About the Owner
Maria Cristal Rodriguez is a 28 year old creative, independent, devoted, and passionate human being.
She was born in Los Angeles, CA and moved with her immediate family to Tucson, AZ when she was 10. She was a musician and an artist all through middle and high school, lacking any real knowledge of the athletic world. She struggled in college to find her identity until she found art school. Looking back on those 4.5 years, it was really her way of finding therapy in unraveling all of the pressures and societal abuse she allowed absorb her in her early 20s.
Her mother really encouraged and supported her to make her dream of teaching a reality. She graduated as the first female sculptor with her bachelors in Fine Arts. It should be said that when she wasn't building on her thesis, hiking, or working, Maria was making an effort to get sober with the assistance of a yoga practice. She would practice constantly, sometimes three times a day if her studying allowed, even if it meant in the corner of the library when things got difficult.
Shortly after she graduated, she moved to Washington to be with her male counterpart who she was dating long distance and has been living in Tacoma, Washington now for over 5 years. It is slowly becoming her home, even though the environment, the people, and the culture is so different. Although she is the only woman of color, queer strength coach that she's aware of in the PNW, she does her best to show up unapologetically in a predominantly white location every day being proud and grateful for all of the opportunities around her.
Maria quickly got certified to teach yoga and immediately got small little jobs in her community. It was definitely difficult finding a stable teaching job but in the midst of finding a studio, she found gyms that were open to having yoga in their facility. While she was dropping in to various gyms, she was really influenced to become stronger in her body to help her inner and outer self. She came across Tacoma Strength, a strength and conditioning gym downtown, and tried out a couple Crossfit classes. This is when her life really transformed.
Maria found a female strength coach at this gym and it immediately revolutionized her life. She discovered powerlifting! Not even 6 weeks into training, she decided to compete. Ever since the fall of 2015, Maria has been training nonstop, competing at local, regional and national meets, placing top 3 every time. She is currently 3rd in her weight class (57kg) in Washington and will be competing at Nationals again in October 2018.
Her parents and younger sister are super proud of her through her self discovery and very accepting of her entrepreneur life in advocating for women of color in strength spaces. She looks forward to creating more opportunities for the marginalized communities and wants to reinvent all sports to have more inclusivity and acceptance of all identities. The passion she has for equality and justice can't be dismissed do to the small-business she started emphasizing the change she wants to see in the world. While she teaches classes, personal trains and coaches online clients, Maria's entire goal is to help and give back to her community and with her brand, she has been able to inspire, amplify and ignite that fire in a handful of people, in and out of the gym space.