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The latest GBR author interview features authors from another upcoming book from our Fall 2019 Catalog, Fitness To Freedom. This unique anthology of stories embraces health, wellness, and fitness and is written by fitness gurus, athletes, competitors, instructors, and fitness enthusiasts. This book will not only educate and inspire readers, but it will also encourage them to live their best lives.
Read the interview below to learn more about some of the authors and how these ladies are living the #GBRAuthorLife
1. You started your GBR author career as a co-author. What was the experience like going from a co-author to a lead author?
Amazing. To be published for the first time was an incredible highlight of my life, so it was wonderful to give back and share the opportunity and experience of writing a chapter in a book with other authors. To see the potential in an individual and walk through the process from the beginning to print to launching and all the experiences along the way has been very rewarding and wonderful.
2. Why should people read Fitness To Freedom?
Whether you want to know how, why or what if about fitness, health, competition, running a business, or becoming an instructor — there is something for everyone.
What are some key takeaways from the book?
We have so much in common with one another no matter our age, place in life, or background. We all are working on living our best and loving ourselves at all stages of life, and we all have the ability to create a great life we love.
3. What advice would you give to women who may feel it’s too late to start a new career or make a drastic change to their lifestyle?
Time is mind over matter. It’s never too late. I started my greatest fitness journey at forty-three! And competed for the first time at forty-five. When we can listen to our hearts and align our purpose with our passion, nothing is out of reach.
4. What does living the #GBRAuthorLife mean to you?
Common goals, a strong, safe community, and going the extra distance to make sure all voices are heard. I love being a part of this space and community and I continue to grow and see others grow into their best selves, too.
About the Lead Author
Deirdre Slattery is a single mother of a beautiful daughter who is the greatest support and has brought out Deirdre’s passion to live her best: healthy, positive, and as a strong, independent woman. She sees change as a constant opportunity to learn and grow and to make the best of life around her. Deirdre is an eternal optimist with a grounded and practical balance. Helping others to see their potential comes naturally to her and finding the good in every situation makes her life work meaningful. Deirdre’s purpose is to inspire and motivate others to stay positive and strong in the face of any adversity.
This free spirit has travelled the globe learning about life and feels especially at home near the ocean with people who are healthy, thriving and happy. Deirdre received a Bachelor of Kinesiology and Education from the University of Windsor, where she majored in biology and health education. After twenty years, she is following her heart and expanding her career to educate and coach others to live healthy and happy lives. Nutrition, exercise and a healthy mindset make up the foundations of her healthy lifestyle, and her future plans as an entrepreneur include making a greater impact on the health and fitness industry and lifestyle coaching. Deirdre finds the most reward in helping others unlock and overcome their barriers a life they dream of. She is open-minded and open-hearted and there to listen and guide others to live their best in health and wellness.
Co-author: Jena Weiss
1. What is your favourite type of exercise and why?
Historically speaking, strength training hands down! That’s where I’ve always excelled and thus felt most comfortable. However, in recent years, I’ve learned to appreciate a good challenge. Yoga is quite certainly not a strength of mine. I’m somewhat of a newbie. It makes me incredibly uncomfortable at times, but I’ve found it to be one of my most rewarding workouts because of that challenge.
2. In your chapter in Fitness To Freedom, you suggest journaling/free writing as an exercise for your mind and soul. Did you find this exercise to be helpful when you were writing out your own chapter?
Absolutely. As a recovering perfectionist, it is crucial for me to do a judgment-free first draft or free write in order to get words on paper. If I don’t do this, I will find myself completely debilitated by self-criticism and staring at a blank screen for hours or even days. My editor is a genius and always requests a “really shitty first draft.” This instantly gives me the freedom I need to just write!
3. For many fitness enthusiasts, becoming a personal trainer or fitness instructor seems like a natural next step. What made you decide to take it to the next level and open up your own gym? Did you encounter any struggles when you first started? How did you overcome them?
There is no denying my entrepreneurial spirit! My mind is always racing with ideas for making things better. Just ask my husband how many things I’ve asked him to design.
After years of not only frequenting but also working in gyms, the one thing that always frustrated me about the typical gym scene was how women seemed inevitably intimidated by the free weight section, even if they knew it was where they wanted to be, and instead spent their hour (or two) on the elliptical where they were expected to be. I wanted to create a space where everyone, especially women but newbies, too, felt completely comfortable doing whatever workout they wanted and I wanted to be sure they had the resources and tools they needed as well.
The biggest struggle I’ve encountered has been learning to balance prioritizing my own fitness while caring for others and managing the business. If I’m being totally honest, I’m still navigating this four years later.
4. What does living the #GBRAuthorLife mean to you?
Being a GBR author has been a total gift! The saying goes, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” GBR embodies all of the values I hold close to my own heart. It means showing up and shining my light, even when I’m scared so that I give other women permission to do the same, just as others have done for me.
About the Co-Author
Jen Weiss is the owner of The Pound, a successful gym and training facility in upstate New York. With a clinical and social sciences in psychology degree from the University of Rochester, over ten years of experience as a certified personal trainer and strength coach, and a Level II Spirit II Junkie Masterclass certification, she now works as a spiritual body and soul coach with a passion for helping others transform their lives from the inside out.
Jen is currently completing a teaching memoir titled Fit to Love: My Journey from Self-Perfection to Self-Worth, with Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain. The book tells the story of a strength coach’s journey through letting go of perfection, healing her childhood, and finding real love she didn’t know she deserved. She has been featured in print in Oxygen Magazine and in online publications of Muscular Development and RX Muscle.
After decades of playing competitive sports, Jena quickly found a natural outlet in physical fitness after graduating from a prestigious college and finding herself unemployed. She navigated her way through success in fitness competitions, the body dysmorphic disorder and depression that followed, coaching, football, loss, and everything in between to establish herself as the coach she was destined to be.
Jena lives with her husband and their five labs(ish) on a two-hundred-acre farm in upstate New York.