Age: 18

Hometown: Tacoma, WA

College: University of Southern California

Major: Chemistry Major with East Asian Languages and Cultures Minor with an Emphasis in Korean

Year: Freshman

Sorority: Alpha Gamma Delta

Instagram: @USCstrongmovement

 Hashtag: #USCstronggirls

katelyn michael the strong movement strong girls on campus usc

Tell us about yourself!

I’m from the Pacific Northwest so my friends and I like to hike, kayak, star gaze, discover new coffee places, and go on adventures together. I have one little brother named Nathan who is a freshman in high school. This summer, my brother, my dad and I plan to go backpacking and I can’t wait! I come from a family of golfers, so all four of us play together. I golf and swam in high school and I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Fun fact: I only eat scrambled eggs made by people I love. I really like scrambled eggs but they never sound appetizing when I am at a restaurant, dining hall, the sorority house, or anywhere where it’s made by strangers. But when my parents or my brother or my friends make me scrambled eggs they sound delicious.

My friends tell me I’m cool.

What does “Strong” mean to you and what makes you a Strong Girl?

Strength is having the will power to push a little more. To get through whatever is put in front of you despite your perceived physical and mental limits. There is nothing more satisfying than doing a little more than you thought you could, in all capacities. Whether that means staying on that cardio machine for an extra five minutes, studying for an extra five minutes for a test, or resisting that voice in your head that is telling you you want to stop when you are exhausted. It’s what keeps us going. People often admire inner strength in others thinking they don’t have it, but I think most of us are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. I have always played sports that require mental tenacity as well as a strong physical background. My academic load is also mentally taxing. However, I manage to balance my life well and muster the energy I would like to put into all of my endeavors.

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What excites you about being a Strong Girl Campus Ambassador?

If I did not have the physical and athletic background I have, I would have no idea how to work out and stay in shape. I LOVE Strong Girl workouts and how clear they are. Working out is a great way to relieve stress and an integral part of my college life. I’m a supporter of staying active to stay sane, so I am really looking forward to helping other people learn and enjoy being fit!

What is your favorite thing about The Strong Movement™?

The community it creates and how accessible it is. No matter what level of fitness you are on, everyone is welcome and can benefit from it. Also, everything is adorable, from the active wear to the packaging.

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What keeps you motivated when the going gets tough?

I have been taught through sports that being mentally tough can get you so far. So, I just try to remind myself that this situation is temporary and I physically can do what I am trying to do. I try to maintain a good perspective and I also like to give myself incentives and little rewards when I reach goals. I am also a big fan of countdowns to motivate myself (such as “I am a third of the way there” or “I only have to do that two more times”).

What do you love about your body?

I’m 5’9” so I am blessed to have long legs. One time a very attractive male at the Lyon Center (the gym at USC), that I once shared an Uber with, told me I have nice calves. So, there’s that.

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What do you wake up looking forward to and excited about everyday?

I love to learn and always have. I would be lying if I said sometimes I do not want to leave my glorious bed to go to my 8 am Friday discussion (I know SO TERRIBLE) but I try to remind myself that a lot of people do not have the opportunities I have. My mom did not have this opportunity as a female born in Korea with 6 brothers. She had to go on a hunger strike for a week to convince her parents to send her to college. I could not fathom college not being an option for me. So, my love of learning and dream of going to medical school keeps me looking forward to everyday I have in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles for the next four years.

Do you have any daily rituals?

Before I go to bed I like to meditate. It provides a sense of finality to the day. It also prevents me from going to bed angry or upset. It’s a chance to reflect on my day, good or bad, remember the sun will rise tomorrow, and put my problems into perspective. You think of your place in the universe, and where you are in your life, and you realize it will all work out.

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Favorite Workout: One of the Strong Girl leg workouts, abs, and finishing with the stair master (my favorite cardio machine because it is so efficient and time goes by so fast)

Fit Goal: Tighten/Strengthen my core and back! My short term goal is to go back to the weight I was before winter break (too much temptation, too many Christmas cookies ah) and my long term goal is to develop more defined abs

Favorite Workout Song Playlist Right Now: Soundclash by Flosstradamus

Favorite Healthy Snack: Airpopped Popcorn 

Favorite Fruit/Veggie: FRUIT: Raspberries, avocado, and mango. VEGGIES: corn, carrots, and broccoli

Click Below to Join the Strong Girl Community at USC!