and the life of that candle cannot be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. One way I succeed is by calling up my fitness friends, have them share what’s going well in their life and career. I also ask them how to support them.
I feel super strong is when I silence the voice in my head that tells me I can’t do something by taking action and making whatever that voice said an absolute and total lie. When the voice told me I was not in good shape to compete, I literally listened to that voice from 2011 to 2014 finally decided to prep and went on to place top four in my first show and eventually placing first at a show in Arkansas, my mom’s home town.”