Sustaining a career in the sports industry as a woman comes with many of its own challenges. These challenges also extend to the fitness industry, but Amy Pike and Astrid Castaneda are two women who are making an impact. Together they have opened their gym Bridge Performance in Pasadena, California with a unique and specialized approach to training. They specialize in functional fitness while also having a diverse background. Amy has worked in physical therapy, while Astrid has a background in Olympic Weightlifting and creating specialized programming, making them a dynamic duo.
A few of the many joys of working in fitness for Amy and Astrid is seeing athletes come up against their own perceived limitations and what that athlete believes they are capable of, knowing that athlete is capable of so much more. They also enjoy walking athletes through that transition of being able to do more than expected. Whether that’s them realizing they are way stronger than they thought, pushing way harder, or holding on longer.
Amy and Astrid initially decided to start Bridge Performance because they felt their two backgrounds, physical therapy and strength and conditioning, were unique. They were tired of seeing the failings of the fitness industry, such as diets and cookie-cutter programs. They don’t feel any gyms, that they know of, are able to take a person as a whole – taking into account lifestyle, stress, diet, strengths, limitations, and help meet their goals. They want to provide a place where someone can be seen as an individual and their needs be addressed from a unique perspective.
When asked about the most difficult aspect of starting a business, they said it has been the mindset shift from a coach, where their athletes are the only things that matter, to business owners where the business is just as important. The most rewarding aspect for them has been seeing Bridge Performance come together and providing its intended service.
Throughout this process, Amy and Astrid have really felt empowered. They have been forced to assert themselves and take up more space emotionally. In the past, they may have strayed from this challenge for fear of rejection, but this whole process has given these women more space to exist in their own skin. They have also learned the importance and benefits of community and support in a very tangible way.
As Bridge Performance opens and gets started, Amy and Astrid are looking forward to people having access to a better version of themselves. They believe that a better version of yourself exists outside of your comfort zone and only exists when you’re in a community. Amy and Astrid really want to meet the needs of their community and they feel like it’s really taking on a life of its own already. They are excited to see what Bridge Performance is going to do and the impact it’s going to have.
The ceiling that you see isn’t real. Continue to lean into obstacles and perceived limitations until they give way. There’s a lot of things we experienced and perceived as normal and we didn’t need to subject ourselves to or accept, but we thought that’s the way it was because we are women. I think demanding and acknowledging more is possible and is the first step to change.Amy Pike, on what advice she’d give other women who want to start their own business in the fitness industry
Not only is Bridge Performance a small business founded, owned, and run by two women, but it’s also a business taking up space in a predominantly male field. This is just the beginning for these incredible women as their gym gets started. Their impact on the community will be, and already has been, immense.
You can follow Bridge Performance on Instagram for more information.