Meet Amal Baatia, a Saudi woman making waves as the Kingdom’s first female CrossFit and calisthenics coach. This proud mom of two spends her time encouraging women to engage in fitness activities and adopt healthier lifestyles, as well as motivating them to enter fields that have traditionally been dominated by men.
Baatia, who joined her school gymnastics team at the age of 10, and who before this had a full-time job working as an investment manager, got into fitness training two years ago after discovering it in Dubai. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Speaking to Gulf News, Baatia explained that her journey has been one of self-discovery, saying “is simply a story of courage and readiness to take on challenges […] I went to Dubai and to the US for fitness training and workshops. I used to travel for one or two months to gain insights and practice, and for the rest of the time, I relied heavily on online training.”
Enjoyed every second of today @thedubaiwomensrun So proud to take a part of today's event as a woman of substance 2017 ,alongside other amazing brand ambassadors Thank u @harmeek3 @plan_b_group @yasmeen_maqbool @uae_athletics for such a great well organised event , and for making me a part of the team Thank u To all the women who ran today together to support and empowering each other ,to my girls @maiihealth And @oyounalmaha for coming all the way from Jeddah to join and support me , and last but not least @blissrunners For finishing the 5k in a record time
As part of her job and her passion to inspire others, she reaches out to Saudi Women via social media, creating and sharing short CrossFit workout videos that show the impact sports and physical exercise in general can have on their lives. Baatia explained that one “of the most wonderful things that gives me immense joy is seeing my friends pay greater attention to their health and diet.”
This 40-year-old fitness role model is not only dedicated to her discipline in the gym but outside it as well. According to Arab News, she has collected a list of achievements just this year alone, participating in a 5-km obstacle course race in Kuwait (coming in third, with a time of 28 minutes), and in a 12-km running race at King Abdullah City (in which she came in second).
“Health is a long-term investment, and I am happy I invested in this so early in life so that one day I could lead from the front and empower the women of my generation and the next,” Baatia said in an interview with Okaz Daily.