Crowned the Fittest Woman in Kenya 2017, Winnie Okoth is redefining and forging a path in a field dominated by her opposite sex. I had the opportunity of getting to know this phenomenal woman and here is what she had to say.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, and what it is you do?
I’m a Kenyan Olympic weightlifter, currently Fittest Woman in Kenya 2017, and a proud mentor who is influencing and empowering the society into the health and fitness world by being a role model to them!
For all those out there who are unfamiliar with CF-L1, enlighten us on what it stands for and what it entails.
CF-L1 is The Crossfit Level 1 course. This means that I am qualified to coach in a crossfit gym and also if anyone in the world is searching for a crossfit trainer using the CrossFit Trainer Directory , they will be able to find my name there.
What inspired you to pursue a career in weightlifting?
I was inspired with how much my body could lift. I did not believe that a human body could actually lift that much weight, and it was one of the things that really motivated me. Also, the fact that when I meet people they are always surprised because I don’t actually look like I can lift heavy weights is super awesome. Imagine people giving that look of ‘I DON’T THINK YOU CAN LIFT THAT’ then they just get shocked when they see you lift. It’s really amazing!
In such a male dominated field, what are the challenges you have faced in your career path. In addition, how have you overcome them?
I have faced so much discrimination where I’m told that lifting will make me masculine, that I won’t be able to give birth or the fact that I won’t find a husband because they are intimidated by me. The worst part is when people think you are a violent person just because you lift weights. All this has never stopped from being who I am today. I use it as my motivation to kick ass in the gym.
What are you aspirations when it comes to weightlifting?
I aspire to make weightlifting the next big sport in Kenya. I want to empower the young generation to embrace this sport because it’s the best thing you can ever do! It’s more than a sport. I also want to bring home medals and represent Kenya at the Olympics 2020.
There are plenty of women out there pursuing a similar career path, what advice would you give them?
To all the women out there who are pursuing this career, ‘Keep doing what you are doing and never let anyone put you down for it. They are actually intimidated by the fact that you can do what most people can not do.
One of the things most people face when it comes to fitness is a lack of motivation. What keeps you up-beat and motivated?
You won’t believe me, but I, Winnie, actually motivate myself everyday because I want to do better than I did yesterday. I also believe that I only have one opportunity in life, and if not now then when? So if I can kick ass now then I might as well give it 100%.