Get To Know 3 Inspiring Female Athletes

Mountain biker at Lancaster County Park

What do you see when you look at a female athlete’s portrait? We’re conditioned to look for the toned, sexy body, the determination in their face, and the stance of a winner. We don’t always get to look beneath the surface of what shaped these athletes.

Read excerpts from the stories that these three female athletes shared during their portrait session. It inspired me to start the “Female Athlete Portraits: Raw, Inspiring and Feminine” project.

Meet Boxer Theresa 

Female Boxer Theresa Fackler
Boxer Theresa Fackler

Theresa’s journey into boxing started with a heavy heart and a need to release emotional baggage. After coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship, she was at rock bottom, and she knew there was nowhere else to go but up. At the boxing studio, Theresa found an outlet for her pain that allowed her to start unpacking her baggage and leave it on the floor, literally. Her love for boxing and the community of people who surrounded her gave her a new outlook on life that catapulted her into the fitness and nutrition coach she is today.

Message on shirt: Inhale confidence, exhale doubt

Today, Theresa loves to inspire others at her studio EnVision Train Fitness in Lancaster and show them you can look and feel amazing no matter your age. And yes, punching a bag is part of it.

Inhale Confidence, Exhale Doubt

Theresa Fackler, EnVision Train Fitness, Lancaster, PA

Meet Pole Acrobat Rachel

As an instructor in pole and Lyra she empowers her students at Studio Spin in Lancaster to feel confident in themselves, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally.

Seeing the incredible strength and sensual, creative movements Rachel displays on the pole is mesmerizing. She believes that strength, confidence and a daring attitude empowers women to live outside their comfort zone.

Rachel fell in love with pole dance when she was looking for a sport that would help her get fit. Pole dance has completely transformed Rachel’s body and mind. She continues to be amazed by all the gravity-defying movements that her body is able to do.

Female Pole Acrobat Rachel Skye
Pole Acrobat Rachel Skye
Studio Spin coach Rachel Skye teaching pole

Meet Cyclist Laura

Mountain biker at Lancaster County Park

Living with Type 1 diabetes, Laura loves cycling because it gives her freedom and positively contributes to both her mental and physical health. Cycling reminds her that she is strong and can do difficult things despite living with a chronic condition. Whether she is eating up road miles, shredding wooded trails, or grinding down gravel farm roads, for her, cycling isn’t just about having fun and her own personal gain.

One of Laura’s passions is to inspire more people (especially women) to ride bikes so that Lancaster City will have less traffic, smoother roads, and cleaner air. Laura often writes to her elected officials encouraging them to fund infrastructure projects that make the community safer and more accessible. For Laura, it’s about improving her community so that our neighbors can experience improved mental and physical health and have more safe transportation options in daily life.


Every female athlete I’ve had the pleasure of photographing has openly shared her journey with me. It is an incredible gift I get to hold as a photographer. I am humbled by their strength, humility and passion to uplift the people they come in contact with.

Heike Martin, Photographer

What is your story? The “Female Athlete Portraits: Raw, Inspiring and Feminine” project is for women of all ages, abilities, and ethnicities who have found physical and mental transformation in actively doing a sport they love. You are invited to participate in this special project. Check out more info and connect as soon as possible:

Photographer Heike Martin


Heike Martin is a headshot and branding lifestyle photographer based in Manheim, Pennsylvania. She specializes in helping you magnetize your brand with intentional, eye-catching images. Fun, relaxed and professional.

I can’t wait to capture your essence.

This blog post was first written for Susquehanna Style magazine.