Between sets


  • Sadie Taylor-Parks


gym, workout, growth, power, strength, recreate


On June 11th, 2021, I wrote this as I stood between sets in front of a mirror at my local gym. I was about to set a new personal record on my front squat. I have always had anxiety in gyms, especially ones filled with men. Usually, I use weights that allow me to hide in the corner and avoid areas like the squat rack because people often fight over those areas. I used to never wear earbuds because I was afraid to make too much noise or was worried someone would make a comment about me and I would miss it. But that day was different. As I stared into the mirror, I saw how far I have grown, how I have recreated a space that once brought me anxiety and can now instead show me how powerful, strong, beautiful, and capable I am. I finally feel as if I am a true athlete. One that builds muscle unapologetically and owns my presence in a space that was once frightening and uncomfortable. A place where I have power, not just the men around me. I now always wear a scrunchie while working out. I dare you to watch me grow.

Author Biography

Sadie Taylor-Parks

Sadie Taylor-Parks (she/her/hers) is a fifth-year student at UBC Okanagan, majoring in Gender and Women Studies with a minor in Psychology. She is interested in how people occupy specific spaces that can be under surveillance based on gender, race, sexuality and class. Especially when these spaces intersect with sport and how this affects an athlete’s ability to navigate within these platforms.

This is a photo of Sadie in the mirror at the gym.