Location: Miami, FL
Dani’s been an instructor at SoulCycle for more than three years, working her way up from manning the front desk to attending the 10-week training session in New York, and becoming a teacher. Riding a bike makes her feel free, and Dani says the combination of blasting music and constant movement is her form of “active meditation.”
What's your daily diet like?
Truthfully, it depends on the day. On days I teach a double in the morning, I have water before my first class and then an Orgain protein shake, which is loaded with nutrients, before my last class. Afterwards, I make sure I have a filling lunch, salmon, cauliflower and brown rice or a kale salad with chicken, chickpeas, fruits and veggies. On days I teach later in the evening, I like to have a filling breakfast: scrambled eggs, bacon, and avocado toast or pancakes. I'll snack during the day, teach my classes and have dinner which will likely include potatoes, a yummy veggie and a protein. Having an idea of what I want to eat or bonus, having the food ready, prior to me being hungry is a major key.
How did you first get interested in fitness?
I became interested in fitness after I graduated college from Georgia State University and realized my teenage metabolism had left me. I gained weight and while that wasn't a big deal because its normal and considered very attractive to be curvy in the South where I'm from, but my energy was low. I wasn't very active and I had no way of shifting my energy back up when I was in a bad mood. I went searching for a fun exercise that entertained me but also kicked my butt. I tried everything from Zumba to running outside and finally a good friend told me to come try SoulCycle and the rest was history. I found an exercise that was fun, truly challenging and it added another spiritual element because I found so much peace in taking class. Here I am almost 5 years later!
What are your top health and wellness goals for 2019? Any advice for others trying to set some of their own?
My goals are to add more cross-training workouts to my weekly workouts. I also plan to get even more knowledgeable about the foods that work best for my body and the amount of activity I do. I believe it's easier to add then it is to subtract so I'd tell people to add something to their life, be that a workout routine, a meditation routine or a social media boundary where they limit their screen time. I've noticed that as I've added healthier things to my life, things that didn't truly serve me fell off by default. That's a beautiful thing about life, as you turn away from lesser you only experience greater.
Tell us more about yourself:
My name is Dani Robertson. I was born in a very small town in Louisiana and grew up in Atlanta after my parent's divorce when I was four. I have a twin brother who I was blessed to enter the world with. I was always loved. I grew up in a single parent household, where my Mom did everything she could to keep us happy, we didn't always have much but I was always loved. I spent wonderful summers in Nashville with my grandparents, running around outside with my brother and cousin until the sun went down. I did everything in Atlanta, even graduated college and then I set my sights on more. I moved to NYC and got a quick taste of what the real world was like. I started asking questions and seeking answers because I was well aware of how much I was not enjoying life. I had a great job at Nickelodeon but couldn't see myself living that way for 30+ years. I was antsy for answers so I moved to LA thinking they were there. They were. I quit my job, I quit a few more jobs and was still on the search for what made me happy. Choose Happy was birthed when I realized the key to instant, in the moment happy or internal peace, was my perspective and what I told myself in the current moment. I became more self-aware. So I started doing more of the things I enjoyed. I found mediation to calm my mind. I found SoulCycle and quickly got a job at the front desk just so I could ride all the time. I loved pushing myself and feeling alive. I ended up being approached to audition to be an instructor. I accepted and went to the 10-week training back in NYC. Almost 3 years as an instructor and I have found myself, I have found a career I thoroughly enjoy and I have found a life I am grateful to lead.