When we think of sports, and star athletes today we can equally name many Men and Women – but it hasn’t always been that way. My guest Haley Shapley, a journalistic writer, and Author of Strong Like Her –  a celebration of rule breakers, history makers, and unstoppable athletes wrote an inspiring story that tributes female athletes that have paved the way throughout history.

Recently voted as Women To Watch in The 425 Magazine, and an athlete herself Haley was inspired to tell a story of a group of women athlete’s that have blazed a trail for women sports, and continue to push boundaries of what it means to be strong, and celebrating the beauty of female strength and power. Being kept out of the sporting world for years, women have long had to fight against the perception that to be strong is not feminine.

*Photo credit David Aboody*

Haley has been a long time freelance writer, and has built a career in magazine journalism, content marketing, and copywriting. She has always been focused on living a healthy life style, from healthy eating habits to working out. As she began strength training she started to notice more and more women in the weight room lifting, along with more women participating in the popular Crossfit, and American Ninja Warrior. This inspired her to start reading some books on the the history of women weight lifters, and who paved the way – and she wasn’t finding much

Haley started digging reading numerous books on biographies of athlete’s and fitness history – which inspired her to tell their stories through Strong Like Her. She interviewed over 40 women, including Katherine Switzer the first registered female to enter the Boston Marathon in 1967. Katherine too was a journalist for a sports magazine and was instrumental in paving the way for females to participate in the race – an continues to support programs making sports accessible to women.

One of Haley’s women she interviewed that stood out was a local female bodybuilder Elaine Craig that stumbled into weight lifting as a way to spend time with her boyfriend – who was always in the gym. He put together some weight lifting workout routines and she quickly became hooked – and realized she was pretty good at it!

One of the first female bodybuilders in the 70’s,Elaine has over 55 WA State raw bench press record holders, and continues to be involved in bodybuilding competitions, through Craig Productions with her husband Brad.

*Photo credit Sophy Holland*

For more information on Elaine’s story, and her other inspiring stories you can purchase a copy of Strong Like Her on Haley’s website, Amazon, or where any books are sold. Follow her on Instagram for motivational sports images, and upcoming events.