A Woman's Journey Through Fitness

Dan Kallen

Director of Content, Coaches Only

Thousand Oaks, California, United States

Business, CrossFit


Sophia Drysdale McDermott was the first Australian woman to become a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She is a 4-time Pan American Jiu Jitsu champion. And, as she has evolved in her training, she has pursued other competitive avenues. She is currently the Overall Unlimited Champion in the Figure category for the NPC federation.


Sophia is, most importantly, all kinds of smart. She is astute about fitness as a lifestyle and as a business. She is also very insightful about what people want from fitness. Oh, and she’s a mother of two.



The more you talk to accomplished athletes, the more you realize how directly involved they are in developing their own training. They take advice, but they are in tune with what their bodies need. In this interview, Sophia talks as an accomplished athlete, a mother, and a woman. Her journey through fitness is filled with signposts that anyone can follow to reach their own goals. The teacher is the student. She scales her own personal experiences to relate to fitness ambitions that may not lead to competition gold.


It's a refreshingly common sense approach coming from someone who has lived it. A premature birth, ashtma, injury, and trauma all figure in the story. How the athlete adapts to these circumstances is a telling indication of how all of us can do the same. We may not end up winning any medals, but we can certainly win our own battles. 



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