On the Cover
We chose Rosie for her powerful, can-do spirit—something our models, Bryce Lewis ’16 and Monica Nelson ’15, have in abundance.
Nelson and Lewis came to Bryn Mawr from different states in pursuit of different majors—sociology and computer science, respectively. But both were physical in high school—Nelson a 10-year gymnast and Lewis a three-season varsity athlete—and both had decided that they wanted to try something new: weightlifting.
Nelson contacted Assistant Director of Athletics Stacey Adams for basic training, Lewis watched countless YouTube videos, and both began spending more and more time in the College’s Fitness and Athletics Center. There, Nelson noticed Lewis, the only other weightlifter not on an athletic team. She thought, You know how to squat; we should be friends.
“We are the only two people out of a school of 1,300 who do this for fun,” Nelson says. “It was great to be able to relate to somebody about something that was taking over my life.”
As their friendship grew stronger (Lewis asked Nelson to be her “heller” in 2013), they began to grow stronger as well. Interested in taking it to the next level, they began training with a weightlifting coach at the Philadelphia Barbell Club. Spending upwards of 20 to 30 hours a week at the gym, they have found that weightlifting has begun to take over their free time.
Competing was the obvious next step. At Nelson’s first weighlifting meet, she qualified for National University Championship in Albuquerque, NM, where she represented Bryn Mawr. She is also working to qualify for a national meet in December and hopes to “clean” 200 pounds by the end of the year. Lewis participated in her second competition, the 2014 Gold Cup Challenge, in October in York, PA.
At Bryn Mawr, Lewis and Nelson co-founded the Iron Owls for other students interested in the sport. “Weightlifting isn’t exactly a popular sport in America,” says Lewis, “and our club can provide students on campus the opportunity to try something they wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. I’m excited to see some of our newest athletes grow into the sport and discover how strong they can be.”
As for the photo session, the two friends were enthusiastic—and photogenic—models for our photographer, Kate McCann. It was so much fun to handle hair and makeup. A warm thanks also to our temporary-tattoo artist, Alyssa Banotai.