Continuing with our weekly column, “That Girl”, we are celebrating the accomplishments of real women who make health and fitness a priority because we know that true athletes come in all shapes, sizes, ages and athletic abilities from around the world. So this week we’re celebrating Esther Oakley, a Maryland resident who says that her new-found love of pole dancing and triathlon makes her feel like she can conquer the world.
33 years old
Triathlon and Pole fitness
Fitness/health accomplishment you are most proud of:
Completing my first sprint triathlon this year was a major accomplishment, as well as every new level I reach at the pole studio.
What inspires you to get fit every day?
a. The fact that I’ve worked so hard this year to make myself look and feel amazing–I don’t want to lose that.
b. The reminder of how awesome being fit makes me feel. It makes me happy and it makes me feel like I can do anything.
c. Having a goal. I really recommend committing yourself to something to keep yourself motivated. If you know you have a race coming up, you’ll do what it takes to be ready!
What do you do when you don’t feel like working out?
Sometimes I let myself take some time off, sometimes I remind myself that I’ll feel better if I get up and just do it! Because I always do. I try to make sure I’m committed in some way to getting out there, makes me just go no matter how I feel.
Favorite energizing meal:
Hmm… I don’t really have a favorite energizing meal. I’m vegan, so I feel pretty great no matter what I eat. It’s one of the awesome benefits of eating a whole foods, plant-based diet.
What’s your favorite way to chill post-workout?
A hot shower always feels pretty awesome after working up a sweat, but other than that, nothing in particular. A good meal with good friends is always nice. Usually I don’t need to particularly chill after working out–it gets me going and motivated to be productive!
What is your top kick-ass workout?
Days when I get a tri workout in (usually a run or bike) and then head to the pole studio always make me feel pretty awesome. A couple of days I have gone from the pole studio to the rock climbing gym, which is also pretty great.
Where is your favorite/most unique place you’ve ever exercised?
Doing the D.C. Tri in June this year was probably the highlight. Sometimes when I’m getting tired in spin class I close my eyes and picture riding past the monuments downtown as we did during the race and as I will again in the race next year. This gives me a smile and a burst of energy to keep going.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned through sports?
You can do anything you set your mind to. It’s totally cliche, but it’s totally true. Things I would never have imagined a year ago I can now do with ease. It’s why I love it so much. Makes me feel like I can conquer the world.
Calling all female athletes (that means you!): Do you surf, ski, swim, climb mountains, mountain bike, compete in races or stay fit with any other sport? We want to inspire other women with your story. Send an email to editor@Blisstree.com with the subject “That Girl”.
Photo: Esther Oakely
Check out Esther’s vegan blog at: