"The accomplishments, no matter how big or small, are fulfilling to me."
Name: Conswella "Sway" Bennett
Pronouns: She, her
Pull for Pride location: Atlanta, GA
Favorite song to listen to while training: Nikki Minaj "Win Again" and "Want Some More" Sia "The Greatest" and "I'm Alive"
Favorite post-training meal: Farmburger burger and onion rings or sushi tempura shrimp
How do you identify? Tell us a little about yourself:
What does Pull for Pride mean to you and what's motivating you to participate?
Pull for Pride is another opportunity for straight allies and LGBTQ participants to showcase their strength and to raise money for a good cause. It's also an opportunity to give back to our community. It's an opportunity to promote powerlifting, especially in the LGBTQ community and also as a woman of color. Pull for Pride is a chance to have fun deadlifting while helping homeless LGBTQ youth. I could have possibly been one of those homeless youth if I'd come out earlier.
These young people had the courage to come out and be their authentic self, with the result of losing everything. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to participate this year to raise money for Lost & Found Youth.
When did you begin barbell training?
What do you find fulfilling about training?
What do you find challenging?
For me, staying consistent at times is a challenge. My work schedule can get in the way of training. A major challenge for me is managing my eating and avoiding junk food, especially now that I'd like to lose weight and lean out. As a woman over 40, things happen slower and not as fast as I'd like. Also, staying patient with myself and not succumbing to negative self talk.
What message or advice do you have for folks who might want to start strength training but aren't sure how or where to begin?
If you are trans and/or queer, do you have any words of encouragement or insights for other trans and queer folks for navigating gym environments and approaching training?
Do you have any advice or encouragements for cisgender and straight allies who want to help make the gym a more welcoming space for trans and queer folks?
Do you have a strength role model(s) in your life (this could be strength training or strength in other ways)?
Anything else you want to add?
I have enjoyed strength training. The soreness pays off and is worth it in the end. Each time I have competed, I have surprised myself with my accomplishments.