Born in South Minneapolis in 1979, she began to take part in gymnastics from the age of 4 – inspired by her older sister who was a keen gymnast in her youth.
By the time she reached second grade, Elisabeth started to compete within gymnastics. She trained on a frequent basis, building up a reputation as an outstanding gymnast. This continued right up until her college years, when Elisabeth unfortunately suffered from frequent knee injuries which forced her to wave goodbye to gymnastics for good.
Elisabeth entered the gym for the first time shortly after her knee was operated on. This is when she was advised by doctors to start weight training. By doing so, she was able to build strength in her knees while improving her chances of a full recovery. Elisabeth soon found that weightlifting not only helped the rehabilitation process, but it also became something that she loved.
Elisabeth is also a mother, social worker, educator, trainer, and writer. Her writing has been featured on platforms such as Girls Gone Strong, Self.com, and as a regular columnist at Strong Fitness Magazine.
Elisabeth Akinwale is a well-known name in the CrossFit world that has won more than 20 events at the Games and Regionals. She is a successful CrossFit Games and Olympic-style weightlifting competitor, she’s known for events with marvelous monikers like the “Double Banger,” “Cinco 1,” and “Clean Speed Ladder.” She is a co-owner of Chicago’s 13th Flow fitness company.
Elisabeth’s work at 13th Flow is informed by her 15 years as a competitive gymnast, five consecutive appearances in the world-wide CrossFit Games (2011-2015), and competing nationally as an Olympic-style weightlifter.
To Elisabeth, 13th Flow moves away from traditional models of fitness to serve the community with affirmation, connection and guidance. She makes fitness transformative and truly enjoyable.
In 2013, Elisabeth created the On Balance Seminar to share effective training+life philosophies and practices with people around the globe. On Balance Seminars have since been hosted across the US, the Caribbean and Central America.
Ever since then, Elisabeth has gone on to make her mark in CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting. As a result of her success, she’s gained the support of fans from all over the world – becoming an internet sensation and CrossFit trainer in the process.
Elisabeth is motivated by those who are able to make time for fitness despite leading a busy lifestyle. Elisabeth said: “I’m inspired and motivated by people who are able to balance and intertwine their own personal goals with also working for the greater good.”