GGS Highlight: Steph Ondrusek – Women Gone Robust


Identify: Steph Ondrusek
Age: 30
Location: Philadelphia, PA

What does being a Lady Gone Robust imply to you? 
Being a Lady Gone Robust means embracing risk. It means understanding that every one in every of us has a goal on the earth, ready for us to search out it. It means displaying up as you’re and permitting others the area to do the identical.

It means acknowledging that we could have totally different experiences of the world, however there’s room for all of us to pay attention, study, and develop collectively, with all of us changing into stronger and extra entire in consequence.

How lengthy have you ever been energy coaching, and the way did you get began?
It will depend on what you rely as energy coaching! I began aggressive swimming once I was six, and we began lifting weights to complement once I was fourteen. I wasn’t allowed to do a lot then, as a result of I skilled with an older age group. I wasn’t technically “alleged to” be within the weight room at that age, so it was largely dumbbells, drugs balls, and body weight coaching.

I walked into the burden room and picked up a barbell for the primary time my freshman 12 months of faculty, and, though Well being and Train Science was my main, I used to be actually intimidated! Nobody had ever really proven me methods to raise earlier than.

I lastly obtained the braveness to ask somebody to point out me how in my sophomore 12 months, stored working with some mates and doing my swimming circuits as an alternative, and began taking it significantly my senior 12 months of faculty (nothing like some lag time). I by no means seemed again.

What does your typical exercise appear like?
Today, there isn’t actually a “typical.”

I’ve tried fairly just a few packages and kinds of coaching, from the extra purposeful/athletic coaching to conventional physique half splits to powerlifting, and I’ve loved all of them immensely. Every totally different kind of exercise has been a possibility to study one thing new about my physique and its skills — to discover its edges and push them out a bit additional.

Proper now, I’m in a reasonably busy season with lots of changes, and I simply moved! So it’s a bit little bit of all the things. I start most days with some type of motion, normally 15-40 minutes of (mediocre) yoga, largely to fight my (mediocre) posture and to get my day began with some quiet time and area.

Typically beforehand I’ll do a kettlebell or body weight circuit in “raise weights sooner” type, as a result of I’m actually digging the fast and intense weight coaching today. I deal with large, compound actions (squats, swings, deadlifts, rows, presses) and, presently, I’m listening to my restoration time (and seeing what occurs if I lower it).

If I’m figuring out in the course of the day, it’s the identical type that I’m utilizing to inject some vitality and motion into an in any other case sedentary day.

I additionally do my greatest to go for lots of walks!

Favourite raise: 
Deadlift. It was the scariest for me, and it turned my strongest raise once I was powerlifting, as a result of I used to be so decided to not be afraid of it!

Most memorable PR:
I handled an previous again harm that had been appearing up and prevented me from comfortably again squatting for nearly a 12 months. I spent lots of time and a focus caring for it, as a result of till the purpose the place I finished again squatting, I had solely cared for it with relaxation and avoidance — which didn’t actually assist it really feel higher, and really made me extra afraid of it.

I obtained bored with being afraid and didn’t need to really feel injured perpetually on the age of 25 if I might keep away from it, so I made some appointments and actually devoted myself to therapeutic.

I finally began again squatting, on a powerlifting program the place I used to be including weight and feeling good. Just a few months in, discovering myself squatting at 85 p.c of my previous max fairly comfortably for just a few weeks, I assumed I’d use the additional vitality I felt and see what I might do. I don’t know that it was a true max, because it wasn’t deliberate, however I labored as much as 210, which was 15 kilos over my earlier max in a gymnasium with no spotter.

The frenzy of aid I felt once I re-racked the bar and didn’t really feel a searing ache in my again was a sense I’ll bear in mind for the remainder of my life. (I used to be that individual telling the individual subsequent to me to take out their headphones so I might inform them about it.)

Do you like to coach alone or with others? Why?
It relies upon! If I’ve carried out lots of “people-ing” that day, I choose to coach alone. I coach and work together on-line all day lengthy, so typically I would like the time and area to disconnect and put some vitality again into me, fairly than give it out.

However typically, I’ve had lots of digital interplay, and I crave actual connection, by which case I choose to coach with others (hello, neighborhood exercise group!) It simply will depend on the state of the web that day.

Most memorable praise you’ve obtained these days:
A few individuals paid me the identical one in the previous few days: I helped them see themselves otherwise.

A kind of individuals instructed me that they consider me each time they understand that they can put on quick shorts, and another person instructed me that they hadn’t seen something on Instagram but that had impressed them to get again within the gymnasium till a narrative I made (which was so wild to me, as a result of it was the primary time I had ever really spoken about something actual on my tales, and I had no thought if I even made any sense or not!)

I shifted lots of the main focus of my teaching within the final two years, and everytime you do something that’s new to you, it will probably really feel a bit scary. I’m no stranger to the voice hiding out in all of our heads that claims, “who am I to be speaking about this?” However understanding my work resonates and helps even one individual really feel extra highly effective in and interested in her physique is healthier than some other recognition or praise I might obtain.

Most up-to-date praise you gave another person:
I let somebody know that the best way they conduct themselves helped me know methods to higher deal with a scenario. I generally tend to take issues personally, particularly once I care very deeply, and once I’m in that state, I both freeze and quit, or freeze and get so labored up that I can’t make an intelligible level.

One in every of my mates is so sleek and businesslike, particularly when confronted with discomfort and emotion, and I’m in awe of her, so I made a degree to inform her.

I believe we default to complimenting appearances or achievements, and we don’t let others know once we admire their conduct or composure typically sufficient.

Favourite meal: 
It’s a tie! I like rooster Parmesan and will eat it 5 nights every week, however my yiayia additionally makes essentially the most superb pastitsio, which is form of like Greek lasagna, and I’ll by no means say no to that.

What conjures up and motivates you? 
I’m impressed by individuals who do issues even after they’re undecided, whether or not that’s a brand new energy coaching routine or a brand new enterprise thought or standing up for themselves for the primary time (or actually something).

My purchasers encourage and encourage me on a regular basis, and so do my coworkers!

It may be a terrifying place to be attempting a brand new factor, completely uncertain of the end result, and giving it your all anyway. There’s one thing so refreshing about that degree of honesty and consciousness.

I additionally am tremendous motivated by that feeling, as a result of I discover it exhilarating, even when it’s not essentially the most enjoyable. I at all times study lots about myself, and lots of methods to do issues which may not work. Taking a look at life as a puzzle in that means retains issues attention-grabbing.

What do you do?
I’m a private coach and physique picture coach. I used to do each in individual, however I’m now solely on-line. I additionally deal with all of the social media at GGS! When you’ve DMed us, you’ve most likely chatted with me (I have a tendency to make use of a good quantity of caps, and I get actually excited in regards to the belongings you do, so be at liberty to pop in and say hello or ask for somebody to have fun with you!)

What else do you do?
I’m virtually by no means not working, however not within the “glorification of busy” means, however as a result of I like what I do.

I spend lots of time educating myself so I can greatest assist all female-identified people — no matter race, class, measurement, age or sexual orientation — take up area on our platforms.

I like to jot down, and I’m additionally at all times studying. I normally have one fiction e book (I’m into dystopian-future younger grownup and fantasy novels, as a full-fledged member of the unique Harry Potter era, so be at liberty to ship me any recs) and one non-fiction e book (I’m into all kinds of subjects, together with however not restricted to social justice, HAES, cosmos stuff, spirituality, meals/cooking) going at any given time.

Your subsequent coaching objective:
To remain injury-free and on an upward swing! I’ve just a few overuse accidents from years of swimming and lots of tunnel imaginative and prescient (and stubbornness) in my coaching, so to proceed to deal with these whereas exploring all of the shapes “health” can take.

For what are you most grateful?
My household. My brother is one in every of my greatest mates, my dad and I are actually shut, and it took a few years of labor for that to occur. We’re very trustworthy with one another, and we respect one another all as impartial adults. I belief each of them to have my again in any scenario.

Not lots of people have that type of relationship with their siblings or a mum or dad, and I really feel very fortunate to have had the chance to domesticate that.

Which three phrases greatest describe you?
Passionate. Empathetic. Curious.

How has lifting weights modified your life?
I struggled with lots of insecurity rising up, and I obtained a message early on (like so many people do) that I’m not ok, and it’s my fault. I internalized that message someplace alongside the road and was instilled with this sense of possession of unhealthy issues, whereas concurrently feeling powerless to do something about them (with out realizing that that was as a result of they weren’t my issues!)

Lifting weights taught me that I’ve energy: that I can do onerous issues, and that I can put in an effort and count on a outcome.

It helped me uncover that even once I don’t attain a objective, I nonetheless realized one thing, I nonetheless did one thing, and the hassle was nonetheless well worth the course of.

Lifting has additionally proven me that not all the things seems the best way you assume it should! It’s given me the chance to ask myself lots of questions and uncover what it’s that I really care about — which occurs to incorporate autonomy, exploring potentialities for myself and others, not doing issues simply because somebody instructed me I ought to, and having enjoyable with all of it.

What do you need to say to different girls who could be nervous or hesitant about energy coaching?
There’s no “proper” method to strategy energy coaching, besides to simply present up! I used to be on the “Simply Present Up” plan for a lengthy time, and I’ve just lately returned to it. It’s empowering to know that every one I’ve to do is get in there, choose up what I need to attempt, and see the way it feels.

You don’t need to (and shouldn’t) strategy each single session hoping to hit a PR or full it in file time or be the “greatest” at something. Extra progress is made in constant “OK” exercises than in a single “kickass” exercise every week.

You will have different choices than fats loss. You don’t need to rely energy, or minutes on the treadmill, or anything.

You’re allowed to begin energy coaching simply since you need to attempt one thing new, or since you need to achieve measurement, or since you need to see what it’s about.

There’s no strain. You belong right here.

You’ll be able to study extra about Steph on her website, and join along with her on Facebook and Instagram.

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