Your stories from GRRRL Live 2018 are starting to roll in and I’ve made it my mission to share as many as I possibly can! That weekend meant so many things to so many of us. I find myself wiping away tears while reading all of the beautiful recaps of sisterhood, new friendships and strength. My inbox is flooded and I’m loving it!

I caught up with Clinay Cameron  and here is what she had to say about her experience in Las Vegas last week:

“I want to first start off by saying thank you for reaching out. I’m honored to share my experience with you. I wrote a lot because I had a lot to say. Words can’t describe how great my experience was.

I came to Grrrl Live 2018 with my friend and teammate Inky from Northern California. We both had no idea of what to expect but we were ready for anything. On Day 1, I was excited to have seen and/or met surprise guests such as Chuckie Welch and  Amber Galloway. With them having roles in events like this (big or small) just makes the experience much more impactful, because you have that true form of representation in the conference. To be able to physically speak with or hear from a person you resonate with on a more personal level, is both refreshing and empowering.

I was also greatly appreciative of the themes we went over for each day, which included public and interpersonal issues we as women deal with on a day to day basis. It was awesome to see Kortney and her team of speakers addressing topics such as intersectional feminism, and the public issue of immense lack of diversity and inclusion in society as a whole.

Lastly, I was hesitant to participate in either of the Strongwoman or deadlifting competitions because I didn’t want to intimidate any of the GRRRLS from trying because of my size (and I have bad stage fright when it comes to competitions). So, I definitely did not dress or prepare for the occasion. But, what hit home for me, was seeing many of these GRRRLS go out of their way to support and cheer on one another during these two workshops. The positive energy was AUTHENTICALLY INSANE! I attempted to stay off to the side to support, but Inky and several other GRRRLS were not having it and encouraged me to deadlift and do the Strongman medley. Had I not listened, I wouldn’t have had the experience of hitting a 400 pound deadlifting PR with the #GRRRLARMY rooting for me! That was one hell of an experience I’ll never forget. I’m one who encourages people to step out of their comfort zones for a living and my hand was dealt to do do the same.

I want to give a special thanks and congratulations to Kortney Olson for doing it again! We could not have made this visit possible if it weren’t for your love, encouragement, and support. I’ll be seeing you, and thank you for all you do.”

 

Thank you Clinay for sharing your awesome #GRRRLLIVE2018 story!  Congrats on that badass deadlift PR!

Peace, Love and Lollipops GRRRL’s

Spunky

 

 

Hey GRRRL’s Hey, it’s Spunky!  I just got home from GRRRL Live 2018 and I’m still trying to absorb it all. What an amazing, life changing event!  I came home a different woman and I’m certain any woman who made it out to Las Vegas this year feels the same.

Here’s what some of you GRRRL’s had  to say about #GRRRLLIVE2018

Yet again GRRRL Live delivers. A weekend of fun, friendship and badass bitches. Sharing, supporting and shaping the future. The workshops, speakers and the OG event were out of this world! I will be back (and bringing my friends) thanks K.O and team GRRRL‘ – Mish x

” I’m almost certain that I’ve never been in such an encouraging, supportive group of WOMEN like this. Without judgement or competition. The vibrancy made my soul say ” This is what it is. This is truth”  Thank you! Can’t wait for next year! – Severina – Felicia’s assistant.

“My favorite thing about GL18 other than seeing my sisters was one of the speakers. Her message about freedom from food really spoke to me.  So much so, that I linked up to talk with her in a week or so. It’s a start in the right direction. As an OG, I really enjoyed the boudoir shoot more than I realized.  It touched a part of me that I didn’t even know existed.  Thank you!  – Kanoe

“GRRRL Live 2018- what an experience! Absolutely life changing, revolutionary and therapeutic. Thank you #Grrrlarmy for providing a place for growth, fun and connectivity.” -Kayla Hamilton. 

GL17 gave me the beginning tools, planted the seeds and ignited me on my mission to grow. GL18 empowered those tools, gave me new tools and more perspective. It has me leaving stronger, more educated, more aware and so much more driven. I’m excited for my growth, journey and change between now and GL19! – Cassandra Cuskelly.

“OG is the best part of GRRRL Live for me. It gives me extra time to know the amazing GRRRL’s in my sisterhood on a much deeper level.  The photoshoot gave me such anxiety but, once I got into my outfit and started having my pictures taken it really boosted my confidence. It was so much fun!

“What an amazing experience at GL2018! i met a lot of strong empowered women.  I’m happy to be part of our GRRRL family and already looking forward to next year!

 

 

 

 

 

Hey everyone it’s Kelly AKA The SpunkyCanuck checking in with the scoop on an awesome GRRRL fairy tale.

Recently, I had the pleasure of catching up with Lizzie and Suzy two GRRRLS who have an amazing story to share. I was familiar with part of their story catching bits and pieces of it here and there in our closed FB group and on Instagram. But, after spending some time with these ladies, I experienced first hand the love that they share for each other.  It’s evident that this couldn’t have happened to two more deserving women. After our talk, I was left feeling inspired and hopeful that real life whirlwind, butterflies in the stomach type of romances actually do exist and still happen.

Lizzie, 26 a sweet fun loving pastry chef from Christchurch New Zealand and Suzy, 37 a passionate children’s daycare worker in Chicago IL, had no idea that their lives were going to be completely transformed in EPIC proportions when they became a part of our closed Grrrl Facebook group. I must  say that I did get a little emotional putting together this interview. It’s just really nice to see genuine beautiful people fall head over heels in love and come out on top.

Kelly: Tell me the story about how you each found GRRRL Clothing.

Lizzie: I came across Grrrl while I was looking for some new gym wear. I had just started going to the gym with an Olympic lifting friend who was slowly getting me addicted to lifting heavy shit! I loved the clothes so much and through them, I found the Facebook page. I fell in love with the vibe  in the group and all the amazing Grrrls. I started talking and interacting with Grrrls and made some really cool friends around the world. Jumping on the Grrrl page felt like coming home.

Suzy: I found Grrrl through a close friend whom I used to Crossfit with. I was down dark path and at the end of bad relationship. I was Literally starting my life over again after a 5 year relationship. One day my friend says to me  “Have you heard of Kortney Olson?” and I’m like “who?” and she was like “ what you have never heard of Grrrl?” I hadn’t so I quickly checked them out on Instagram and was added to the FB group shortly after. I was in awe!! I was amazed at all the strong females. And even though I was in the group, I didn’t feel quite up to par. There were so many lovely Grrrls commenting and building me up. Slowly, I was finding my way and.making a couple Grrrl purchases at a time. Even at my heaviest, I was sporting around in shirts that exposed my sports bra and all my jelly rolls. I didn’t care because I represented a brand that was about something. I even attempted to get a Grrrl tattoo  however it was spelt accidently with and “ I” in it. I didn’t care, I was invested in this movement. I was a Grrrl!

Kelly: How did you guys meet?

Lizzie: One day I was just cruising around the group seeing what everyone was up to and this Grrrl posted about her donut shorts. She shared about how she wore them to the gym and felt self conscious and awkward. So, I commented about how I have the same shorts and I understood the feeling. She looked amazing in them and I wanted to offer her some support. A little while later I saw she had posted again and I won’t lie, in my head I was like. “she is freakin hot!” After a while seeing her posts and commenting back and forth, I added her as a Facebook friend.

Suzy: I began friending girls slowly and getting to know them a little better. I friended a cute girl named Lizzie who was full of energy and life. I noticed that I could always relate to her quotes about life and relationships. We were literally FB friends for 6 months before we actually spoke to each other!

Kelly:  Can you tell me a little bit about how your relationship developed?

Lizzie: We continued commenting on each others posts but, we barely talked at all for several months. Then one day Suzy posted about a dinner voucher she had and that she needed someone to go with her to this dinner. So, I cheekily commented that she should take me on a date! The comments went back and forth about this imaginary date we were going to have. I decided to send her a private message to continue the conversation. I didn’t go to sleep till about 4am that night. I just wanted to keep talking to her. She was so interesting and funny. I was worried if we stopped talking that day, we wouldn’t talk again! How wrong I was!

The next day we just kept talking and to this day the talking hasn’t stopped. We slowly got to know each other. We got good at the time differences and at remembering each others schedules to maximize our talk time. We got up early and stayed up stupid late just so we could talk longer. We started sending each other music to listen to. All of our favorite songs and bands. The music became love songs and the conversation changed from our friendship to something more.

I remember one day I was wondering what her voice sounded like. I sent her a little video just saying “hi”. This is me and my kiwi accent, i’m wondering what you sound like.”  This poor little sausage was so nervous about sending one back. It took some encouragement, but she did it for me and a little while later she was comfortable enough to video chat in real time. We started having little dates on video chat. We talked about life and what we both wanted and cared about. It felt crazy to be falling for someone on the other side of the world, who I have never met. It happened so naturally and so easily. I never imagined that it would actually become something. When I realised I had fallen for her, I knew that I had to do something!

Suzy: In June of last year I posted about a birthday voucher and how I needed someone to come with me for dinner. I had no idea that my whole world was about to change. After chatting through a private message with Lizzy I knew I had found a solid friend. I honestly had no intention of finding love at this point. I had been talking to someone for a few months who lived states away. That relationship was pretty much at its end when Lizzie and I started chatting. I was very upfront about my situation. I had been in a dishonest relationship previously and didn’t want to hurt this dear person that I had just met. But, as we continued to talk everyday. I found myself not being able to get through my day without finding out what she had been up to, or what funny things she’d say. She was so very funny and so very charming. Our conversations consisted of real things. Hopes and dreams. She was also encouraging me to go back to school. This girl was amazing and I couldn’t get enough.

Kelly: Can you guys tell me the story about how you first met in person?

Lizzie: A friend of mine sat me down and basically told me that I needed to just go for it! I needed to go and meet her for real and find out if this woman is going to be my forever. My friend set up a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for my flights and my parents helped out a bunch. I have never traveled further than Australia (3 Hour plane ride). Traveling to America by myself was huge!! I was so scared but also crazy excited!  The trip was amazing and I never once felt alone. I knew the Grrrl Army was behind me and commenting on my journey as I was sharing it with them. It felt like all the Grrrls were there with me.

Suzy: I never wanted a moment to happen more in my life. To have this girl with me whom I barely knew, but was so quickly was falling for.

After months of talking, I knew I wanted to spend my life with this girl. Me!  The person who has been so scared of the whole marriage thing. I wanted nothing more than to make this girl my wife. I wanted her to help me raise my children. She is definitely one of the most selfless people I’ve ever met. I wanted a house and the whole nine yards. I wanted it all. Many would consider us crazy because there is 17 hrs between us. But, to be honest there was never a question of will this work or How will this work? Those questions never crossed my mind. All I knew is that she was mine and I was hers. I was going to make this work. I would do whatever it takes.

When I met this girl at the airport and I held her in my arms for the first time and kissed her lips. It confirmed everything I had been feeling for the previous three months. If I had a ring at that moment, I would’ve proposed  to her right then and there. Having her in my space was the best reality I have ever experienced. She was there with me. It was everything. She is my everything. Later on, when I made my journey over to her it was just as exciting! Her world is so awesome and so are her friends and family. I can just tell they helped shape her into the beautiful person she is today.

Kelly:  I’m getting all the warm fuzzies just hearing you guys share from the heart. What a beautiful story. Lizzie you mentioned a crowdfunding campaign and the #GRRRLARMY being  behind you during that first trip. Can you tell me a little more about how that evolved?

Lizzie: The friend I mentioned earlier secretly messaged the MFCEO and asked her if it would be okay to get the Grrrl Army involved in a crowdfunding campaign to help raise the funds for my trip. Kortney set it all up and started sharing it everywhere. All these GRRRLS who we’ve only known online, sent money and left messages of encouragement. It was so incredibly humbling. I couldn’t believe how much people cared about us.

Kelly: That’s extremely heart warming and amazing. It’s so cool to know that this trip lead to your eventual engagement! Congratulations! Who proposed? And how ?

Lizzie:  Suz and I are super romantic, so I wanted her to have the big heartfelt romantic moment. When she booked her flights to come out here to New Zealand and meet my family, I planned this wee picnic in the garden for us. I had a ring made by this amazing kiwi jeweler, it’s one of a kind. When I proposed, about 5 seconds later Suz pulls this frickin ring out of her pocket ! She had the same idea!!!!

Suzy: Yes absolutely!!  She beat me to it!

Kelly: How incredibly special! And now in less than two weeks you will be getting married at GRRRL Live in Las Vegas! That’s insane! How are you guys feeling, are you nervous?

Lizzie:  I am crazy excited! My dress is just having a few final touches this week and everyone at my work is counting down the days with me!

Suzie: I’m super excited! However i’m a worrier. I worry about traveling and making sure everything will go alright.

Lizzie:  I know like we were planning on meeting for the first time and going on a date in Vegas and now we’re getting married!

Suzy: Oh how things have changed. It’s like they say when you know -you know and with Lizzie, I have always known.

Lizzie: I read this thing a while ago about how there are 2 types of people. Jumpers and toe dippers. I have never found another jumper before until I met Suz. Like we just went for it!

Yep, they sure did go for it. It’s amazing what a group of determined women can accomplish when they want to get something done. We’ve seen it with our even more recent crowdfunding campaign, The Self Love Rebellion Project. Grrrls are changing the world. I am very much looking forward to watching these two get married and sharing in that moment. It will no doubt be memorable. I am honored to be involved in sharing their story. I am honored to be a part of  an amazing group of women who are making shit happen every day! Stay tuned, I will be writing a follow up on these love birds after the wedding!

 

Peace love and Lolipops

Kelly

 

So what is all this talk of “International Day of Self Love”?

Formerly known as Valentine’s Day, International Day of Self Love is a chosen day to recognise and honor yourself as your numero uno in life.  In 2016 we rolled out the idea once we realised that there wasn’t a SINGLE calendar day that was dedicated to YOU.  We’re always giving praise, recognising, and supporting other people.  Yes, we get to talk about ourselves and be showered with gifts on our birthdays, but we wanted more than that.

It’s incredibly important for women, because as women we’re designed to be the care-takers.  We’re the nurturers.  We’re the ones that are wanting to fix everyone and everything else but ourselves.  It comes systemically programmed from raising children.  We’re designed by nature, as well as society, to be expected to tend to everyone else’s needs before our own.

My favourite example is the oxygen mask.  When you’re on a plane, the flight attendant gives you pretty clear instructions; Put your own mask on first before assisting others.  I’ve been on hundreds of flights, all over the world, and I can tell you I’ve never ONCE heard anything different.  This is simply because facts are facts- you simply CANNOT help other people if your ass is dead!  So put your oxygen mask on first!  Tend to you FIRST!  Love you FIRST!

This ceremony is an opportunity for you to outwardly, through means of ritual, commit to yourself that you are going to put you and your needs ahead of everyone else in life.  Even your own children.  Because if you aren’t able to be happy and free, your children are going to get a version of you that is 95%, or 85% or maybe even 50%.  Same goes to your partner, your friends, your co-workers and your family.  If you’re too busy saying “yes” when you really want to be saying “no”, to doing things that are taking up too much of your ‘me time’, then you’re going to be rundown, resentful and not close to hitting 100%.

Learning to cultivate self love is hard yards.  It doesn’t come naturally.  This is why you’ve got to get your ass to GL18 and learn some tools!  But first and foremost is you must first make the commitment that you’re going to do you-

So we invite you to get out your favourite dress.  Even get out your old wedding dress.  And if that shit doesn’t fit, cut or tie it so it does!  Go out and buy a new one!  We also encourage you to bake a cake.  Buy a cake.  A slice.  The whole cake- doesn’t matter.  But get yourself a morsel or something that lights up your tastebuds because it’ll be included in the ceremony.

The event will take place on GRRRL Clothing’s Facebook page as well as our IG Live accounts.

Feb 11th, 1pm PST (4pm EST) … (if you’re in Singapore, that’s 5AM MONDAY MORNING FEB 12TH lol)

-come dressed in your favourite dress/top hat/whatever makes you feel like the Queen you are
-get dolled up. Take the time to do what you do when you’d “go out” on a first date with someone else. Do that shit for you!
-bring a piece of cake, or whatever decadent treat you’d normally eat then punish yourself over
-bring a ring.  A new ring, and old ring, a rubberfknband.
-be by a mirror so you can look in it and repeat after me

By: Krissy Mac, Founding GA Member

My experience at World’s Strongest Woman

On 16 and 17 December I had the privilege of attending the Official Strongman Games at Dorton Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina as a spectator.

There was no way I was going to miss this competition. It’s the first time the Official Strongman Games has been run and it encompassed World’s Strongest Woman in all weight divisions (Open, u82 and u64kgs), including Masters, as well as World’s Strongest Man u105, u90 and u80kgs and Masters. The Heavyweight men also had a platform with a Giants Live competition. Basically, it was set up to be the biggest strongman competition in the world, with a gathering of all countries, all ages, and all weight divisions.

It’s so hard to describe all of my emotions for such a weekend. As a strongwoman competitor and huge fan, it was basically Mecca for me. To see all the strongest, most badass women in the world duke it out over two days was some kind of dream come true.

 

As a Grrrl though, it meant something even more. I planned this trip with a fellow Grrrl, Amy, who I had never met before. Me being from Australia, and her from Maryland, we hadn’t had an opportunity previously to meet in real life. However, we had built a friendship online due to Kortney sharing a photo of me on her personal Instagram earlier in the year. Amy saw it, and commented “Hey, we look alike, and I pull stupid faces in my photos too. We should be besties”. So we struck up a friendship.

The friendship blossomed over a shared love of lifting heavy things and supporting one another through some tough times during 2017. We really do look alike, it’s quite uncanny really, so in May, Amy had the idea to do a “twinning” photo in our matching Grrrl clothes and show how Grrrl Clothing united two women from opposite ends of the earth. This started a global #twinning movement on Instagram and Facebook thanks to the savvy social media crew at Grrrl. To finish off 2017 with meeting my Twinnie in real life was just incredible. Amy walked into the hotel room and started talking like we were in the middle of a conversation, it wasn’t even weird. We didn’t shut up for 5 hours. And so the Twinnies were now real life friends with a bond that I don’t think will ever be broken. Grrrl brought me a human who feels like a piece of my soul that I didn’t know was missing. To be together with her, with someone who shares so many of the same values as I do, where we are always safe together in a judgement-free and supportive environment, was to be made whole.

Friday night we got to catch up and have steak and beer with another fellow Grrrl, Meredith. Meredith and I were real life friends in Australia, though she is American and moved to North Carolina in late 2017. We used to compete against one another in strongwoman in Australia, that’s how we became friends. Somehow, with the fates aligned, we reunited in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the eve of the biggest strongwoman competition in the world. It felt as if no time had passed, and of course, Amy and Meredith got on like a house on fire. What more could a Grrrl ask for?

That night the incredible Samantha Coleman texted me. I suspect some of you might know her as our athlete fit Shape Sam (#shapeSam). I’d never met Sam in real life, but through strongman pages on Facebook and through the closed Grrrl group, we had struck up an online relationship. Sam had had a really rough week and didn’t even know if she was going to compete on the weekend, but decided to go anyway and just see what happened. Sam needed help, and she reached out to me, a fellow Grrrl, to see if I could help her over the weekend. I got to play Sam’s coach, friend, handler, manager, official cheer squad and communicator with her real coach, her husband Kyle, who couldn’t make it because of sickness and a work disaster. Luckily, I came with Amy, and as a Grrrl-trio we were able to help wherever possible, keeping Sam on track and focussed where needed.

Sam went on to break the world record log press, twice, now the undisputed world record log holder at 270lbs/123kgs. To have played a small role in that historical moment fills my heart with joy. Sam proved that weekend to be just as kind, generous, hilarious, sweet and utterly determined as she appears online. She is a Grrrl to her core: hard working, never gives up, doesn’t listen to the naysayers and a true powerhouse. Our Grrrl Sam is the 5th strongest woman in the whole world after that weekend. If you wear shape Sam, wear it with pride. I feel so privileged and overwhelmed to be able to call Sam my friend. You couldn’t ask for a better role model.

Aside from these amazing moments, I got to meet so many other Grrrls in real life for the first time, including Sunny, Kikki, Cecilie, Laurie, one of my favourite strongwomen ever: Lisa, the now two-time World’s Strongest Woman: the incredible Donna, and caught up with another Aussie Grrrl Susan. The nations represented there include the US, Australia, England, Norway and Germany. I also got to catch up with other incredible women, some of whom I have competed with at competitions, others who I had never met before. Shout out to Brendali (South Africa), Kate (New Zealand), Kim (USA), and Britteny (USA) who are incredible women and a pleasure and joy to watch compete.

The women there were beyond inspiring. Strongwomen tend to be a special breed, the tenacious kind who don’t believe in the word “no”. The kind that will pick you up off the floor, dust you off, acknowledge you’re hurting, and tell you to go again. Grrrls are another breed again. The kind that will never judge you, who are open minded and want to hear your experiences and where you come from, the kind of people that grow from our differences, and find beauty in it. We are stronger together and the Official Strongman Games was the perfect example of that. Women supporting other women. Women shouting at other women not to give up, to show what they are made of. Women strapping their competitors’ arms and sharing equipment. This is unity. This is the future.