Flip a tire. Push a car. Complete 50 Box jumps. Carry the heaviest kettle bell you've ever seen. Sound impossible? It's not!
Last year, I was lucky enough to join 5 other Encompass Fitness ladies who proved that those are just goals to be crushed at Femsport; a female-only strength competition that empowers women to be their own champion. My first Femsport experience two years ago struck me as an inspiring event - competitors of all shapes, sizes and fitness levels encourage and cheer on each other. Women push their fears aside to make room for courage and self-confidence. Hugs and smiles are shared between strangers who appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to push to heights I never thought possible. It gave me goose bumps when family and friends of people that I’d never met clapped, hooted, and hollered for me and all the other competitors. I was brought to tears watching a teammate conquer her fear of box jumps. It was a fun, motivating way to step out of my comfort zone and I felt like a warrior who could move mountains. It tested me like I’d never been tested before but I couldn’t wait to get home and back to training to improve my times.
What exactly is Femsport? It’s a one-day event where teams of three participate in six timed disciplines: a short obstacle course, tire flip, tire pull, kettlebell carry, box jumps and inverted rows. You are ranked according to your individual time, but also your team time. There are three different categories; Novice for first-timers, Open for teams with members who’ve competed before, and Masters (for ladies over 40).
All you really need to know is that it is FUN. But for those detail oriented people - the obstacle course is about 450 feet in length and consists of activities like a football tire drill, hopping over benches, agility flags, carrying jerry cans of water, and pushing a car (yes, it’s very possible and so exciting to watch). The Tire Flip is 5 or 6 flips of a tire that’s over 200 pounds. Again, this sounds like an impossible feat, but with the right technique and a little practice, this is do-able for any gal out there. Carrying 5 different kettlebells 30 feet and setting them on shelves of different heights is the Kettle Bell carry. Next up, the Tire Pull consists of dragging a 150 pound tire by a rope about 75 feet. Box jumps..ohhh the dreaded box jump! 50 jumps in total and you are allotted 3 minutes to complete the task. Yes, you feel like your quads are burning up, but what an incredible feeling to complete that daunting task! And the final event of the day was Inverted Rows on the Lebert bar; you have 1 minute to complete as many rows as possible. Shoulder blades on fire, biceps cramping up…..the longest minute of your life but WOW! What an accomplishment!
One of the best parts of getting ready for Femsport is that these are short disciplines many of us actually train through our regular functional training through Encompass Fitness. Deadlifts, kettlebell swings and rows are all functional movements that prepare us for these sorts of activities. And, of course, we’ve all done box jumps!
I love that Femsport holds strong in the value that every woman should be their own champion and be the best they can be. This event changed my perception of what strong or fit “should”’ look like and united me with other women to celebrate fitness and our drive to be better. For some of us, this was our “Olympic” moment – a chance to shine at something we never thought possible. If you can swing a kettlebell or do a deadlift, you can compete in Femsport! Don’t “consider” Femsport – just sign up and “do it”! I can’t wait to participate again this year, with even MORE Encompass Fitness members! Fitness truly is inspiring, especially when we focus on what we can DO and not just how we look, or a number on the scale. Join us this year as a member of Encompass and participate in our pre-training FemSport programming on Tuesday evenings, and then put your hard work into practice at the Saskatchewan FemSport August 19th in Moose Jaw. For more FemSport information, click here.