November Member of the Month: Suz!

By Ange Drake

Meet the dynamo of determination and member of the month, Suz!

With a grin that’s as infectious as her charm, she’s the bedrock of our community radiating positivity and support in every crunch, curl, and squat. Despite some injuries, she turns setbacks into comebacks, inspiring us all to push a little harder and laugh a little louder. Whether she’s offering a spot, a tip, or a high-five, she embodies the true spirit of camaraderie at 23W. If you’re looking for someone to uplift your spirits while you lift those weights, she’s your go-to gal. Take 5 minutes to read her beautiful reflection below!!!

What do you love most about our community?

It’s the vibe baby! Working out with a beautiful diverse array of individuals who I might not otherwise encounter in my everyday life, is such an important part of showing up for me. The building of good friendships that are quickly dragged or on occasion drag me into the mischief, often are the highlight of my day.  

It’s the banter, fun, silliness, and subtly competitive inspiration to lift just a little heavier today, coz I am telling you now, Jill ain’t going to out bench press me today, (whoops, sorry thought that was my inside voice) 😉

It is not merely a place to work out, it is a sanctuary for me at the end of my day. Nothing like walking in and being greeted with a smile and then hearing the phrase “trouble just arrived”.  

What results have you seen so far? Big success?

BIG DAWG GAINS… forever! woof woof. 

On a serious note…

My measurement of success isn’t based on kgs or percentages; it’s about the confidence I’ve built and the positive habits I’ve formed during my time at 23W. 

When I first joined 23W, I believed I already knew how to pick up stuff and put it back down again, and all I really wanted was my mobility back from playing over a decade of roller derby. I quickly realised I had much to learn and how possible things actually can be.

As many of you who work out with me are aware, I’ve recently been focusing on rehabilitating from an injury, which has been quite challenging and painful. Nevertheless, I’m genuinely proud to say that, thanks to the unwavering support of every coach, their willingness to adapt the program for me, or give me space to “work it out,” and the subtle check-ins (yes, I noticed), I’ve had the confidence to attend sessions as regularly as I did before the injury.

Even though I knew I might need alternatives for exercises, or need to go super light with weights, or just needed to lay down on my back for a while, I managed to get it done. Recovery is still ongoing, but it’s inching its way to normality and this week I can stand up without any pain from the ground, hands-free. Now that’s some Big Dawg Gains right there. Woof Woof!

What attracted you to 23W?

A good friend of mine recommended 23W, and I could tell she was onto something special. She described the gym as “warm and welcoming, ” and this was during the heart of winter.

When I initially joined, it happened to be in between lockdowns. This meant that the first part of my membership was online, and it immediately showcased the strong sense of community and how open they were to newcomers, making you feel like part of the community right from the start. It kicked the arse of doing no soul LesMill sessions.

The number 1 attraction card for 23W is 100% the coaches. A big shoutout to the coaches for everything, every session, no matter your day, we get the best of you and that is remarkable. It’s the smallest gesture to the tailored workouts that provide a meaningful one-on-one connection to 23W. I know I am not the only one who feels it.

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. Now, a few years down the road, when someone asks me what I do at the gym, I simply smile and say, “I lift up stuff and put it back down” and say “It’s a whole vibe”. You should try it!

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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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