Toughest Aspect of Being a Female Weightlifter with Maya Laylor

Clance: You mentioned what you like, you mentioned that the most difficult part for you, and how you get through that most difficult part. I’m sure a lot of athletes will probably, you know, being a female and most of your training around a lot of males. How was that for you?

Maya: It’s not that great, I don’t enjoy it, because when I get like aggressive and I yell, I kind of feel out of place. They’re always being aggressive, it’s okay for them, but once I do it, it’s like, well, she shouldn’t be yelling like that. Like I had one comment about me screaming and they’re like, Oh my, you’re going to scream again today? And I’m just like, you don’t know what I’m doing, you know.

Clance: Right. They’re not going through the same thing you’re going through. So just so you understand, your dad built this gym for elite-level athletes. I’m proud that you’re functioning at an elite level. You have to mentally find that zone so you can tolerate that elite level.

Sometimes me being at that, I can see the struggle and the pain you’re going through and the daddy comes in and wants to stop it, but you’re at this level now where you say, No, Dad. I’m okay. I can go.

You find your way to go through and that, for me, that’s a powerful thing. That, to me, I know you need my support here and there, but I’m pretty hands-off as much. I use self-regulate cause sometimes I can even get in your way because I’m a little too soft sometimes. Right.

Maya: I feel like when I have a tough day, I know it’s just like, it’s just a phase. When I’m getting emotional right now.

Clance: That’s okay. Yeah.

Maya: I hate crying, but I’m always crying and you treat me well. I know I’m gonna get through it. I know I just need time and later in the day, I know I refocus and it’s just part of the training.

Clance: Sometimes you will come to the gym and train quiet when no one’s here. So you can just, I noticed, I want you to think that I need to see you, but I know sometimes you just need that space and I can trust you to train out of that own because you can be you within your space quietly without any…

Maya: Yeah. So I can let my aggression out, I won’t get stared at and it’s very annoying, I don’t like it, but I got to do it again.

Clance: One of the things I always try to tell you, you just gotta be you who doesn’t like it too bad. And one of the things I’ve learned when we first started, I used to always tell you, Maya, you gotta smile with everybody. You gotta.

I didn’t even understand what you’re going through in the beginning. Remember? I stopped that because you know, we’re trying to service all kinds of different areas of business. We’re trying to service all kinds of different athletes. And that’s one of the biggest mistakes I realized by learning from that. I don’t just be you. You have to do whatever you need to do selfishly, to get where you need to go.

A lot of people in what I see, that’s why I wrote that book, Dominate, cause people don’t understand what it takes to get to a certain level. They think it’s a joke. They don’t know the sacrifices behind the scenes. They just see the training and just see the big weights. They don’t see that. So I want to commend you. I want you to thank you for that.

Maya: Thank you.

Clance: You understand? Just be you. Your daddy got your back. Just be you. I’m your coach, I’m your dad, and I love you. Just be you. And I learned a lot from you made me a better coach.

Maya: That’s why I feel like I connect so much with the Colombians. Cause they’re so like aggressive and like loud, and they put their emotions out there. They don’t care who’s and I feel like I connect myself with that. They kind of remind me a lot about Kia cause when I would with train with Kia, she’s very vocal. I feel like I kind of channel my inner Kia, my inner Colombians because they don’t care who is watching, they let it out. That’s what I love.

Clance: You remember when we went to watch the Columbian’s training at the Pan-Am and I’m telling you, it was remembering it was like a feeding frenzy and that the 63 kilos lift over that girl, she looked at me like. I remember Maya says, so the door, the entrance is we have to walk through and they were maxing out. It was all in. It was like a feeding frenzy. It was crazy. I’ve never experienced that type of energy or intensity ever. It Was crazy.

My goal is I’m not walking through there, we need a route. So we went around to the back and watch them train from the back in the corner. They didn’t like the fact that we were in that space, but after they finished training, they were friendly. That switch never, that’s the kind of energy that I like to bring to the gym when I saw that from the Pan-Am years ago, that was like, that’s what we need at LPS. It’s all about business. After we finished about the business, let’s go back to work. I mean, we can smile and so-and-so, there was no smiling, no talking, they were about that business

Maya: Now like me going through the training, I totally understand they have to work themselves into a friendly, just to get the work done because if you have to be in your right mind to be maxing every day, to be doing that type of training, and so I understand, no smiling. In a couple of comments made years ago, someone said, Oh, I have to make a joke just to make my smile.

Like, why do I always have to be smiling cause I’m a woman? It’s so annoying. Men don’t smile all the time. Why am I smiling? We’re in the gym. It’s very frustrating. But again, you have to get yourself into that zone and forget everyone and you just know that this is your goal and you’re going to get to it.

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