We're celebrating International Women's Day (IWD) all month long by featuring some of the incredible women on the Superfeet ambassador team. This year's IWD focus is #ChooseToChallenge, encouraging people to celebrate women's achievements while raising awareness about gender bias. Read on to learn more about Superfeet Ambassador Francheska Martinez, and her experience. Follow Francheska on Instagram: @francheskafit.
Tell us your story.
I was raised in Miami, Florida, and went to the University of Central Florida where I studied Sociology and Exercise Sports Science. At the age of 3, I enrolled in ballet and quickly developed a love for movement. After many years of dancing ballet and jazz, at the age of 12 I fractured my spine and was also diagnosed with scoliosis. Being a stubborn pre-teen, I never sought physical therapy and simply endured the pain from my injury for several months.
In college, I started taking on different active hobbies like running, cycling, flag-football, rollerblading, rock climbing, and weightlifting. After many years of training hard and not focusing on my recovery, it became painfully apparent that I needed to go back to the basics and focus on my joint health and recovery.
As an ex-dancer and breakdancer (just for 1 year), when I transitioned into training professionally, I began to learn more about yoga, recovery techniques and movement. That's where I found a passion for primal movement and animal flow.
Learning how to properly align and heal my body through movement and holistic techniques has allowed me to become pain-free and stronger than I have ever been. Now, I share this knowledge on how to improve your joint health, strength, and longevity.
I currently coach out of Austin, Texas, and travel the states teaching kettlebell and bodyweight workshops.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by other movement enthusiasts, art, kind people, nature, other cultures, and food!
I love the M3D insoles for when my feet are fatigued and need a little extra support. The Superfeet sandals are absolutely my favorite for hanging around the house!
Have you ever felt like you had to check your authentic self at the door?
This is something that I go through every morning by stopping to take a moment to honor my true self and my intentions. Often, we find ourselves in situations or paths where it's easy to follow along with what society expects us to do or to follow what someone else has already done. That's why it's important to stop and do what resonates best with our authentic self. So when in doubt, just do you.
Has someone assumed you could or could not do something because of your gender?
The most recent assumption that comes to mind is when someone assumed that I knew how to do make-up well, or even the assumption that I wear make-up regularly at all. I am more of a minimalist when it comes to my daily routine, so I found it humorous.
Have you ever felt excluded from a conversation, situation, process or decision because of your gender?
No, I try to be aware of self-limiting beliefs and psychological phenomenons like the self-fulfilling prophecy, which is a scenario where we subconsciously change our own behavior based on how someone else perceives us. So I always try to clear my mind of any thought relating to feeling excluded and focus on myself and not worry about others' expectations based on my gender.
Have you ever felt shame or inadequacy because you didn't live up to expecations placed on you because of your gender?
Absolutely not, I feel grateful for the strong women in my family who came before me for not instilling gender norms based around expectations in me. As a kid, I was always called a "tomboy," so I have always embraced not meeting the expectations placed on women.