Written by Stephanie Kewin
Photography by Paul Buceta

Makeup by Monica Kalra

Hair by Laura Christine Clark

For the 10th anniversary issue of SFM, we brought together 12 women from Team STRONG Girls (TSG) to share their perspective on what STRONG means to them. And while each has her own particular definition shaped by age, background, and experience level with fitness, it's evident that learning to prioritize training drastically impacts—and elevates—everyone's physical, mental, and emotional well-being. As does having a community like TSG to count on for support along the way. Learn how each of our cover athletes have applied fitness to transform their lives, and how that's creating a cascade affect for women everywhere. One that may lead you to establish your own definition of STRONG to strive towards.

Jennifer Van Barneveld-Pe

"Strong, to me, means women coming together and lifting each other up. Being vulnerable and aspiring to inspire." 

Jaclyn Phillips

“I have a *dig my heels in*
attitude. Just in general (which CAN and HAS resulted in me getting into trouble or arguments), but it can also be my greatest asset… Because when I decide to go for something, I dig deep.”

Lisa Peterson

My heart and intellect make me strong. I see myself as a teacher and advocate… I care deeply, am resilient, intuitive, curious, driven, multi-faceted, free spirited, enthusiastic, open hearted, and growth oriented.”

Nadine Shaban-Teriaky

“STRONG is every woman! We all have our own version and unique ability to be STRONG in so many ways. To me, it’s resilience and for the mind to allow one to overcome any day-to-day obstacles. For some it may be the ability to lift a weight, step into a gym, or do something she never thought she could do."

Ebony Williams

"I have navigated some of my darkest moments by honoring the journey. We can find joy and the ability to follow our dreams and passions despite setbacks."

Laura Manganaro

Strong to me is the power of one more. Doing one more thing that day that you didn’t think you could. It’s showing up for yourself on your most challenging days, so that you can show up for everything and everyone else in your life! Strong becomes you. It becomes who you are. Not just a lifestyle.”

Julia Chang

"Sleep, water, well-rounded meals, strength training, Taekwondo… STRONG means leading a vibrant life in a body you love.” 

Jacqueline Romano

"Strong to me is not just
physical but a mindset. Being able to lift heavy things and
look and be strong aesthetically is a goal, but being strong, balanced, and confident mentally is the real flex!"

Gail Reodica

“Resiliency and adaptability are what make me strong. Recovering from trauma and harnessing that pain to turn it into something positive."

Stacey Nixon

My perseverance (makes me STRONG). I like to finish what I start. Once I set my mind to something, I see it through."

Laura Meadows

"Being strong means having the physical, mental, and emotional resilience to face life’s challenges with determination and grace. We all have this innate ability, we just have to dig deep to find it."

Mel Hagn

“My mindset (makes me STRONG). In the end, it’s all in our heads. Our thoughts become our reality. My motto is: Think strong. Be strong. Stay strong.

STRONG Fitness
STRONG Fitness Magazine is a trusted source of cutting-edge fitness and health information for the modern woman who lives to be fit. STRONG’s sophisticated editorial voice combined with raw, powerful imagery and a modern, athletic design reflect the direction fitness has taken in the last decade.