Celebrating strong women is part of our DNA. This International Women’s Day, we’re sharing the stories of the women in our Ryderwear community who continue to subvert gender stereotypes in the fitness industry, challenge misconceptions and lift other women around them through their self-confidence & strength.
Sanna Maria: Always Proving Them Wrong
TRAIN LIKE SANNA
You don’t know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Q: How did you get started on your fitness journey?
A: I’ve been into sports my entire life but was naturally very skinny. What drew me into fitness was wanting to get stronger and build some curves. I’d previously seen photos of strong women in fitness magazines and said to myself that was what I wanted to look like.
Q: Are there any misconceptions about being a woman in the fitness industry?
A: I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that women don’t train hard, or that they can’t lift heavy. I feel that as a woman, you always need to be proving that you can do absolutely anything that men can do, or even more.
Q: Are there any challenges or biases you’ve faced?
A: So many. I’ve been told so many times that my body looks the way it does because of my genes, and it can’t be because I’ve been training hard for years. I’ve been called a transvestite or a man because I have visible abs. Countless times men have told me not to train so hard because it doesn’t look good.
Q: Are there steps & actions the fitness industry needs to take to create better conditions for women?
A: Women should feel welcome and comfortable training at the gym, and not get harassed or stared at. Making the gyms more comfortable for all women is a priority, no matter whether they’re wearing a sports bra and shorts or baggy hoodie and joggers.
Q: Do you have any advice for women who are experiencing inequality or gender bias in the fitness world or beyond?
A: Never let anybody walk all over you. Speak up and show them you have as much right to be there as anybody else.
Q: Is there a message you’d like to share with the women in our Ryderwear community?
A: Never forget you’re strong, beautiful and can do absolutely anything you put your mind to.