To hear Mira Kwon Gracia tell it, you’d think she never wears anything other than workout gear, but there's more to this trainer than ample spandex. A lot more.
Yoga pants, sports bras, t-shirts…you get the picture. Let’s be honest, plenty of us rock leggings and t-shirts just for comfort, but for Mira, her daily staples are all about function.
As the co-founder of Industrial Strength Gym just down the street from our shop, she spends her days teaching strength training classes and working with people interested in living healthier lives.
Oh, and winning State Titles for weightlifting and awards for her coaching skills. Pretty amazing, right?
Mira taking in the view and finishing that last kettlebell set at her Industrial Strength Gym in NW Portland. Shop Mira's look.
When Mira’s husband (and Industrial Strength co-owner) Tony came to our shop looking for some gifts for his favorite workout partner, we knew we had to meet this bad-ass lady for ourselves. It might be easy to assume that as a fitness coach, her focus would be just on physical health, but Mira has a way of focusing on health in a more wholehearted way.
Everything from what we consume with our minds, to who we spend our time with, and even how we practice self-care all contributes to our overall health, she says. “People [in Portland] really have a holistic and comprehensive approach to a better life…not just from a fitness standpoint but from a mental one as well,” Mira says.
“Getting a stronger body, or feeling better in your clothes, or losing weight are just added bonuses of strength training. The real work and the real reward is what happens internally.”
She works with a variety of clients, but the sparkle in her eye gets a bit brighter and her smile just a little wider as she talks about internal transformations she’s witnessed while training women. “Getting a stronger body, or feeling better in your clothes, or losing weight are just added bonuses of strength training. The real work and the real reward is what happens internally,” she says.
She's seen women become more confident in who they are and able to ask for what they want, both in their careers and in their home lives. She's seen them show up in their relationships and their communities as a better version of themselves.
Post-workout Mira grabs a few Betsy & Iya staples, like our Scania and Modu cuffs, and sterling silver Yana ring featuring ethically mined black jasper. Shop Mira's Look.
“I’m most passionate about anything I can do to help women find their voice. It doesn’t have to be a loud voice…just a voice that is theirs and that gives them more confidence to help them do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.”
She’s the first to acknowledge that it can feel a bit overwhelming to begin weightlifting or strength training, and especially so for women. “It can be really intimidating coming into a place like this and I get that”, she says. Mira’s warmth and smile make it all feel a little less daunting.
Her philosophy is simple. “We just take it one rep at a time…one small step, and then another, and another.” It's a philosophy Mira trains by, but to us, it seems like a pretty good philosophy to live by, too. Visit & learn more about Mira and her coaching services, and then drop by our shop after. We're pretty sure new earrings make that twelfth rep just a tiiiiiny bit easier.
Find Industrial Strength Gym just down the street from the Betsy & Iya flagship at INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH GYM / 2034 NW 26th Ave. / Portland, OR 97210.
PHOTOS BY CAIT PEARSON