March is Women’s History Month, and it’s the concentrated time to remember and celebrate the inroads that women have made over time. We, at Ellie, are more than excited to take this time to shine a light on some of the countless women who have paved the way in the world of sports and fitness.
Lisa Lindahl, creator of the first sports bra in the late 1970s
Where would we be in the fitness world, had Lisa Lindahl not created one of the most important pieces of activewear to date? From “jockbra” to Jogbra, Lisa came up with what we know as the modern-day sports bra. Created around several needs — including the discomfort of exercising and jogging in a regular bra — the design has gone through a number of changes and improvements, all the while keeping athletes and active people comfortable, pain free, and able to focus on their activities of choice.
Jane Fonda, creator of a fitness craze
Jane Fonda made workout videos — and legwarmers — a thing in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Today, at 83 years old, she continues to be in great shape. The fitness craze she spearheaded happened when the first workout video she released became the highest-selling VHS video of all time. It just goes to show you that not only were people looking for something new, they were eager to move their bodies, feel good, and stay in shape! When we think about now, look at how many workouts are available to us via videos and virtual platforms! Thank you, Jane!
Sarah Fuller, first woman as football kicker at the collegiate level
Sarah Fuller had been playing soccer since she was about four years old, and when she was asked to play football for her Vanderbilt University team, not only did she say yes to a sport she had never played, she said yes to making history. Shattering limits, Sarah became the first woman to be a kicker on the team. She also became the first woman to score in a Power Five game. All she wants? In an interview, she said, “All I want to do is be a good influence to the young girls out there, because there were times, like, I struggled in sports, but I am so thankful I stuck with it.”
Serena Williams, tops in tennis
Tennis powerhouse Serena Williams is no stranger to the world of wins and records, and being a global household name when it comes to the sport. Having picked up her first racquet at the age of four, Serena definitely put in more than 10,000 hours of mastering her craft, defeating most opponents that have crossed her path over the years. In addition to the obvious reasons we know her to be powerful, she showed the world the force she was, when she won the 2017 Australian Open while in the first trimester of her pregnancy.
Sarah Thomas, first woman to become a Super Bowl official
While she’s had previous experience in officiating football games, becoming the first female Super Bowl official, this year, is Sarah Thomas’ latest accomplishment. While many of us would think this is something that should have happened so many years ago, Sarah has expressed how honored and humbled she was to step into this role.
Becky Hammon, first woman to coach an NBA game
Last December, when assistant coach to the San Antonio Spurs, Becky Hammon, was pulled in to finish out a game as head coach, she immediately became the first woman to act as head coach during an NBA regular-season game. When head coach Gregg Popovich was ejected from the game on a technical foul, he pointed at her to get the job done. With 13 years with the team, and a crossing with preparation and opportunity, that’s exactly what she did.
Our list could go on for miles...there are so many women in fitness and sports history that have made a difference in the field, as well as in our minds. Countless women have inspired us to do major things, like get involved in and push our limits to beat our own personal goals and records, to the little things, like changing our mindset when it comes to the day-to-day accomplishments and challenges we face. To these women, we say, “Thank you!”