Of all the classic Disney movies, my favorite is “Beauty and The Beast.” It captivated me as a 12-year-old. Perhaps it’s because I could relate to Belle’s character — a misfit who loves to read, wants adventure, and wants much more than her provincial life. I, too, was a bit of a misfit: at the time, I was an awkward 12-year-old Filipino Scholar entering a brand-new world at International School Manila (in the Philippines). It was then that I started living between two cultures — I struggled with navigating myself between my traditional, middle-class Filipino home and the westernized culture of my new school, which was mainly for children of international ambassadors and diplomats, as well as upper-class Filipino citizens. And just like my favorite Disney heroine, my nose was always stuck in a book, and I grew up craving “adventure in the great wide somewhere.” So it only made sense when I chose to leave the Philippines and pursue my college degree here in the United States — my own version of adventure! My major? English, of course! (I later added Sociology as another major; I found it compelling to study people and societies).
Today, I still enjoy watching “Beauty and The Beast” — I’m still that misfit (that weird Filipina immigrant who did not choose to become a doctor, nurse, engineer, or lawyer) who likes to write for fun and is always game to explore and try new things. But really, what I love most about that movie is the concept of finding beauty within. I’m so grateful for the many beautiful people I meet as I navigate my way through life. And now, as I continue my adventure as a kettlebell sport athlete and teacher, I am meeting people who are not only beautiful inside and out — they are also beasts! Beasts, in the sense that they are so powerful and athletically talented that they seem to be non-human/superhuman. You will know what I mean when you seem them in action — I’ll be sure to include video clips of each featured athlete. Better yet, check out a competition near you; it’s free for spectators! Check out upcoming IKFF Competitions here.
At least once a month, I will be featuring one of these beautiful beasts. In this “Kettle Beauties & Beasts” section of my blog, you will meet kettlebell sport athletes and coaches from different parts of the world, from Europe to North America to Asia. You will learn how they stumbled upon the sport, what motivates them, how they eat, what life is like outside of the sport. This section of my blog will give you a tiny glimpse into our incredible, diverse community of lifters.
And, in the same way that Belle found that she and The Beast belonged to each other, I feel like I have found my tribe in this community of lifters. With them, I do not feel like a misfit. I am proud and happy to say that I belong to this community, whose members continue to inspire me with their physical and mental strength, mentorship, and camaraderie.
Next week, I will feature a girevik* from Canada! Watch for it!
*If you are unfamiliar with this term, check out the “Glossary” page of this blog.