In the Sister-in-Strength Snapshot series, I want to introduce you to some of the fantastic women I’ve had the pleasure to meet and befriend on my own journey. The pursuit of strength can sometimes seem like a lonely affair, in a world that works hard to convince us that we should shrink ourselves instead of taking more space. Each woman highlighted in this series is one that you should definitely get to know!
Name: Amber Mikaelsson
Location: Rural Alberta, Canada
WHAT DOES STRENGTH MEAN DO YOU?
Strength is manifested in so many ways and has always been a quality I admire in other people. Strength is rarely a birthright, but rather an ongoing, continually cultivated condition, and it has come to mean many things to me. Strength represents self-care, resilience, determination, autonomy, community, entertainment, employment, and fuel for my creative fire, to name a few.
I am passionate about spreading strength around, which lends a lot of inspiration for my work. I adore helping women get strong at home or in the gym and often write love letters to the iron because of the way it makes me feel personally. Growing my strength and that of my community is what makes me jump out of bed in the morning and is typically the last thing I think of at night. I’m obsessed.
HAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH STRENGTH EVOLVED OVER THE YEARS?
I have long considered myself emotionally and intellectually strong. But, embarrassingly, until about 5 years ago I was perfectly content playing a helpless female role and allowing the physically strong people in my life to handle my shit for me.
Having my daughter reinforced my desire to grow emotionally and intellectually in order to help her navigate our world with as many tools as possible. But having my son two years later was the real catalyst for my desire to work toward physical strength.
I started pursuing lifting in my basement home gym with a set of adjustable dumbbells and an online training program, and quickly fell in love with it. It’s important to me that both of my children value strong women, individual strength, and self care in their own lives, and the best way to ensure that is to model it for them.
WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION IN LIFE?
I’m fortunate to have a vast network of inspiration to draw from. My family, of course, are my day-to-day motivators, but I also have a vibrant and active community of clients and readers that nourish and stimulate my work, as well as some amazing coaches and peers in the industry who have become dear friends. I’ve surrounded myself with strong women and I couldn’t imagine it any other way now.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL MANTRA OR YOUR FAVOURITE SAYING?
It’s actually a slogan I bought on a hoodie several years ago: Work Hard, Be Kind. It pretty much sums up my life’s philosophy.
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT TO SEND OUT TO THE WORLD ABOUT WOMEN AND STRENGTH?
I work through my writing and coaching programs to separate aesthetic goals from the myriad of other benefits of strength training for women, including increased self-confidence, independence, stress management, and libido, along with better quality sleep, improvement in major health markers, and improved mood.
Time spent strength training will pay dividends in all aspects of your life, and it can be a really fun way to meet and connect with new people. you are doing safe, appropriate movement for your skill level and current health, everything in your life gets better when you get stronger.
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