Young girls are pushing, jumping and lifting their way to a healthier body and a healthier mind at Fat Bottom CrossFit in Pickering.
With social media pressuring girls to look a certain way, owner Martine Miller-Crosby wanted to create a class for kids that puts mental health first.
“Going through teenage years with body image problems, anxiety…I know there’s not a lot out there to help them battle those kinds of things before it starts,” she said.
The crossfit coach is offering free workout sessions for kids for the time being.
Besides the exercises themselves, Miller-Crosby says she makes sure to take other measures so kids won’t focus as much on their appearance.
“We don’t have mirrors in this gym because it’s not about checking how you look, it’s about your performance,” she explained.
Several girls between the ages of eight and 14 who took the class said as a result of their newfound strength, their well-being improved.
“It gives me confidence to do more things and not be afraid to do them,” April McCaughey said.
WATCH: (Aug. 3, 2018) What you need to know about crossfit
Another participant, Bella Hayford, said she could “lift heavier things and it’s fun to be strong.”
As for Miller-Crosby, she hopes the positive energy can translate into other areas of the girls’ lives.
“A push-up or a pull-up…those are goals that women actually have. When you get to accomplish that, your confidence goes through the roof and you’re able to start feeling confident in other aspects of your life,” she said.
“You won’t be as scared to meet people anymore because you feel better about yourself.”