Girls Gone Strong, it’s a Movement and a MINDSET


Last Friday night, Girls Gone Strong hit the 10,000 mark on our Facebook page. That was a pretty monumental point for us considering we’re still a very young movement. I was so inspired last Friday night by the reception of GGS, I wanted to know what being a Girl Gone Strong meant to those who are connecting in.

It’s because of the GGS community that our message is spreading. It’s time for the community to share their individual voices and how they embody being a GGS. I also opened the opportunity to the men incase they wanted to highlight a GGS in their life.

I started receiving emails and read everything from conquering addictions, to setting PR’s in the weight room to raising children. We had feedback from all over the United States, plus London, Australia, Amsterdam, Singapore, Canada and many more locations. Girls Gone Strong is global.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to those who took a moment to share yourself and contribute to the power of this blog post. I can’t find the words to express the satisfaction I felt and countless smiles I had while reading each entry.

Last but not least, with the recent passing of Whitney Houston, they’ve been highlighting many of her songs. I was listening to “Greatest Love of All” and my goodness, does she get it right… Her lyrics couldn’t be more fitting for a GGS:

“I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I’ll live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can’t take away my dignity. Because the greatest love of all, is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all, inside of me. The greatest love of all is easy to achieve. Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all…” – Whitney Houston

Now, without further adieu…

“Being a Girl Gone Strong means being passionate, determined and motivated. Pushing past my limits and giving my all every time. Live life past your limits!” -Marie Weber, Age 33, Medford, Oregon


“I am a Girl Gone Strong because I am a trailblazer in Asia, changing the way women are viewed by carrying the “strong is beautiful” attitude and empowering them through my facebook page ‘ACTIVE LIFESTYLE’.” -Faz Ibrahim, Age 26, Bangkok, Thailand


“Being a GGS means being strong in every sense – willing to test the limits I impose on myself psychologically more than anything! Because if I can lift a bit more, go a little faster, sweat a bit harder, maybe I can defend myself when I get criticized, say what I REALLY think, change career, dress how I like and know real peace in being exactly who I am. I want to see women embrace variety and difference and not feel they have to look, speak or act in a way that is dictated by society and media. Being strong in every sense is empowering – I want to share it.”  -Cat Woods. Age 29. Melbourne, Australia


“I’m a Girl Gone Strong to show my daughter’s (and son) the importance of health and to help give them the confidence they need to succeed!  Strong Body, Strong Mind!!!”  -Sandy Weisbrot, Age 32, New Hope, PA


“Rosemary Contreras, Scottsdale, Arizona: My mom is a GGS because she squats, dl’s, bakes cookies, and doles out amazing advice. She’s never been stronger and serves as the glue that keeps our family together!” – Bret Contreras, NZ


“Girl Gone Strong means overcoming adversity to let my inner me shine through!” Jennifer Hubbard, Age 32, Camp Lejeune NC


“Being a Girl Gone Strong is like having a mullet.  Exchange business in the front, party in the back for glitz and glamour on one side, total bad-assery on the other. Sexy, strong and empowered!!” -Cali Henrion, Age 25, Hanahan, SC

“Being a GGS means waking up every day with a strong, healthy body. This helps maintain a relationship with the most important person in my life – ME!” -Jackie Braspenninx, Age 27, Bloomington, Indiana


Stephanie Murphy Age 32, North Canton, Ohio, Client – “Steph out works most men and has gone from doubting herself to believing in herself. She’s strong inside & out & inspires me.” -Ben Sparhawk Age 32, North Canton Ohio, Trainer


Emme Whiteman exemplifies a girl gone strong. She works out with the boys, trains hard, and will be doing her first PL meet in April! – Mike Robertson, Indianapolis, IN, Emme trains at IFAST


“Because I refuse to give into the myth that women get weaker as they get older. I’m living proof that muscle on a woman is good at any age.” -Nancy Cooley, Age 57, Wheeling, IL


“I am a Girl Gone Strong, because I never give up and I never say I can’t, I always say I’ll try, if I can’t do it I don’t stop till I Can!” -Laura Alexander, Age 29, Corpus Christi, Texas


“I don’t let the pain scare me away when I try a new lift for the first time and hurt. I come back every time until I achieve proper form and strength through doing.” – Raquel Johnson, Age 36, Magna, UT


“Celebrating the empowerment of women everywhere…turning away from outlets that reward women for treating each other terribly. (Reality TV)” -Bobbie Kilby, Age 33, Minneapolis, MN


“I am a GGS bc I love the feeling of accomplishment after lifting really heavy stuff. I’m only in competition w myself to improve. I kick ass” -Shanna Schad, Age 34, Las Vegas, NV


“Being a Girl Gone Strong to me means…being a woman with personal strength and physical strength. It’s all about self-help, self-discipline, self-improvement and self-motivation. If my muscles are strong, my bones are strong, my body will be healthier and I will feel great about myself! It feeds on positive decisions in your everyday life from work, diet, family, friends, and things that make you happy. Being STRONG is everything.” -Lori DiSalvo-Walsh, Age 28, Dayton, OH

Cara Herperger, 24, Calgary, SK, My fiancé:  “Why is she a strong girl? Cara is doing her first figure competition this April. She has only been in this fitness game for a short while but is a real go-getter. On top of fitness, she is a journalist/broadcaster. In a couple short years, you will know her name very well. And oh yeah, she lifts heavy ass weight.” – Levi Clampitt, Age 25, Glasgow, MT


Val Anderson, 40s, Some where in Germany (Army wife), My Cousin: “Why is she a strong girl? Because not only does she deadlift but this is something she just picked up this year and had to teach herself how to do through YouTube. Not many support her in it but she has always done “her thing” and never cared much for the naysayers. She is proving this with her 185 deadlifts for 3 (with a ez bar at home none-the-less!) Strength starts in the mind… and these are 2 of the strongest broads I know. :)” – Levi Clampitt, Age 25, Glasgow, MT


“Being a Girl Gone Strong means never, EVER having to ask for help.” -Glenda Watt, Age 42!, Sydney, NS Canada


“You can be a GGS at any age.  GGS motivates me to keep myself healthy and fit, and I may not accomplish as much as a 25-year-old but still pretty damn good :-) I did my 1st triathlon 6 months ago!” – Fran Bessette, Age 52, Scotch Plains, NJ


“I’m a Girl Gone Strong because of the love & support of my family. This is dedicated to my hubby, DJ!”  -907 Muscle Girl, Ida Litteral, Age 32, Anchorage, AK


“Leslie never quits anything she sets her mind to, even when it’s frustrating. She also pulls 200@132 and is working on her first pull-up!” – Mike, Age 21, Nashville, TN, Relationship to Leslie: Fiancé

“Girls gone Strong to me – A lifestyle and dedication which has brought me strength inside and out, confidence, respect from others and being a role model without even realizing it! Dedication-pushing yourself to the limits- loving my muscles!” -Abby Sargent, Age 32, Farrell, PA


“I’ve been thin most of my life but not always fit.  After having children, I decided to get into fit shape and incorporate weight training and cross training into my workout routines.  The result. . .  I’m in better shape now than I was 20 years ago.  Clothes fit well and I’m stronger and more confident.  Strong truly is the new sexy.  Thin doesn’t always = fit and fit doesn’t always = thin.” -Margaret Day


“It means so, so very much to me, and I love that I have that all bottled inside of me…I tried to sum it up as best I could, knowing so many reasons would be left-out: “Empowerment and complete self-reliance.  Freedom from control issues and health problems.  And of course, total world domination.” – Erin Castioni, Age 27 Boise, Idaho

“Society places a lot of control on women’s bodies. I am a GGS because taking control of my own fitness and strength is a revolutionary act.” -Erica Smith, Age 32, Philadelphia


“I am a GGS because lifting has become my passion. The pure feeling of “badass” every time I lift gives me a great sense of confidence.” -Blair Venn, Age 26, Baltimore, MD


“It means I’m not a victim of stereotypes, my strength is beautiful and has no limits.” -Liz Pagel, Age 29, San Diego, CA


“Being a Girl Gone Strong is getting that feeling when PR in the deadlift. You just smile and know you are that much stronger!” -Erika Woolsey, Age 25, 
Fort Collins, Co

“I am a “Girl Gone Strong” because I understand the importance of recovery and mental strength in order to improve physical strength.” – Jamie Reisinger, Age 27 Ellicott City, MD

“I’m a prosecutor/mom & can now do 5 chin-ups, bench 1/2 my wt+ & squat my wt. I do something for me/my health EVERY day. 40 & in the best shape of my life!” – Hope Konovsky, Age 40, Massillon, OH


“I am a GGS because strength gives me pride, confidence, & capability.” -Vicki Masterson, Age 62, El Sobrante, CA


“To me, becoming a Strong Girl means my daily journey to recovery. I am an alcoholic and have been sober for 19 months. In 2010, I was arrested twice within two months for DUI. The second was the eye opener for me. I spent 14 days in jail. That is when I knew I could not do this on my own and I needed help. I turned my life and will over to a Higher Power. I had gained over 40 lbs and also decided to do something about that. I started to eat cleaner and then in February 2011, I started the “Couch to 5k”. Once I started running, I was hooked. By April I had lost the weight and was feeling healthier than I had ever felt in my life. I ran my first half marathon in November 2011 and continue to run, workout and eat healthy.” -Regina Faura


“While I am not a “heavy lifter” I am empowered by this group to do what I do 5 days a week.  I lift, and I try to lift as heavy as I can – 20 lbs dumbbells for bicep curls/15 lbs. for overhead shoulder presses for example.   It’s a process, one in which I enjoy immensely.   I challenge myself weekly to come up with new lifting routines – split days/upper body and lower body.  I have only been lifting weights for approx. 5 weeks and can see my strength grow and weight increase – this MOTIVATES me!!!  Seeing the veins in my arms grow – MOTIVATES me!!!  Being one of three woman who lift in the free weights part of the gym – MOTIVATES me!!!” -Trish Shahady, Age 40, Odenton, Maryland


“Girl gone strong to me means: not being afraid to sweat, push past your limits that you didn’t realize existed, and walking with your head held high into the part of the gym where all the guys lift.  I love my muscles because they didn’t just appear-I worked my ass of for them!” -Maureen McCarville Omaha, NE


“Being a GGS means, I don’t feel weak or insecure that I am more than capable of building a better me and loving every hardcore minute of it.” – Raylene Williams


“My girlfriend is a fighter. She might get knocked down, but she always gets right up. #Kylie Tan” – Nurdin Pattipilohy, Age 24, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


“Rugby is sprinting to wrestling match, repeatedly. Strength is my only weapon, my only advantage.” -Renee Whittenberger, Age 30, Akron, OH


“Being a GGS means showing the boys in the gym that girls can lift heavy and look hot doing it, but it especially means being proud of who I am and what I can do!” – Maggie Nunley


“I’m 43 years old and for  the past 10 years I’ve worked as clinical social worker. I work with children and their families who are in crisis due to severe sexual, physical and emotional pain. About 2 years I suffered a Depression. It was during this time that I realized that I could not be helpful to others if I wasn’t taking care of myself. Through the help of personal trainers, Jeanette Pearson and Joel Melanson I learned about the importance of heavy lifting, short intense conditioning and most importantly making the connection that physical strength leads to improved mental strength. There were times that I was almost crying because my workouts were so intense and I wanted to give up. It was through these moments that I made the connection that these workouts were pushing me to reach new limits physically and mentally. I was astounded by what I was able to accomplish through consistency and not giving up even when it was very difficult. For the first time in my life I felt empowered and that why I’m a GIRL GONE STRONG :) ” –Andrea Addington, Age 43, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada


“I’m a strong girl! At almost 43 yrs young, I’m in the best shape of my life, got my #HKC in 2011 and now training for #RKC, Fall 2012. :) ” -Sharon Shiner, Age 42,  Newton, Massachusetts


“For the first time in my life I feel beautiful. Marianne and Neghar introduced me to my new love, Kettlebells. I’m up to a 35lb bell now! AND I CAN DO 3 PULLUPS! I LOVE BEING STRONG!” – Karen Mosley, Age 41, Delanco, NJ


“Being a GGS gal allows my hubby to skip asking his friends for help when he has heavy lifting to do around the house. I’m his strong friend!” -Kimberly Hastings, Age 38, Zionsville, Indiana


“A Girl Gone Strong strives for awesomeness; she lifts heavy, conditions with determination, eats to thrive and has a passion that inspires others.” -Amber Jones, Age 29, 
Plain City, Ohio

“’If I’m no good for myself, I’m no good for anyone else.’ It’s that simple. I know myself and what I need to function physically, mentally, and spiritually, what I need to lead, and live the life I desire. I’m a GGS for myself first and foremost, and then for everyone I interact with. As a manager, coach/trainer, girlfriend, friend, and family member, I play many roles and am responsible for many others. If I am not responsible for and accountable to myself, how can I be those things for anyone else?” – Amber Leonard, Age 25, Bloomington, Indiana

“I have been given this body, this gift, I will nurture, strengthen love it. I am only limited by my imagination as to how far I can reach, I will never give up.” -Diane Wright, Age 33, Scotland, Renfrewshire

“I decided on my 30th bd that I wanted more in life. Redrafted entire life towards getting stronger. Now 32, I’m taking off for the World Champs of Dragon Boat in HK!” -Caroline Galipeau, Montreal Canada


“God, my family & Friends, running, & powerlifting keep me strong.  I’m NOT the best at anything I do, but I am MY best at EVERYTHING I do!  I refuse to be the 40 year old out of shape mom/grandma who where’s “mom jeans” just waiting to die.  I want to encourage others and practice what I preach. I’m gonna live….live STRONG!” –Michelle James, Age 38, Alliance, NE


“Being a GGS means I’m empowered. I am strong. I can lift weights heavier than I’ve imagined. I have gone farther than I ever thought I could.” -Cheryl, Age 22, Singapore


Lisa Evanovich, friend first then a client: “I say friend first because she is the most selfless person in the world who not only brings me cookies with an extra serving of gluten in them, but we can talk training and life with no wall to climb over. She “gets it”. She eats a big breakfast with plenty of protein, has had her hormonal levels tested to make sure they are balanced for her age, has only the highest quality whey protein, doesn’t get sucked into her friends wine binges, she is lean and nice! She is unbelievable both as a person and what she has accomplished and is still accomplishing physically.  Without bragging too much about how awesome she is other than to say she hit 15 full ROM pull-ups at 47 years old; I am sure she qualifies as a Girl Gone Strong not only as a person, but as a badass female.  Don’t tell her I mentioned her age, she will fight me.” – Matthew Brown, CSCS, San Diego, CA


“Being a strong woman says so much more to the world than “look at my muscles”.  It shows that I have dedication, discipline and drive.  It is also a great reminder to myself that I don’t give up when things get tough. I work harder, no matter what the challenge.  It speaks volumes about who I am without saying a word.” – Carol Donahoe, Age 46, Seattle, WA


“GGS, It’s a commitment I made to myself to live a healthier, happier life through strength training. And a promise to pay it forward by helping others do the same.” – Mira Kwon, Age 40, Portland Oregon

“In 2008 I gave up booze/cigs/self-hatred to Go Strong. Today I train for the 2012 ITU World Champs! Going Strong was the key; I love me now!” -Wendy Just, Cary, NC


“My wife Talia is perfect evidence that the stronger sex is definitely female. Her strength of character and integrity, her commitment to her personal growth and improvement, her dedication to her family are all inspiration to me everyday. As it were not enough to simply believe —she can also physically ‘uplift’ me in the air…or deadlift 300 pds.” –Michael Colton, Highland Park, Illinois


“Stepping up to that barbell transformed not only my body, but also my mind. My new confidence carries over into all aspects of life, opening up a whole new world.” -Kellie Davis, Phoenix, AZ


“Being a GGS means teaching my 5- & 7-yr-old girls that strength has no gender (they say I have “boy strength”) & that it’s in them, too!” – Jean Henning, Age 43, Bolingbrook, IL
“Carrying ALL my groceries in the house in one trip. 6 pack abs after 2 kids. Watching the people who are staring as I’m working out (lifting heavy ass weights) THEN the look on their faces when I walk out with a baby on my hip and a toddler. Lifting a heavier weight then the guy next to me. Crazy veins. Finishing something when others (including me) doubt I can. Coaching other women to do the same. Seeing other achieve their “GGS” goals. Being able to carry both my crazy 30+ lb kids at the same time. Every time I step on stage!!” – Kate Grevey Blankenship, Baltimore, MD

“A vessel of inner strength, she is my example of how to live. She listens, she supports, she never judges and she always has faith. She is strong when I am not. She, is my mum!” – Marianne Kane, Age 29, Belfast Northern Ireland

“Going strong saved my life, quote “this time mum’s really happy”.  Empowered body & happy heart! Die old fad diets.” – Beverley de Valmency, London

“Teacher/Mom of 2 under 3. Husband opend wrhs gym. Weights are now my passion. Love to push, pull, squat, lift, eat well. Happier, more energized, and pain free!” – Kara Pike, Age 34, Brockton, MA

“GGS means training for functional strength, maintaining a lean, strong feminine look and being committed and dedicated to a healthy lifestyle while helping others along the way get strong and fit.” –  Jen Grasso, Age 35, Santa Monica, CA

“My wife Angie Brambley Moyer is a real inspiration as a beautiful and strong women. First she is the assistant head strength and conditioning coach for Princeton University where she is responsible for 7 of her own varsity teams as well as supporting the other 13+ teams. She is also a competitive Olympic weightlifter and regularly finishes in the top three in her weight class. Angie has also been a competitor in Crossfit competitions over the last few years including regionals last year and has played rugby for more than 10 years including some time with the USA eagles. Her dedication and passion for healthy living is truly inspiring to everyone around her.  She is my hero.” – Tim Moyer

“Becoming confident in areas where I felt weak.  Losing 60+ pounds of fat…and still going!” -Jessica Williams, 34, Rochester, MN


“I am a Girl Gone Strong because I lift, eat, sweat, yell, and bleed.  I cry, train, sprint, fail, and succeed.  My strengths today, were once my weaknesses.  I fail regularly, but try again the next day.  If I shed tears, I am crying THROUGH the pain and out the other side.  I may give up today, but you bet your ass I will show up tomorrow.  My fuel is made up of doubt and fear.  My accomplishments are doubt and fear conquered.  The confidence I possess today is made up of my accomplishments.  My biggest turn on?  Proving the “impossible” possible.  My inspirations?  The strong women who won’t let me give up and who show me the way.  These women are my teammates and the only competition I have is myself.  I am a Girl Gone Strong.” -Jacqueline Luciano, Tucson, AZ

“To me, being a Girl Gone Strong is a MINDSET. It encompasses everything from having a strong spirit to a strong mind and a strong body. It’s a self-acceptance and a confidence in which Beauty blossoms. It’s making good decisions, working hard and taking care of yourself. Like all great efforts, some days it requires a little extra grit. To me, feeling strong physically, transcends to feeling strong internally and feeling strong internally is beautiful.” –Alli McKee, Age 28, Baltimore, MD


If you would like to add to this list, feel free to leave why YOU are a GGS or highlight a special GGS in your life in the comments section. Please aim to keep it to a twitter size contribution (yes, it’s hard :) ) and include your name, age, city, state, country.

Keep spreading the Mindset Movement!!

8 Comments on "Girls Gone Strong, it’s a Movement and a MINDSET"

  1. Shannon Bauer says:

    I am a GGS because I know I can do more than I believe I can. Watching my body change in to something that makes me smile every time I pass a mirror is about the coolest thing ever and as I’ve gained physical beauty and strength, I’ve also gained emotional and mental strength. I am no longer afraid of my own success. – Shannon Bauer, Age 32, Raleigh, NC

  2. Lara says:

    I am a GGS. I love redefining womens strength training. I’ve only been lifting for a few months but I love lifting heavy things. I love being pulled aside by senior female trainers who are all about tye cycling and leg extentions and being questioned about my heavy, low rep program. And better yet I love challenging perceptions about YOUNG females and training. Lara 18, Sunshine Coast Australia.

  3. julia says:

    Being a GGS for the past 15 years has transformed my life, my job, my character and more. I am strong physically, mentally and I know I can do anything I put my mind to. Give me a challenge and I will make it happen. ~Julia, 31, Indiana

  4. chrysta says:

    Being a GGS supporter and follower has elevated not only my body but my confidence as well. The powerful feeling that I get from achieving my goals and becoming a stronger person mentally and physically has become something that I look forward to each and every day. I love looking in the mirror each day and seeing the strength that I have achieved. It has help helped me in every aspect of my life. Keep on rockin ladies! -Chrysta, 29, Los Angele, CA

  5. Steve says:

    My girlfriend Lindsay is my Girl Gone Strong because no matter what challenges she faces, in the gym or in life, she never gives up.  I admire her strength! She gives me strength!

  6. Cheeta says:

    After quite a tough couple of weeks with long working hours preventing me from my usual training regime it was so wonderful to come across the Girls Gone Strong page on Facebook. I absolutely love running (especially trail running) however I’m now keen to expand alot more towards lifting & strength training…. It’s great to be a GGS! x

  7. Liz says:

    It’s so amazing to see the variety of women represented! Great job!

Leave a Reply to Steve