At Franklin High School, Coach Anna Shields is passionate about getting female students in top physical shape.
Shields, a teacher and coach for 34 years, remembers her days as a college athlete at Western Carolina.
"Through my college career, we had no weightlifting," recalls the former volleyball and basketball player.
But times have changed. Now that Shields has seen the positive benefits of weightlifting on female athletes, she is determined to help any girl, athlete or not, improve their physical condition by offering several 'Bigger Faster Stronger" classes, known as B.F.S.
"I think it gives them a lot of self-confidence, going out into the world and trying to stay the healthiest throughout their lives," said Coach Shields.
Sharon Tippett is the parent of two daughters, one an athlete and one not. She says both have benefited from Coach Shields’ classes.
"Their attitudes are a lot better because of her," declares Tippett. "They know I can say, 'I’ll call Coach Shields,' and they will straighten up."
Student athletes like Taylor Carlton and many of the girls in this B.F.S. class cheer on and challenge each other.
"It helps us out a whole lot," Carlton says. "We start in the summer and work through the whole year pretty much especially student athletes we come in all semester and do it."
Coach Shields says it’s the hard-working students and her coworkers that help keep her in the fitness game
"I love the energy they have. I work with some of the best coaches and teachers in western North Carolina. We have a fun time together, because we all work together as one," says Shields said.