It is common knowledge that women share differences from men. As a woman myself, it has taken a lot of courage to overcome the societal barriers that exist for women in the world. These barriers ranging in different forms of discrimination whether that be in the workplace, home, gym and the other multiple social scenarios. These discriminatory patterns have hindered the female population from achieving 100% of their full potential. Although this being the reality it hasn’t stopped women from achieving great success and striving for further progress. There have been multitudes of women speaking for equality in all social spheres. Not only are we calling for equality but recognition of the sheer force of nature we are as a species.
Narrowing down the scope, I would like to share my own experience with discriminatory experiences in my sphere of influence, the gym. When I started my fitness journey, women in the gym were progressively becoming more the norm. That being said, the progressive nature was up and coming but still quite taboo. Specifically, the weightlifting aspect of fitness. A majority of the gyms I attended had separated its space into two sections, the cardio space and the weights space. More often than not you would see a highly male-dominated space which would be with the weights versus the cardio space predominantly women-oriented. Now, this was not driven by women being incapable of joining the weight section, but the lack of education and knowledge afforded to them due to the heavily stigmatised perception of what women are meant to look like. Not only that but a heavily male-dominated space is not always a welcoming environment for those looking to spread their wings and learn how to lift for the multitude of benefits it brings.
I found myself being one of the few girls attending these weightlifting spaces and a majority of that time I was often looked down on and felt unwelcome. This sparked a passion project which has now become a life goal that I am seeing come to fruition. I wanted to change how women viewed these spaces, and foster confidence to walk in and know they are truly capable of achieving whatever they please regardless of their surroundings. A quote that I truly live by explains this idea perfectly. It says “When you empower a girl or a woman, she becomes a catalyst for positive change whose success benefits everyone around her.” Through education and experience, I am now able to help empower women so that they walk with pride and establish their authority in these male-oriented settings. I am so glad I wasn’t the only one experiencing this desire to change the dynamic. Now more than ever you see so many women walk the floor of any gym and assert their dominance.
I am truly honoured to share the floor with every woman I have encountered in my walk as a personal trainer and coach. To see the amazing transformations in confidence, and pride is truly a blessing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Edana Keijdener is NASM certified personal trainer and pre and post natal training specialist. Her focus is on women’s health and fitness. More specifically hypertrophy and strength training. She is also a competitive powerlifting athlete as well as a group class coach for Thailands 3rd best strength and conditioning class rated by ClassPass.