Q & A with Aimée Brouillard, my friend and constant fitness inspiration.
In addition to being the proud new owner of Love To Train, a specialized fitness facility near Billings Bridge, you also compete in Strongman/Strongwoman competitions. What do those involve?
It’s a sport that uses traditional farming equipment, truck pulls, and car deadlifts, and it’s an increasingly popular sport. There’s a growing presence of women at these events in the United States, and having seen the sport open to women in Canada, I’m noticing that a lot of women are coming out to compete.
Is there a stigma that women shouldn’t do strength sports?
Yes. The stigma is that it’s not becoming of a lady, that strength sports are not for women – it’s more for boys. When I started, I felt like it was far more stigmatized, but with the rise of CrossFit, it’s becoming more trendy for chicks to lift heavier things and to become empowered by their performance.
The Carp Fair competition is on September 26. How will you represent yourself as Strongwoman Aimée?
I typically wear the same clothes all the time simply for functionality, because we use pine resin and chalk and you’re rubbing tires up against your clothing. I really only want to use up so much of my wardrobe for that. People may wonder why I always wear the same clothes, but that’s just become a part of my brand. It just happens to be pink and playful.
Tell me about your vintage look.
It must be something that I’m drawn to naturally and I don’t particularly think about it. I wear a hair tie (bandana) in competition because it keeps the hair out of my face and it’s just what I happen to have handy. I welcome the parallel to Rosie the Riveter.
Why is it important for you to look feminine?
Mostly not to scare people off. I am conscientious of representing myself and my sport in a way that is professional and approachable. Wearing makeup and making a fashion statement has no carry-over to being a great athlete. However, if my fashion sense drives a new interest to this amazing sport, I welcome it!
When you’re not training at the gym, what do you like to wear to show off your fit physique?
I love shoes and handbags, but I’m not going to carry handbags and wear high-heeled shoes at work. I have thre criteria whenever I buy something: it has to be suitable for work, for play, and function well. I should be able to go through my workday, go for a hike at the end of the day, sweep the dust off, and still be able to go out for dinner with friends.
Originally published in the Sept. 2015 issue of Ottawa Magazine