Strongwoman Sunday class a success in more ways than one

ANNA, Ill. (KBSI) – It was more than just a day to see how high you could throw a sandbag, or whether or not you could lift a heavy stone over a bar.

It was a day of empowerment and camaraderie.

Rise Performance 618 in Anna, Ill. hosted Strongwoman Sunday, a class designed to teach women how to use strongman equipment and incorporate it into their workouts.

Destiny Taylor, owner of Primitive Strength 618, led the class. She said any negative preconceived notions about the sport of strongman went out the window.

“There’s a lot of stigmas around like, ‘Women can’t do that,’ or ‘Everything’s so heavy, I’m not going to be able to lift it,'” she said. “I definitely think after doing the class today, the women were like, ‘Holy crap, I can do this!'”

Taylor says the value of that feeling cannot be overstated.

“To know that they did what they did gives them a lot of self confidence and a sense of achievement,” she said. “Just to pick up something awkward and carry it, that’s huge. I know a lot of the women, we need that sense of, ‘I just did that!'”

Amanda Smith has been training with Taylor in strongman since March 2021. She said that it can become an obsession, but that obsession only pushes her and others to be their best.

“There’s an addiction behind it, and I know that sounds strange,” she said. “But when you come in and lift say the 115-pound stone, you get in your car in the parking lot and leave, and you’re like, ‘There’s no reason I can’t lift the 125 or the 145.’ So then you sleep on it and you have that goal of, ‘I just want to go a little bit higher.'”

Michelle Hawkins, who is six months removed from knee replacement surgery, said that although you are striving for personal achievement, being able to share that achievement with others is a feeling you can’t replace.

“You’re not just doing it for yourself,” she said. “I mean, you should always try to better yourself. But going and seeing others succeed is so exciting.”

Taylor said she has plans for another class like this one, but she has not announced a date as of yet.

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