Tasha Whelan: a Beauty and a BEAST! And my best friend! –
These last four years I have been living in a man cave aka the gym. At first I thought it was a flirtatious fun being the only female trainer. Very quickly I found how lonely it became. I discovered the importance of having girl friends in this industry and this is when I found my best friend, Tasha Whalen. I have been blessed to be part of her beautify transformation of becoming a world class lifter! She encourages me everyday with her Fearless spirit as she continues to conquer her dreams demonstrating what I like to call having an “Iron Will.” Enjoy reading Tasha’s journey!
Tasha is a strong mo fo! Despite our crazy schedules limiting our time to lift, talk or just hang out together we are still best friends. We share the same struggles of being a woman in a man world and never being able to “man up.” Instead we “women up” everyday! We show this through our stronger strength in our smiles, in our attitude, and in our beauty. Creating a mask to our deeper strength. Yes we may lift some heavy shit but there is a deeper reason why we lift heavy. Tasha and I train completely different but our purpose of why we train is the same. We unite together to give women space in the gym through our silent strength. We train with a purpose.
- Question how did you get into the fitness world?
Tasha: When I was young and in school, I was never the pretty girl, never the smart or popular girl but, I was always the tough girl. The girl who could out run all the kids, all the boys. I had something in me that always wanted to prove to the boys that I was just as good or better and sports, being strong, fast. I completed against them so they always knew girls are just as good. I good run or throw “like a boy”, do pushups and pull-ups better than the boys. I remember as a kid, boys always telling me I couldn’t do things because I was “like a girl”. So I showed them what “like a girl” could do, and it wasn’t me who would walk away in embarrassed. Stereotyping as children really pushed me to keep on striving towards being a strong women, and that is exactly what I grew up to be.
- What attracted you to this career?
Tasha: Being in the fitness profession is a very empowering career. My admiration towards people, especially women, who dedicate their time, and life to building there physiques to look and being strong, and those who help others feeling that empowerment is a truly beautiful thing. I truly love to help people feel strong, sexy and confident in their bodies. It is more than just a physical thing, but mentally and emotionally, spiritually you can alter and better all components of life through fitness.
- What type of life where you living prior to becoming a trainer?
Tasha: I received my first degree from the University of Washington in Anthroplogy/ Archaeology. I loved the idea of being a women version of Indiana Jones :D. I also danced all through college, mostly as a hip hop dancer. Worked in local gyms as a reception and as a waitress and bartender as I went back to college to pursue Exercise science and Athletic Training.
- What sparked your interested in power lifting?
Tasha: I always admired strong women roles, G.I. Jane, Ayla from Clan of the Cave Bear, Laura Croft etc… I always loved sports and being “tough”. I was quite the runner growing up, a sprinter, very fast and hard to catch. I loved the women that had muscle, and strength. In my early twenties I decided I wanted to stop admiring the strong, buff women and become one. So I worked and worked and worked and building muscle mass. In about 2 years’ time of eating the right things and lifting the right way I managed to put on almost 20lbs of lean mass. It felt AMAZING!!! I loved looking muscular and feeling strong. With the muscle came strength, but I realized that more than the looks of the muscle, I loved the feeling of being STRONG. I met my current training partner who was training more of a powerlifting style verses bodybuilding and he helped me discover that I was actually pretty good and lifting heavy weight. We both decided to enter a powerlifting competition, both placing well for our first one… loving every minute of it… and went from there. It’s the happiest I’ve ever felt.
- How has power lifting changed your life and created the person you are today?
Tasha: The most important thing personally that powerlifting has done for me is build confidence. I lacked that before, especially when I was younger. I feel empowered every day, not only in the gym where my strength is shown, but on a daily basis with the people I am around. It has built my character to be better, not better than anyone else, but better to those I surround myself with, better in my relationships and interactions with people. I have learned a lot about myself through powerlifting, competing, learning from other people, other women, who are strong and independent. It helps me help others build their self-esteem, the bodies, mentalities…etc… I have become more disciplined because of it, I work harder in my daily life because I have a goal, something to focus on, something that will continue to help me be a better person, not only to myself through the lifestyle change, but to inspire others to better themselves. I’ve always wanted to be a positive role model, and now I am. I am truly happy for discovering the passion I have for this sport.
- If you can say one thing to other female trainers what would it be?
Tasha: Don’t be afraid. By that, I mean do not be afraid to ask for help. Do not be afraid to learn from others, to grow, to be strong, independent, or afraid of change. BE FEARLESS in your career in the fitness world. Strive to make a difference in people’s life. That’s not exactly one thing… but it all goes together. J
Tasha: Thank you Anna for the opportunity to share these things about myself. I love the fitness world and industry more because of the people I meet and make me a better person as well. People like you Ms. Anna. You are a marvelous part of the fitness industry and I am honored to call you my friend. You, are a strong, independent women who inspires women each and every day. I thank you for being exactly who you are, and wish you the best of luck in this industry and know you will be very successful in all your endeavors.