What is it that empowers you most?
Surrounding myself with like-minded women. I love sitting and talking with other women who are chasing their goals and dreams. I love to feed off their energy and allow it to fuel my next step, whether it’s for my own personal growth or growth of my business. I think that women learn from an early age that another woman’s success means that their own success is less important. What. A. Damn. Shame.
What is it that you love most about yourself?
I’ve become someone who is willing to take on anything. When someone says something will be difficult I get an adrenaline rush just thinking about how thrilling it will be to have accomplished it. I used to shy away from struggle and now I face it head on. I will never say I can’t do something.
What makes you feel most beautiful?
A hard workout where I’ve intentionally pushed myself past my comfort zone. The smile on my face as I lay heavily breathing in a pool of sweat is a smile filled with pride. I know that sounds like the opposite of beautiful, but to me, a woman who feels unstoppable might just be the most beautiful thing out there.
Who is your biggest role model and why?
It’s very hard to pick just one, but Fabienne St. Louis is someone who I started to follow after the Rio Olympics this past summer. She is a triathlete from Mauritius that was diagnosed with salivary gland cancer the year prior to competing at the Olympics. In an interview they asked her “Why are you here? Why aren’t you at home resting and recuperating?” and she explained how she felt pulled to follow through because she’d qualified for the games and wanted to spread the message of fighting until it’s over. After having been diagnosed with thyroid cancer earlier this year I’ve been asked and sometimes told by others to slow down (“Why don’t you rest?”) and I find I can’t explain myself properly. I feel pulled to continue doing what I love because I have been made highly aware that in a single moment it can be taken away from you.
Who are your favourite cultural heroines and why?
This might sound cliché, but I have great reasoning for it! I’m going to say Wonder Woman. I recently read a book called Presence by Amy Cuddy (a fantastic read by the way). Cuddy talks about “power poses” and the impact that they can have on our lives, relationships and careers. The concept of the book is that we can change how others interact with us and how we interact with ourselves by changing our posture. One of those power poses is called Wonder Woman (imagine yourself chin-up, chest proud, hands on hips and feet shoulder-width apart). Feel that? BAM. You can take on anything. Thanks, Wonder Woman!
If you could pick one fictional female character to be for a day who would it be and why?
Funny, I really don’t have one. I even searched the good ol’ Google for lists of fictional female characters and just didn’t connect with any of them.
What is your biggest life goal?
To have inner peace. It sounds so simple, but I think most never truly attain this. We’re always scrambling to get somewhere on time, to reach a deadline, to have more, to make more, to outdo someone…we’re never content with what we have and where we’re at. This is something that I’m always having to work on since having a ‘go-go’ lifestyle is part of being a business owner. I am working on reminding myself to slow down, appreciate the moment and spend more time getting to know myself. (Side note: Since I’ve been actively working on this my business has become more successful. Go Figure).
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Well, I can’t quite say this is an accomplishment, since I do still fail at this (on the daily), but I would say that it would be becoming more confident with my voice. I’m becoming more comfortable with who I am and what I have to say. I always have so much that I want to say, whether it’s about empowering women, helping others change their relationship with health and fitness or encouraging them to take big goals head on. I used to let fear of what others would think about my thoughts deter me from sharing, but now I realize that I am my only limit.
My accomplishment is me learning to allow myself to share my message.
What is your favourite quote?
“I am building a fire, and everyday I train, I add more fuel. At just the right moment, I light the match.” – Mia Hamm
If you could tell your 12-year-old self one thing what would it be?
This will all make you stronger. Wait ‘til you see the person you become.
What does feminism mean to you?
Feminism is about giving girls and young women the tools to be successful. These tools include an education as well as a healthy mind and body. We need to teach her self-respect and what it means to persevere. Feminism is about teaching our daughters how to provide a successful life for themselves.
I believe that as a personal trainer I play a role in this. I do this by choosing to motivate a woman with her physical achievements instead of her physical appearance. I want my clients to learn that they haven’t even scratched the surface of their own strength. My hope is that they will then teach this self-motivation and self-appreciation to their daughters.
Danielle is a registered nurse in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada