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Hear from the Co-Leaders of FiA Knoxville about this free community open to all women
Females in Action (FiA) is a women-led organization with the mission of creating a community of women to support one another as they strengthen their minds, bodies and hearts.
The workout organization launched in 2013 and now has spread to over 23 states with over 6,000 women participants. There are several principles in this organization to create a safe environment full of learning.
FiA is open to all women-identifying people. It offers workouts that are always free, peer-led and held outdoors rain or shine. Furthermore, FiA does not expect you to be a workout veteran and follows the motto no woman left behind. At every meeting, there are options to modify a workout so you do not have to feel uncomfortable. Not only can you build connections through these meetings, but there are more activities offered.
When you become a member, there are regular opportunities to get involved and meet other women. This includes socials, book clubs and fundraisers. FiA wants to ensure you not only grow with each other, but also to transform you into a leader.
FiA currently has five workout locations in Knoxville. You can find more information about them on their website. After reaching out to the group, Co-Regional Knoxville Leaders, Amelia Childers and Ashley Cross, responded to talk about how FiA is an integral part of their lives.
Both women were encouraged by their husbands, who were a part of F3 (a male-only workout group), to become a part of FiA.
Childers is a mom who works as a culture coordinator at a student loan service center. She knew FiA would be a great fit for her because maintaining wellness and an active lifestyle is a priority in her life. Childers came to the Knoxville launch of FiA not knowing a single person, but felt like she belonged instantly.
The second leader, Cross, is a mom who works in communications for a local church. For her, joining FiA was a surprisingly great opportunity because she doesn't love to exercise, but now loves FiA. As a leader, Cross expresses that this group is a time for her and other women to strengthen their physical and mental health.
Both Childers and Cross shared insightful information about FiA including its impact and advice they have for female students looking to join.
What impact has FiA had on you?
Childers: Meeting women from all walks of life at these workouts has given me a support system that you can’t get from your family, co-workers or certain friends. The environment is created by the women. It’s so beautiful to see women from their early 20s all the way to their 70s going at their own different paces yet still creating bonds with each other.
Why is FiA important for women?
Cross: FiA is important for women because it truly is you-against-you. That means it is just FOR you. No matter what you’re going through, feeling or facing, your FiA Sisters will wrap you in love and warmth and support. The workouts are great, but for me, it’s the relationships that keep me showing up.
Are there any experiences you would like to share that you feel are important?
Childers: Another thing to mention is to not have an expectation of a certain type of workout. FiA is peer-led by volunteers. We are not professional fitness trainers. We are usually just finding ideas on Pinterest or TikTok and organizing them into a group workout. It might be weightlifting, it might involve cardio or it might be yoga or Zumba. Every workout is different because it is led by a different woman with their own style.
What would you like to tell UT students reading this that might be nervous to step out of their comfort zone?
Cross: All ages, life stages and levels of fitness are welcome. You won’t be left behind, and you’ll get in a great workout, even if you are in tip-top shape! It’s a phenomenal group of women who love and support one another. It’s also a great networking opportunity if that is something you need. We’ve helped women find jobs, internships and apartments.
Childers: The hardest part is showing up. I promise. My biggest advice is to not be afraid. We are not a group of women trying to form a clique and shut people out, but quite the opposite. We are all there for the same reason, which is to exercise together while lifting each other up to be a better version of ourselves than we were yesterday.
Overall, the co-leaders want you to know all you have to do is show up. There are two locations close to UT’s campus to make it convenient for you: Lakeshore Park and West Hills Park. Their Instagram FiA_Knoxville has their schedule and contact information.
If you are searching for a place to establish yourself and connect with other women, all while making your health a priority, FiA is a perfect fit for you. All you need is comfortable clothes and a bottle of water.