Strong Is Both Beautiful & Badass!

My goodness, it’s already been two weeks since the first meeting of the Beautiful Badass Women. Where does the time go?   

Nia, Jen, Julia, Alli, Sarah, Marianne, Molly

 A Quick Recap: The Evolution of the Beautiful Badass Weekend

Things started to evolve with a group of us female trainers / lifters when Bret Contreras compiled a list of his 13 Beautiful Badasses. Bret’s blog post was an extension of Nia Shanks idea that women can be both strong and feminine – hence the term, Beautiful Badass was born. Before this, I had not been exposed to some of these incredible women. Fortunately, the stars aligned and one thing lead to the next…

I forget the exact timeline, but several months ago, Molly Galbraith and I were tweeting back and forth about strength training. From there grew the idea to train together and we centered it around the weekend Julia Ladewski was competing in a Power Lifting meet in Covington, KY on August 20th. Molly and I started to pull one known female name after another until about 12 women were recruited for this weekend. Six of us were finally finalized and committed, plan tickets purchases, hotels and the gym location booked.

The STRENGTH of a Solid Bond

Have you ever met someone and instantly clicked? Of course. Now multiply that awesome feeling times six. That is what happened this weekend and it by far exceeded all of our expectations in both the weight room and in building a sisterhood.

Molly, Nia, Jen, Marianne, Sarah, Julia and myself all trained at Laura Phelps gym, The Sweatt Shop. I must say, Laura has a dream spot for training. It’s a no fluff facility equip with everything you could want and need for training. I think it was the culmination of the atmosphere, the group of people and the adrenaline that helped many of us set new PR’s in the gym that day. Nia Shanks deadlifted 330lbs for the first time, I back squatted 200lbs for 5 (never exceeding 165lbs prior to that due to a mental limitation with my previous back injuries) and many other girls pushed their limits as well. It was awesome and a big thanks to Michael Keck, Matt Ladewski and Stevie for the spotting, encouragement and testosterone in the gym :)

Nia Shanks, 330lb DL @ 126lbs BW ;-)

I have gained many benefits from training over the years – my health, performance and physique are the obvious. I also wrote about training and fitness a long time ago in a post called I AM FITNESS. Here I explain how training is my hobby, my passion, my outlet, my job, my friend, my challenge and my feedback. Training pushes me, rewards me, releases me and it drives me further everyday, week, month and year. Now I add another gift that training has brought to my life.. LIFELONG FRIENDSHIPS.

Sometimes training can be a lonely place. I have walked that lonely road a few times in my competition seasons. Sometimes you have a goal that only YOU are responsible for crossing the finish line. Staying in on the weekends when others are out, getting out of bed hours before the sun rises to train, studying technique or opponents, making time for proper nutrition… this time however, training brought people together and that is so AWESOME. It is another reason why you readers should continue to immerse yourselves in the world of training… I have met the most SIGNIFICANT people in my LIFE because of and through training.

Pushing Nia on the prowler, a great moment ;)

It’s About The LIFESTYLE

I recently watched a youtube video on Urijah Faber (my favorite Fighter in addition to the dreamy GSP). In the video Urijah says: “The most important part about being a professional fighter for me is the LIFESTYLE I GET TO LIVE. I mean I get to have a lifestyle around the things that I love. I get to hang out with my buddies, I get to train all day, I get to go to other fights and watch things happen and meet cool people. So, the coolest thing about being a fighter and actually doing it for a living is the lifestyle that comes along with it.”

Urijah is exactly right, I couldn’t have said it better myself about training. I love that I get to roll up to my job everyday in sneakers and sport gear. I love that I am able to meet various amazing people from clients, to colleagues and fellow passionate athletes. I love that my day is centered around the activities and people I enjoy the most. I love an environment of hard work. Not a day is wasted in my life because of this.  

If you want to check out Urijah Faber’s video, click here: 72 hours with Urijah Faber. It’s worth the 18 minutes as he comments on so many things that are true to great athletes.

The Recaps

Rather than recapping the entire weekend itself, the other girls have already done a phenomenal job doing so and you can see their recaps and perspectives of the Beautiful Badass Weekend here on their websites.

Nia Shanks
Jen Keck
Marianne Kane
(Molly and or Julia, if you have a post too.. leave it in the comments section!)

The weekend was full of training but even more so, LOTS of laughs and even a few tears as we parted (yes, tough girls got soft). I wish I could do the weekend justice through this post, but you will just have to witness one of these meets  (or create your own) in the future to fully understand the dynamic here. All of us are joined by a love for training as well as educating and inspiring others to train. Due to this solidified and unique sisterhood, we are really excited to announce that big things are underway as a result of this first weekend. I can not dish any more about what that entails, but I CAN say that what you have witnessed so far is just the beginning of an exciting message we are going to bring :)

Molly, Marianne, Myself, Nia, Julia and Jen

Now, another video or two from the weekend for your viewing pleasure :)

8 Comments on "Strong Is Both Beautiful & Badass!"

  1. julia says:

    love it. love every single word you said. you’re amazing, Alli. And so are you, Nia, Molly, Jen and Marianne. You gals are my new sisters. so so so excited for the things to come and the new people we’ll meet through these adventures!

    don’t forget the video that Matt put together…. “someone get on here… seriously!!”
    http://youtu.be/NQkz4Vfm2Yo

  2. Alli,

    You did do the weekend justice. I am sure that there are many more details that you could have included but your sincere and concise take on what transpired during this meeting is enough to lead the imagination of the reader to possibility – which is after all what ALL of you ladies are about, INSPIRATION and LEADERSHIP.

    I read Marianne’s post as well and took a look at the videos and this video will be posted on my Fan Page on Facebook as well as added to my YouTube channel “favourites”. All of you have done an outstanding job of illustrating what beauty lies in strength and what can be gained beyond the weight room as a result of one’s labours in it.

    To you Alli, great job on your Prowler pushes, 200# back squat and one-arm push-ups; to Nia, AWESOME work on pulling the 330# deadlift and to Molly – congrats on the 200# back squat as well. For the other ladies, I am sure that you all had breakthrough moments as well – these are a few I “borrowed” off of Marianne’s post … ;) (thanks Marianne)

    A few parting thoughts; Alli, I like the fact that the emphasis on this piece speaks to the camaraderie that is developed through a mutual passion and willingness to work hard – that is after all one of the biggest and best lessons afforded to us through participation in sport and secondly, to paraphrase Henry Rollins, “The Iron never lies”; and this, this is what I believe to be the foundation of the solid bond that forms through training.

    Tough times reveal character and through confronting many tough times in the weight room, together, a mutual respect is developed based on this “character revealed”. Watching someone struggle, falter, rise and eventually succeed and become more than they were just 2 seconds before they lifted is truly inspirational and remains to be the single reason for what drives me to continue to Coach; so, my thanks to you Alli for stoking those fires through your work (written and in the gym)! Continued success to all the Beautiful Badasses – I’ll be watching ;)

    • allimckee says:

      Hi Christopher,

      Wow, thank you so very much for your thoughtful words. Indeed the camaraderie is equally great as the individual satisfaction that comes as a result of hard work. The industry of coaching is an amazing community to be a part of because it doesn’t start and stop with training.. it’s about being a part of people’s lives. We are all individually driven but a part of unique support systems, bonds, inspirational role models, learning as we go and sharing — what a feeling!

      Have a great weekend and thanks for keeping up on the BB’s ;)

  3. Marianne says:

    Great write up Alli!!! I can’t believe it’s been 2 weeks :( I am counting downt the days until the next meet :D

    Marianne xoxo

  4. Nia Shanks says:

    Great write up, girl. I can’t wait to do it all over again! ; )

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