Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself or something that would surprise us.I'm Dani, and I'm a wife and mother. I'm originally from Lafayette, LA. I met my hubs,Travis, in highschool and we started dating as highschool sweethearts almost 16 yearsago. We've been married for 9 years and have two sweet little angel doves, Caden(Chumbie) 6, and Harper Jo (HJ) 3. I moved to Texas to attend Texas A&M (WHOOP!)where I earned a degree in Business Management. I also have a cosmetology license andfreelance as a professional makeup artist all over Houston. I turned my longtime passionfor photography into a full fledged business and have watched it grow and evolve overthe past six years!I was not incredibly athletic growing up. I had one basketball and one track and fieldseason in the 7th grade, and that was about it. Always tall and thin, I didn't think muchabout nutrition or staying active. My friends were the athletes, but I never saw myself asone. Somewhere along the way, bad nutritional habits, a sedentary lifestyle, medicationsand a hormonal issue landed me in a tough spot. I had gained so much weight that Icould no longer recognize myself. I struggled with my weight starting as a senior in highschool, yoyoing up and down, until I finished college having gained over 85 lbs. When Ihit 245lbs I KNEW I had to make a change. I was 23 years old, had prediabetes andhypertension. I was desperate to make this time the LAST time I ever tried to lose theweight. I needed to get healthy so I could start a family and watch them grow.Crossfit came in at a time when I needed it most. I'd been to gyms, I'd spent money onmemberships and hated every second of the elliptical machine. But Crossfit wasdifferent. It was fun, and incredibly hard, and made me face my fears and my doubtsabout myself head on. It allowed me to start rebuilding myself, a stronger version bothmentally and physically. When I made the decision to do this for ME, to stop makingexcuses and realize I was the only person standing in my way, I was able to lose 100lbsby eating clean and working hard. I kicked hypertension and prediabetes to the curb,allowing me to get off all medications. And with continued effort in the nutritiondepartment, I have found what works for me as an athlete and as a healthy individual,enabling me to manage my hormonal condition without the need for medication or majorsurgery.
How and when were you introduced to Behemoth?I found Behemoth in January 2014. I called around the area looking for a group setting,and Trav and I both tried out a few different Crossfit gyms. When I called Behemoth, Ispoke with Leah and got off the phone really excited to try them out. Trav and I had anintro session with Aja that was PHENOMENAL. We both left knowing Behemoth wasthe perfect fit for us. There were several gyms closer to us, some we even tried out, butnone were like Behemoth!What are you most proud of, physically, mentally or both since beginning with us?When I first started at Behemoth, I had just recently lost the weight. I always dreamedthat after I lost the weight, I'd be happy... I'd finally be “done.” But I didn't feel that way.I felt thin and weak, like my journey was far from over. Behemoth has changed my lifecompletely. It's given me the chance to do things I never thought possible, and tocontinue a lifelong journey that focuses on health, wellness and strength. I wassurrounded by strength both physically and mentally, women and men, and all levels offitness, and it pushed me to leave my comfort zone of “just skinny” to working forsomething more.Physically, I'm proud of the strides in strength I've made. I could barely squat to a boxwhen I first started. With the help of coaches Aja, Aryan and Leah, as well as Canada(shout out to the most amazing chiropractor EVAH!) I've been able to work through alifetime of poor mobility. When I first started, I would pick each of the coach's brains forhelp in working through my mobility issues. I spent nearly the entire first year doing ATON of additional mobility work just to perform the movements as you should andwithout pain. But it's paid off, and I couldn't be more thankful for the patience each ofthe coaches has shown me!Mentally, I'm proud of the shift I've made in my own mindset about myself and what I'mcapable of doing. I used to dream of being those thin women on the infomercials late atnight, showcasing all their weight they lost with whatever gimmick they were selling. AsI've grown in my journey, that gradually shifted to wanting to be strong both mentallyand physically. Now, I'm proud of the work I put in, and even more proud of theenvironment Trav and I have created for our kids. I want my kids to grow up withparents that are healthy and strong. I want them to see that women can be as strong asmen. I want them to see that hard work and determination will give you everythingyou've ever wished for, cried about, or dreamed of. I want them to see that people can gothrough a really long and tough journey, and that each step of the way shapes them intothe people they can become. If you keep your head down and grind through the nittygritty day in and day out, I promise you'll come out on the other end reaching andexceeding goals you NEVER thought possible. Four years ago, I wouldn't have thoughtany of this would be possible. It all begins with YOU making that first decision to beyour own advocate, to not be afraid to fail, and to JUST BEGIN.Why Behemoth?There is literally no place like Behemoth. The coaching and community is second toNONE! What drew us to Behemoth in the first place was the quality of the coaching.Each of the coaches are experts in their fields, and they truly care about every one of themembers. They are incredibly knowledgable, patient and encouraging. It doesn't matterif you've never been active a day in your life or have always been an incredible athlete,the coaches want you to reach your full potential. They want to see you reach YOURpersonal goals.The community of people is amazing! We felt like family the minute we stepped into thegym. There are so many levels of athletes at Behemoth, and everyone is incrediblywelcoming. There's nothing quite like working hard alongside your fellow Behemothsand pushing each other through a really tough workout. People congratulate the firstfinishers and cheer on the others struggling to finish. Doesn't matter where you finish,just that you gave it your all. That's what I really love about Behemoth! Plus, I've metsome of the most amazing people at Behemoth, and not a day goes by that I don't feelincredibly blessed to have gotten this opportunity!What next? What are you excited about pursuing here in the future?I'm always working on my weaknesses, and I'm determined to add more quality weight tomy squat this year. I'd also love to increase the reps on my pull ups and push ups,working towards muscle ups and HSPU one of these days! I'm probably most excitedabout continuing to improve my Olympic lifts in the Barbell Class. Working in theBarbell Class for the past year has shown me how much I really love Olympic lifting. Ilove the technicality of it, the patience you need to have to really improve in the lifts, andthe persistence you need to bring to the table to keep at it.Mentally, I'm excited to keep learning more and more about nutrition and continueworking on creating a healthy mindset about food. I went from fearing food to seeing itas fuel, but I still have times where I doubt myself and feel guilty about food. Leraningto eat for performance has been one of the toughest things about this process. It wasn'tlosing 100lbs. In comparison, that was easy. Allowing yourself to eat ENOUGH to fuelyour performance is such a shift in your mindset, and having battled my weight for somany years, that shift hasn't come easy. But I'm looking forward to continuing thatprogress this year!“3, 2, 1...Go” Mad Lib sectionMy favorite lift (movement) is... Clean and Jerk! Anytime I see C&J EMOM style,I want to cry tears of joy. And definitely Farmer's Carries!My most frequent class I come to is... 9:30am, 5pm and 6pm. Monday is my FAVEday since I get to hit up 9:30 and Oly Class in the evening!I have always wanted to... Travel to Australia.When I’m not crushing weights, my favorite thing to do is... Stay active with thefamily, cooking, photography, crafting, sewing, gardening.... and Netflix binges everyonce in a while with Trav!Favorite “application of fitness” outside of the gym is... I like to pinch grip 15 or25lb plates while I walk Caden to school. Sometimes I lunge all the way there andsprint back. I love keeping up with my 3 year old's gymnastics skills, playing withthe kids, trying to carry in ALL. OF. THE. GROCERIES. in one trip, and swimmingand jetskiing at the lake.Favorite Pandora station... For daily listening, definitely newer alt stuff, like GlassAnimals radio, 90s alternative, Depeche Mode radio, Classic Rock. For working out,definitely a QUALITY EDM station (not talking about that run of the mill BS) and2000s hip hop.Beast mode engaged when this song comes on... When the beat drops in PhilCollins' “In the Air Tonight.” jk, but seriously Phil's BA. Anything by WolfgangGartner - “Undertaker”, “Circus Freaks” or “Flexx”.