That’s One Strong Mother…

In the last article I talked about how Strong Women Intimidate Weak Men and Women.  I have to be honest the Maria Kang story really disappointed me.  I mean I know that kind of thing is out there, but to actually see the vitriol of some people is just really sad.  It also got me to thinking about all the other examples of strong mothers that I know just in my little circle of strength athletes.

Meet Julia Ladewski


Julia is a very dear friend.  Not only that, but she is a wonderful wife, mother of 2, strength coach, and elite level powerlifter.  As far as Resumes go for Strong Mothers, hers is stacked.  I actually wanted to include her in the previous article.  Thankfully, I couldn’t find any incidents of her being judged for her pursuits.  I think that mostly has to do with the fact that she turns off commenting on her videos.  This is obviously a smart move on her part.  After talking to her I did find one incident of judgment, on Instagram of all places where she posted this picture.


Granted this is not the most flattering of pictures, which is obvious when you compare it to the previous picture.  However, again I must point out that this is a powerlifting competition, not a beauty pageant.  Not only that, but here is a news flash; we all look like this when we put in 100% effort.  Actually I am pretty sure I look much worse than Julia does when I strain.  Again it shouldn’t matter what someone looks like.

Katie Bautz – “wow, I don't know what to think about the veins… Bit much for lady! She's def a bad A tho.”

julia-noahObviously in the grand scheme of things this is very mild criticism, and I am sure that Katie didn't mean anything by it.  However, I know when I asked Julia if she had ever been criticized online it didn't take but a few moments for her to remember it.  And even if it was mild, it reveals an underlying stereotype that being a lady is inversely proportional to your strength and ability to do other things besides cooking dinner and changing diapers.  Have we gone back in time to the 50's? This is 2013 right?

The thing that struck me about the Maria Kang situation was how everyone said that if she was in that good of shape she must be neglecting her kids.  That is a hell of an ASSumption don't you think?  Even worse, it was mostly women that were spewing this venom.  And when you look at a woman like Julia you see just how wrong they are.  She has two beautiful kids, works probably 60 hours a week training other kids, and still has time to pursue her dreams.  Yes she has a supportive husband, and they work as a team.  But seriously, is that something to criticize or celebrate?

juliafamilyHonestly I think that people that are miserable with where they are always look for any excuse for someone else's success rather than analyzing their failures.  Then they can lie to themselves and say “well I could do that if I had *insert lame cop out*”.  Apparently that is how they wan't to go through life, blaming others.  Seems like such a waste.  Want more examples of Strong Mothers?

Meet Marisa Inda

That video shows a 114lb mother of 2 deadlifting almost 3X her bodyweight.  I can almost hear all the haters saying why that is impossible for any “normal person”.  That might be true, but should anyone be content with being normal?  And if you are content with being normal does that give you a pass to bitch about people being different and doing awesome things.  For the record, that video is actually 2 years old.  Marisa is even stronger now, I just liked the music in that one.


Marisa is a personal trainer and runs her own business.  You can check out her website Body Strut to learn more about this Strong Mother.  It's obviously not hard to find a beautiful picture of Marisa, however I chose this one for a reason.  If you look closely enough you will see *gasp* Stretch Marks.  In case any one wants to claim that she didn't actually have kids.  As ridiculous as that seems some people accused Maria Kang of that in the previous article.  The bottom line is Marisa is  a beautifully strong woman that raises her kids and pursues her passion simultaneously.  If you are one of these people that think that can't be done, then please do not interrupt Marisa while she is doing it.

Meet Lauren Brooks

Now Lauren is what you might call a Bad Ass.  She is owner and trainer at Crossfit Salvation.  She also is an accomplished Crossfit competitor.  She has qualified for Regionals in the Crossfit Games the last 3 years in a row.  In 2012 she won Event 3 and beating some of the best CrossFit athletes in the South East.

lauren-brooksDespite the fact that she is a competitive athlete and business owner, she still has raised two beautiful children.  With time at a premium, it would be easy for her to make an excuse but that's not her style.  Again when people say that these things are impossible for “normal” people I still have to ask, isn't that a problem for normal people?  Why should the exceptional have to be judged by the average.  If the average want to get better they have to actually DO something.  Criticizing the successful does nothing to make someone better.  And last but certainly not least…

Meet The Bionic Woman


Make no mistake Sue Ferri is a Strong Mother, perhaps the strongest of the group.  However, while her physical strength is impressive; her real strength cannot be measured by gravity and 45lb plates.  Yes she does kill it at the local box several times a week, however there is much more to Sue's Story than that.  In fact there is enough to fill an entire book which Sue is currently writing to encourage others that might have had similar struggles.

suexrayYou see Sue has survived 3 severe car accidents that should have taken her life (1993, 2000 & 2008).  The first accident she was told she would never walk again or have kids.  In 1998 she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.  Her weight has fluctuated from 275 to 150.  She has competed in Triathlons  and been bed ridden for months after countless surgeries.  She is pretty much titanium and heart at this point.

sueadricropThe sad thing is she still gets hassled when she is having a bad pain day and attempts to use her handicap placard to park.  And I won't even get into the hassle she has had to deal with trying to get insurance to cover her surgeries.  I guess it is just the day we live in that so many people are trying to game the system, that when someone truly needs help every one assumes they are lying.  And when some people see a seemingly healthy woman park in a handicap spot they ASSume that she is trying to take advantage.  You couldn't be more wrong.

thecriticI think that is the big takeaway from this, you cannot know a person's story just from one snapshot of their lives.  First of all when these people decide to voice their opinion, what is their motivation?  Do they think they can tell everything about these women just by a photograph or a 10 second interaction.  These women should be roll models, and their achievements should be celebrated.  Instead people with no victories of their own have to pass judgement to make up for their own lack of success.  Whether you are “attracted” to strong women or not is pretty much irrelevant, unless they post a picture and say “Do you think I am pretty?'  Otherwise these women are out there pursuing their passion, if you are unmotivated to try to keep up please keep your unsolicited opinion to yourself.  If you want to be better, do something about it.  Don't try to drag everyone back to you.  Get Off Your ASS!





  1. Christine

    Amen! The “bad mother” excuse isn’t really even valid. I spend far less time lifting than I ever did when I was a cardio bunny. And I’m showing my children that woman ARE strong. BTW the second video is unavailable..? Would love to see it. :)

    • Don

      Thanks Christine…we actually had to swap out the video. You should be able to view the new one now.

      • Christine

        Holy squat!! :) Thanks!

  2. Jess

    I applaud these ladies. Instead of knocking them down, we should applaud them. I always get the I have kids excuse as to why someone can’t workout. All I have to say is so am I. I get up at 4:30 mon-fri because this lifestyle is a priority but is not a priority above my family. They will always come first, so I take care of me before any of them wake up in the morning. I’d rather not be “normal” and be a mom my kids and husband can be proud of and most of all someone I can be proud of. The rest of the bunch can go screw themselves!

    • Sue Ferri

      Jess…here is my response to the KIDS excuse…

      Your kids should be YOUR REASON, not YOUR EXCUSE”

      Thanks for your awesome comment!!

  3. Dave

    Good article and good point.


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