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A brand-new conference focused on the factors that affect female athletes’ performance—physiological, mental, and nutritional—is coming to the virtual world soon.
The Feisty Womxn’s Performance Summit, presented by Live Feisty Media and held March 26–28, will combine presentations from knowledgeable experts across endurance sports with a “feisty” vibe to create an inclusive and informative atmosphere. Yes, the “womxn” is intentional and meant to imply that cis and trans women’s performance issues will be tackled.
Dr. Sara Gross, CEO of Live Feisty Media and two-time Ironman champion, said that the time was nigh for an event focused on women’s performance.
“Women are waking up to the idea that much of the “common knowledge” in sports science, nutrition, and psychology may not actually apply to us,” Gross said. “So where do we go to get good information? How do we know who to trust? That’s where The Feisty Womxn’s Performance Summit comes in. We endeavor to find the right speakers with the right information to help every women get the best out of her body throughout her life.”
In the last few years, she noted, it’s been the “Wild West,” as female athletes have attempted to figure out what works best for them and what the science really says. There’s been a growing realization that most sports science research is done on men—sometimes due to ease and proximity (many studies come via the military), sometimes due to issues around consistency (ensuring all women are at the same hormonal points in their cycle can be difficult when crafting a research protocol), and sometimes due just to laziness.
Additionally, most women’s-focused summits or conferences have tended to be aimed at beginners or at wellness. This may be one of the first and few focused specifically on the competitive athlete, said Gross.
Speakers at the summit will include industry leaders and experts on women’s physiology, nutrition, psychology, and mental performance. Presentations and panels will focus on all stages of life, from youth to mid-life, pregnancy and post-partum, menopause, and beyond. Attendees will hear from leaders from a cross-section of sports including running, triathlon, cycling, off-road, and strength training.
Headlining the conference is acclaimed author and exercise physiologist Stacy Sims. Sims’ research focuses on women’s health and performance; she is the author of the popular book Roar and has hosted hundreds of women in her Women are Not Small Men and Menopause for Athletes courses. She is a frequent contributor to Women’s Running sister publication Triathlete magazine.
Sims will be joined by co-host Mirna Valerio. A former educator, cross-country coach, ultrarunner, and speaker, Valerio is the author of the best-selling memoir A Beautiful Work in Progress. Valerio is a tireless advocate for health awareness, promoting diversity, and inspiring others to be in charge of their own happiness.
More speakers and the full conference schedule will be released the week of February 22nd.
The organizers of the Feisty Womxn’s Performance Summit hope that the weekend of presentation and discussion is simply a catalyst for more engagement on the topic of women’s performance in the future. Longtime cycling journalist and co-author of Roar, Selene Yeager says that conversations on bringing women’s performance into the mainstream are long overdue.
“For far too long, women have been an afterthought in sports,” Yeager said. “We’re the ‘warm-up’ for the men’s event. We get inaccurate trickle-down science because traditionally male researchers often deem us too ‘messy’ to include in studies with our hormones, periods, pregnancies, and potential ‘complexities.’ And once we hit menopause? It’s like we don’t exist. Enough of that nonsense. Live Feisty is a force of change, bringing women front and center in the conversation, delivering cutting edge experts who put women first in all aspects of performance. The Feisty Womxn’s Performance Summit is just the kick-off for a long, awesome game. Come join us.”
Live Feisty Media is a women-led media company focusing on active, performance-minded communities.