Female athletes – the big picture

I’ve put up this famous SI for Women photo shoot before, but thanks to reader Tara, now you can enjoy the separate photographs as one long mural-style epic inspiration and reality check!

Reader Mail 9

“Krista, thanks to you, I’m telling all of those douches to fuck off — by getting super fit a la your advice, and squatting myself into emotional independence. Circus acrobatics, here I come!”

Shaky man in the gym

Some time ago I received an email titled, “Shaky man Down Under.” It was from Neil, an Australian man with Parkinson’s disease who had taken up weight training as part of his therapy. Since I suffer from the delusion that everyone who can move should do resistance training, and since I was also working with a client suffering from a related disorder, I encouraged him to keep it up. He leaped into his training with renewed enthusiasm. Every now and again, Neil sends me progress reports.

Reader mail 8

“I was unfit my entire life and avoided the gym for years, convinced that it was going to be just like High School gym. In my late 20s, I went through a rough patch and got seriously depressed. My weight ballooned to the point that when I turned 30 things were at their worst and I weighed 315 lbs. A few years ago I finally decided that I had to stop ‘waiting’, and get to it…”

Olympic weightlifter Maryse Turcotte

Maryse Turcotte was the first woman in the Americas to clean and jerk double her bodyweight. I first interviewed her in 1999, and since then she’s had a distinguished lifting career.

Powerlifter Linda “The Phantom” Schaefer

Linda “The Phantom” Schaefer is a competitive powerlifter whose claim to fame is a truly impressive deadlift. I asked her about her achievements and advice for other women lifters.

Krista Schaus

Nearly 10 years ago I got an email from another Krista. She was a police officer and powerlifter, and we hit it off pretty much right away. I asked her for some pics to put up on my site, and as it turned out, she had penned a few strength training articles of her own.

When I saw her compete at her first powerlifting competition, I noticed that her opening lifts were higher than many of the women who were heavier than her. In other words, she wasn’t just strong for her weight, she was strong compared to women who were much bigger than her. So, I figured she knew what she was talking about.