We had the good fortune of connecting with Aileen Wu and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aileen, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Authenticity is the value that matters most to me. I feel that authenticity is very “hot” right now – a buzz word thrown around without a real diving in. So let’s dive in. To me authenticity means being true to yourself – your heart, mind, and soul – whenever and wherever you are. In order to do that, it requires honesty, introspection, and some digging – digging into the depths of your person and your soul and seeing what is there – the beautiful, the dark, the scary, and uncovering the truth of who you truly are and who you are not. From there, courage and vulnerability need to be added to the mix. Are you willing to take off the mask, the costume, as well as the weight of other people’s expectations of you to be who you truly are? Are you willing to speak your truth? Are you willing to bet on yourself even when it’s inconvenient, even when it’s hard, even when the odds are stacked against you? Being authentic – easy to say, but not so easy in practice. Simple but not easy. I believe authenticity matters so much to me because it is the principle that has brought the most value to my life. It was in discovering who I am, in being willing to see myself, in being willing to listen to myself, that I was able to finally invite purpose, trust, connection, understanding, and peace into my life. I was able to discover my purpose of empowering others through my work as an Olympic Weightlifting Coach and helping others not only lift better but also realize that they, as they are, are okay just as they are and that they had the strength, know-how, and ability within themselves all along. This is done through connecting and building a relationship with the athlete. Trust, vulnerability, and authenticity on my part that then allows the athlete to let go and feel safe to be who they really are, to experiment and to fail, and from there to grow, to learn, and to triumph. In doing the work and being willing to be authentic I am able to not only trust and empower myself but also show others that they can trust and empower themselves as well. Authenticity is the value that matters most to me because it has changed my life and in doing so has helped me be there for others in their lives.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I coach Olympic Weightlifting to coaches and to athletes. What sets WuLift apart from others is in our ability to make Olympic Weightlifting make sense. We take the typically frustrating and mysterious and turn it into a fun, efficient, effective, and positive experience. The intention is to truly partner with the athlete to help the athlete learn as much as they can and grow as much as they can. What I am most proud of is the feeling people leave with after interacting with me and with WuLift. Not only do they lift better, but they feel lifted, hearts open, happier, more confident, and more empowered to not only lift better but to be more of themselves and to do a little better out there in the world. From a business perspective, I got to where I am today by staying true to my purpose – coaching and empowering others through Olympic Weightlifting. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve made quite a few mistakes. In being willing to continue to make these mistakes, to learn from them, and in choosing to continue to show up for myself and for others I’ve been able to learn, to adapt and to evolve. I would say that the main lesson I’ve learned from all of this is to give myself grace and understanding when I make the mistakes as well as the power in persevering and continuing to show up. What I want the world to know most about my brand and my story is that it is my passion and a labor of love. I love connecting with others and showing them that they really can do it. If they can’t, it isn’t because there’s anything “wrong with them” they just weren’t shown how, and I can help you do that. There’s a lot that money can buy but the strength and empowerment that comes with being able to do Olympic Weightlifting well is not something that can be bought – it’s priceless, it’s beautiful, and you can do it but it has to be earned and worked for. A beautiful lesson that pays dividends not only in the gym but in life as well.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend were visiting I would take them for a drive down PCH and we would visit some of the beautiful beaches in Orange County including Inspiration Point, Corona Del Mar, and Crystal Cove. We would also go kayaking in Back Bay. In terms of food – we would eat French Toast at the Beachcomber, dumplings at Din Tai Fung, Korean comfort food at Tang 190, incredible Cuban food at Versailles in LA, Urban Plates and CAVA for salads, Honeymee and Meet Fresh for desserts, and Cha for Tea for Boba. (i’m a big nature and foodie girl if you can’t tell) Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We are all here because we stand on the shoulders of giants. I am not the exception to this and I am very lucky to be standing on some pretty big shoulders. My mentors in Olympic Weightlifting include Coach Bob Takano and Coach Mike Burgener. I spent years in the weightroom getting coached by and watching these two coach some incredible athletes. I have the greatest friends and cheerleaders in Cary Booth, Caden Booth, Jonathan Fernandez, Josh Fernandez, Ari Swan-Hernandez, Kacy Smith, Claudia Smith, Aaryn Fleming, Jessika Fleming, Jeremy Cousins, and Lori Camacho. They help me provide WuLift coaching; they’re there for hugs, for a shoulder to cry on, and for feedback on projects I am working on. They help keep me grounded, loved, and supported. Thank you all. I am very lucky, loved, and grateful.
Sign Up Here to Learn 7 Quick and Easy Olympic Weightlifting Hacks from Coach Aileen Wu: https://getyourhacks.gr8.