We’ll start off by warning you that you’re about to be inspired…ZEMSPIRED. This isn’t just about fitness. This is about coming to a fork in the road and making the tough choice to either take a path to a downward spiral or a path of well-being whose end is unknown but has more of an optimistic outlook.

Brenda Taylor describes herself as a “wife, mom, homeschooling (her) boys, strength training, contracted armwrestler with The Ultimate Armwrestling League and a Zembassador for ZEMgear.” But before becoming becoming an arm wrestling champ, Brenda experiences an event that would change her life. She lost her mother tragically on May 1st 2010 in the Tenessee flood waters. Devastated, Brenda says “this event shook me to my core. Psychologists say there are 5 stages of grief. I think I cycled through them and got stuck in the anger stage.” It was then that her friend Nicole Spitzack (owner of CrossFit SolaFide),  encouraged Brenda to workout with her. Having decided that life was too short to be angry and depressed Brenda agreed. She didn’t want to medicate her feelings and rather 

began to lift heavy weights for therapy. After making this decision, Brenda joined Crossfit. And through a series of coincidences & meeting people, which we blogged about this past summer, at the age of 40 Brenda became a contracted athlete.”I’ll never forget when my Armwrestling Coach, Jeff Janes, contacted me. I thought he was nuts…me…an armwrestler?! I accepted the challenge.” The two things Brenda says she learned at her first tournament were:

1. she needed to learn more about arm wrestling

2. Never underestimate your competitor.

Brenda advises when starting out lifting weights, start light. “Figure out the lift before going heavier. I’ve been lifting for awhile, I’m not perfect. I often times need someone to push me to lift heavier. Recently, SolaFide got a new Coach, Russ Bohlinger. He’s awesome. Russ has been helping my friends and I on our newest journey…StrongWoman Competitions. StrongWoman competitions…even crazier than crazy…but, I had a friend that needed a new path. I told her that she’d be great at StrongWoman lifts. She then said “I’ll do it, if you do it.” I accepted her challenge and got another friend involved as well. I enjoy encouraging others to try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail. Push yourself to your max. You may not be good at certain things, but have the guts to say you tried.

Early next year, Brenda will begin competing. “When competitions come closer…I will be more strict with my food…I hate the word diet. I am not a size 2. I will never starve myself to be a size 2. When I step up to the Armwrestling table, I am usually a healthy 176-lbs. I eat meats, veggies, rice, & power crunch bars. I do try to stay away from carbs…like bread…but If I want pizza, I’ll eat it. I train hard. Why not?! People have got to start finding self acceptance. Redefine your beautiful. Take chances.”

Brenda recalls taking the chance to contact ZEMgear over the summer about being a Zembassador. She had purchased a pair of ZEM 360′s and was ‘absolutely astonished’ at how they were grabbing everyone’s attention with them! “I love my 360′s!!! I joke and say they keep me grounded…humble…but they do keep my feet flat, balanced in my lifts and at the armwrestling table. I have ran several miles in my 360′s, 2Cinch, and Ujanes. I’ve also lifted weights and rowed in all three styles. In my opinion, the 2Cinch were best on the rower. I’m excited that ZEMgear is “coming” to the StrongWoman Competitions with me too. Let’s take the step into the Zone of Endless Motion together. Have courage and MOVE YOUR BODY! 

Brenda said “I always tell my sons, Cooper and Cameron, that everyone has a story…good and bad….but, it defines who they are.  Life changing events happen to everybody” and we’re so very proud that ZEMs were part of Brenda’s story of inspiration and perseverance. Good luck Brenda!

I am wife, mom, homeschooling my boys, strength training, contracted armwrestler with The Ultimate Armwrestling League and a Zembassador for ZEMgear. I’m not a young athlete. Many people want to know my age. I’m 41-yrs old. I became a contracted athlete at 40-yrs old. CrossFit was crazy…armwrestling was even crazier! I’ll never forget when my Armwrestling Coach, Jeff Janes, contacted me. I thought he was nuts…me…an armwrestler?! I accepted the challenge. My first tournament I learned a lot…1. I needed to learn more about armwrestling. (I wasn’t that fantastic! Haha…) 2. Never underestimate your competitor. I am fortunate that I have not had any injuries in my sports. It’s my opinion when you start lifting weights, start light. Figure out the lift before going heavier. I’ve been lifting for awhile, I’m not perfect. I often times need someone to push me to lift heavier. Recently, SolaFide got a new Coach, Russ Bohlinger. He’s awesome. Russ has been helping my friends and I on our newest journey…StrongWoman Competitions. StrongWoman competitions…even crazier than crazy…but, I had a friend that needed a new path. I told her that she’d be great at StrongWoman lifts. She then said “I’ll do it, if you do it.” I accepted her challenge and got another friend involved as well. I enjoy encouraging others to try new things. Don’t be afraid to fail. Push yourself to your max. You may not be good at certain things, but have the guts to say you tried. Anyhow, my strength training continues and early next year I will compete. When competitions come closer…I will be more strict with my food…I hate the word diet. I am not a size 2. I will never starve myself to be a size 2. When I step up to the Armwrestling table, I am usually a healthy 176-lbs. I eat meats, veggies, rice, & power crunch bars. I do try to stay away from carbs…like bread…but If I want pizza, I’ll eat it. I train hard. Why not?! People have got to start finding self acceptance. Redefine your beautiful. Take chances. Speaking of taking chances, I remember contacting ZEMgear over the summer about being a Zembassador. I had purchased a pair of Zems…360′s…and was absolutely astonished with how many people noticed my shoes. I love my 360′s!!! I joke and say they keep me grounded…humble…but they do keep my feet flat, balanced in my lifts and at the armwrestling table. I have ran several miles in my 360′s, 2Cinch, and Ujanes. I’ve also lifted weights and rowed in all three styles. In my opinion, the 2Cinch were best on the rower. I’m excited that ZEMgear is “coming” to the StrongWoman Competitions with me, too. Let’s take the step into the Zone of Endless Motion together. Have courage and MOVE YOUR BODY!