23W Members Spotlight: Bec Smith

By Dee

Moving through life changes is hard; adjusting to new routines, new identities, a new way of life, it’s challenging at the best of times… Let alone in the year that was 2020. 

Bec found 23W at the start of 2021, knowing she needed a change, a way she could prioritise herself and the empowerment to gain her confidence back. 

With the motivation to find her strength inside and out, she started her journey. Here’s what she has to say about it so far.


How long have you been working with 23W? 

I joined 23W in March as part of the 8 week challenge and I’ve been working with 23W for almost three months. 

What got you started on this journey? 

After two kids and a marriage breakdown my confidence in myself was at an all-time low. Then 2020 hit. It was a challenging time trying to navigate my new life as a single mum, working full time and in isolation. Coming out the other side in 2021 I knew that now more than ever, I had to find time to prioritise myself.  

Life is always going to be busy and hard but I really wanted to find something just for me that would empower me and give me the strength that I need for my boys.  

I’ve never been athletic or into training so it was important to me that I find something that felt supportive and inclusive. 

What was your biggest challenge(s) at the start? 

Aside from just making the time to get to training, one of the biggest challenges at the start was feeling confident enough to participate. I hadn’t done strength training before and was also feeling reasonably unfit. At first the moves and the exercises seemed daunting and unachievable. I remember watching one of the girls doing a chin up at my first session and wanting to run away as fast as I could!  

Dee, Asha and Ange helped me ease into everything at the right pace and since then I’ve been amazed at how quickly I’ve been able to progress and build on my strength. It’s been important for me to take the time to learn technique and then build on the strength.  

What was your initial goal? 

I’ve been driven a lot by scale weight previously, but this time I am more focused on strength and confidence.  

What result did you achieve? 

It’s only been three months and I have already noticed a huge difference in the way I feel. I really underestimated the impact this training would have on me. It’s given me a strength in myself I didn’t know I had and enabled me to pick myself up and overcome a lot of mental and emotional challenges.  

I generally feel stronger and more stable in my core and have found the regular workouts are helping to regulate my PMS symptoms, moods and headaches. 

How have you changed? 

I actually like exercising! Coming to 23W feels like ‘me time’ rather than a chore.  

 What were your biggest challenges going through the process? 

It’s hard to find the time and prioritise your health, sometimes work or life gets in the way but I am usually a better human when I find the time to come to the gym.  

 What have you learned? 

Not to be scared to try something new or different.  

 How would you describe your journey? 

Empowering. I feel physically and mentally stronger. There’s nothing like smashing out some deadlifts to make you feel like you can conquer just about anything life throws at you. 

What is it like working with the 23W coaches and the other girls in the community? 

The community at 23W is what’s kept me here. The support from the coaches has been amazing and helped me push through some of my initial feelings of “holy crap, can I actually do this?”.   

The girls at the gym have also been really encouraging. It’s such an inclusive environment and it’s been great gradually getting to know everyone.  

I take a lot of inspiration from the girls around me while I train. 

 What is next for you? 

Building! I always had a bit of a ‘just keep swimming’ mentality about exercise. Just holding on. I have found strength training different and helps me focus my energies on continuing to increase my strength and push myself towards the next challenge rather than focusing on dragging myself across the finish line.  

The future is looking bright!

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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