This post is first in a series highlighting women and their unique experiences. In this edition, we sat down with Mindy Lai to talk about her career in the fitness industry and her experiences as a woman. Mindy is a Spring scrunchies ambassador, and we’re excited to introduce you to her!
Mindy, thanks so much for doing this for us! Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
Hi everyone, my name is Mindy, I was born and raised in Taiwan, lived in Texas for a good amount of my life and I now call New York City my home! I moved to New York to study and pursue dance as a career. After graduating with my BFA from Fordham University and The Ailey School, I danced professionally in companies and on Broadway. Throughout my career in dance I’ve cross-trained with boxing and that’s how I became a group fitness instructor! Currently I’m a virtual fitness instructor at bande, prior to that I’ve worked for a few gyms around NYC and virtually; EverybodyFights, Shock Therapy, East End Row and JABS by Gina.
At Spring, we are really interested in highlighting the unique experiences of women. So what experiences have made you into the woman you are today?
My mom and dad made me the woman that I am today. I think this is something most parents of a daughter go through, the question of how we should raise our daughter. The answer for that is exactly what they did. They believed in me and my talent, by providing all things they can to support me while keeping things realistic. They told me the reality of how life is as a woman in certain careers, the automatic judgement certain people will make just by looking at me and the stereotype of being a female asian. They kept things as honest as they could without scaring me to be someone different.
My parents helped me find my voice and purpose at a young age that when the time came for me to be in the society on my own, I was never lost or concerned as to why people treated me a certain way. I kept marching to the beat of my drum and have gotten to all the places I’ve been with hard work, focus, and keeping my head up about who I am.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing women today? Do you struggle with these? Any advice to other women on overcoming them?
Oh gosh! This is a hard one!
There will always be judgemental people, the best thing you can do is to stay clear on your path and the things you want to accomplish. With the right mindset and focus you’re unstoppable, and make sure to remember and thank everyone along the way. Empower all the women you have in your life with words of strength, support and kindness, there is strength in numbers.
What has your journey in the fitness industry been like?
My fitness journey has been filled with incredible support and guidance. I knew where and who I wanted to work for and took my focus and energy full blast in that direction until I got there. It hasn’t been easy as a “petite asian girl” in the industry, but I never saw myself as that. I saw myself as someone with knowledge, understanding and passion for fitness that it didn’t matter what I looked like, but more so of what I have to share. I love fitness and what I do, and everyday I wake up excited to train and see my inspiring clients.
In your opinion, is the fitness industry ahead or behind the curve with gender equality? What is the best part about being a woman in your industry and how do you support other women in your industry?
This is a loaded one...I think I’m going to keep it simple by saying, surround yourself with people that allow for you to be who you are and your goals to grow bigger than you can imagine.
The best part about being a woman in this industry is the automatic pass of being in a club with them, and being surrounded by strong as f***, unstoppable women that inspire one another on the daily!
How can women better enable each other’s strengths rather than compete?
Support one another in all that we’re doing, because it takes more than one to change the way the world thinks of us, we are in this together. Think of the photo beyond yourself, and how empowering one another can lead us to greater growth.
What else would you like our readers to know?
Thank you for reading this, don’t be afraid to reach out with questions or drop a hello! I love connecting with people in our Spring community! @mindylai22
Now that we are almost 3 weeks into 2021 and nearing the end of January, we at Spring have had time to reflect. We’ve reflected on our past year as a company, on our products, but most importantly, on our mission and vision.