It took me longer to pick the title for this post than it did to write it. I needed a song that conveyed encouragement, had a bangin’ beat and incorporated booty in some capacity. I really think this one is perfection – Ice Cube’s 1999 hit “You Can Do It (Put Your Ass Into It)” was a kickass track in it’s own right but then it was featured on the 2001 soundtrack for “Save the Last Dance”. If you haven’t seen the movie it features Julia Stiles (the IT girl of the 2000’s) and is all about her perseverance in dancing (and life). Every girl I know has seen this at least a dozen times and totally fell in love with Ice Cube because of the movie.
One of my favorite bosses, Michelle, once taught me that leaders, like eagles don’t flock – that’s why you find them one at a time. That stuck with me and when I decided I needed a serious life change in September 2015 I decided Studio Poise and Danielle Roback (now Bradley, but always D-Ro to me) might just be the eagle I need. I was right; her fierce classes, amazingly supportive environment and no bullshit honesty was EXACTLY what I needed to get my butt in gear. I thought it only fitting to honor Danielle with her own little post as I hit my 1 year anniversary at my happy place.
I knew Danielle from the barre circuit (I may have even taken a class with her before she opened SP, it’s fuzzy now!) and I had casually taken her Zumba classes at SP here and there through out the last few years. But, I could never get myself to commit fully and in hindsight I realize it’s because I was at a different stage of life at that point. One of my current, favorite quotes:
So the version of *Sam that walked in to SP last year and then quickly became a regular was one who was ready to stop feeding off excuses and start actually changing. Enter: Danielle. 5’2″, NO bullshit, fierce as hell, hip-hop lover, total OG, 100% unique (often imitated, never duplicated) and exactly the ass-kicker I needed. She’s not a coddler, she’s not even the most warm & fuzzy person I know when you first meet her (and I know she’s laughing right now reading this), she tells it like it is and she doesn’t sugarcoat. She got me outside of my comfort zone in so many ways – classes I would never do, moves I never thought I could do, eating things I never wanted to eat (like cucumbers and hummus!) and then finally she got me pulling apart the layers of insulation I had built from years of not liking myself but faking it anyways. I saw this on her Instagram with the caption “I can be that person” and decided to see if she was right.
I started seeing her for private sessions where we would focus on nutrition, measurements, modifications, switching up my routine and hitting goals. I jokingly dubbed them D-Ro therapy because along with pounds and inches I shed so many tears – and so many ideals of who I was that I had outgrown. As it turns out, I can do SO much more than I give myself credit for! She’s been patiently waiting for me to come in to my own and cheering me on at each step of the way. It’s nice to have someone you can trust 100% with the messy parts of a transformation. I never have to fake it with Danielle, I get to be unfiltered *Sam (so refreshing!).
One of my favorite Danielle quotes is “Keep your eyes on your own matte“. She meant it literally (we were doing as yoga segment and my eyes were very much on the matte next to me and not my own so my downward dog was sloppy and my wrists were hurting) but figuratively it applies to so much in life. Do you. In addition to owning the studio and very much owning every class she brings to the studio she is also a wife and mother. One of my favorite things about her is the brutal honesty you get about how hard balancing all those aspects of life is. She will never tell you things are a cupcake and her life is perfect. She jokes about the days she does not own – but she ALWAYS pushes everyone around her to LIVE life. And while you’re at it – don’t just settle, strive to be amazing. She posted this recently and it hit me so hard (and I thought of so many people who should read it): ❤
I have never settled for “okay” in other areas of my life and I won’t settle for it now either. AMAZING or bust.
As this is a celebration of a year at my favorite place and an eagle who has made my journey that much better (I promise I am NOT cuing up to sing “Wind Beneath my Wings”) I thought I should share my next in the series of milestone photos. In July I lost “a Brittany” (118 pounds), today I am proud of say I have lost 145 pounds total since September 1, 2015….that’s more than “a Danielle”! 😉 Here I am celebrating this next milestone with one of the people I know the universe brought in to my life for a reason.
Thank you Danielle for the booty kickings, real talk and encouragement – I’m so lucky to call you part of my tribe! ❤