Brianna M.

University Y Student Center

When Brianna first started coming to the Y in 2016 as a first-generation college student at UW Tacoma, she didn’t know the strength that she would later find through powerlifting. After moving on campus, she joined her floor-mates at the University Y Student Center to work out.

“Some guys on my floor were talking about going to the gym, so I joined them,” Brianna recalled. “I ended up squatting the same amount as the guys. They were like, ‘Hey you’re really strong!’ and invited me to join the club.”

Through the Syndicate of Strength weightlifting club at UWT, Brianna found community and support, as well as building strength as she trains and competes on the collegiate national stage.

The open environment at the Y helps build the sense of support and community in the weight room as members like Brianna work hard to improve their strength and form. The variety of people and interests all come together and lift each other up in the same space.

“I just thought it was just another gym. I didn’t realize how involved the Y can be in the community, said Brianna. “Powerlifting is an individual sport, but sometimes you don’t want to work out alone, so it is refreshing.”

Powerlifting goes deeper than a sport for Brianna, as she originally started lifting weights to help her achieve her goal of becoming a firefighter. Coming from a family of firefighters, Brianna is working hard to forge her own firefighting journey here in Tacoma.

“It’s not common to go into the gym with the idea of ‘I’m working out so that I can save someone someday.’  That is my mentality. Every day I walk into the gym it is because one day I will need my strength to save somebody,” said Brianna.

Now that Brianna has graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in business, she looks forward to taking the next steps towards becoming a firefighter this fall.

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