23W Members Spotlight: Greta Clark-Walsh

By Dee

In the world of social media it can be really hard as a woman, especially a young one, to navigate what you are being exposed to. Most women are familiar with the negative feelings towards body image and comparison to other women we see around us, which makes what we do at 23W that much more important! 

We practice self-love, empowerment and building others up. Looking beyond society’s perceptions and expectations and loving the skin we’re in. Building strength on the inside and out. 

With wise words beyond her years, you wouldn’t guess that Greta is 16 years old. She’s found confidence, community and strength. 

Here’s what she has to say about her journey so far.

How long have you been working with 23W?

 I started on this new venture almost four months ago. (Strangely though it feels like I’ve known everyone there for far longer!)

What got you started on this journey?

I decided to give 23W a go because my complete lack of commitment to any physical activity was really tearing down my schedule and motivation, as it had been for the entirety of 2020. I didn’t really know how to manage it – but my mum had been working with 23W for around two months beforehand and always came home so happy and was always raving about the community there, so I was so eager to see what all the hype was about!

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

I think my biggest hurdle to overcome in my first couple of sessions or so was the feeling of not knowing what I was doing in the gym and not knowing many people – having never been a super-fit gym junkie before, and coming into it pretty unfit on top of that, I was really nervous about how much I’d be able to do compared to everyone else. I’d been to other gyms before and never felt as if I could ask questions of the staff and then never saw any progression – but within a week or two at 23W, I’d met so many new people and was entirely confident and comfortable in my abilities, not afraid to ask about an exercise, and realised that everyone is at the gym for unique reasons… and that mine was just as valuable as anyone else’s!

What was your initial goal?

My original goal of beginning at 23W was to work towards becoming someone who I’ll be infinitely proud of, by knowing I’ve worked on myself and looked after my body and mind to grow into a happier, healthier and more confident adult. I’ve always struggled with my self-image and feeling adequate when it comes to sport and exercise, so I was seeking out somewhere to become the best and most confident person possible.

What result did you achieve?

I could never have imagined, six months ago, how confident and strong I feel now. While I have lost weight and changed shape physically, the changes within my mind are the most amazing for me – I’m so much more comfortable in my appearance and willing to put myself out there than I used to be, simply through the knowledge that I’m looking after and working on myself and my health.

How have you changed?

Through changing my exercise habits, I’ve changed in ways I didn’t think I would –I can now fit into clothes I previously couldn’t, and I feel lighter in general – and on top of that, I feel (and, I’d like to think, look!) so much stronger and fitter than I used to. On top of this, I’ve changed mentally a lot as well – I’m a lot more comfortable with my relationship with food, and I’m much more confident in putting myself out there.

What were your biggest challenges going through the process?

My biggest challenge consistently throughout the last four months has been experiencing phases where I’m unmotivated, or feel as though I’m not doing enough – usually, these two go hand in hand and tend to damage my mindset together! Having times of being sick or crazy busy with school make me feel like I’m failing myself, but it’s so reassuring knowing that there’s a whole group of people rooting for me either way, even if I miss sessions, and within a few days of getting back to routine and recovering I’m at the top of my game again.

What have you learned?

With 23W, I’ve learned that there’s nothing more important when you want to work on yourself than seeking out a positive environment to do so in. I’ve tried in the past at different gyms and in different sports teams to find a motivating source of fitness to no avail, because I didn’t feel confident or supported, but a really supportive, encouraging and non-judgmental group of people with which to work out and share experiences with is the “secret ingredient” to making positive change!

How would you describe your journey?

Rewarding! Seriously, I don’t know where I’d be now if I hadn’t made the first leap to come to 23W with my mum in January. Nowadays, a Strong or Boxing session with a fabulous group of people is the biggest mood booster, and I’ve never felt so motivated to work out (who would’ve thought?).

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

The coaches and community at 23W are 100% the key to enjoying the gym. It just feels so amazing to get to know people with the same (and different) goals, and work alongside them to achieve them – the community vibe is absolutely unbeatable and makes working out that much more rewarding. To have Ange, Dee and Asha to help us all along the way is the cherry on top – their expertise and enthusiasm in helping you make the changes you want to see is absolutely incredible.

What is next for you?

It just feels like up, up and up from here! I’ve now established such a love for working out and a real ambition to improve in the gym, and I fully intend on making those improvements slowly but surely. 23W fits perfectly into my student schedule and makes my day feel so much more balanced, and I want to maintain the healthy lifestyle I’ve built for ages to come. 

If you found Greta’s story inspirational, trying our trial pass membership for $47 for the week.

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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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