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In this week’s NOT SO AMATEUR I have the pleasure of featuring a coach of mine that inspires me every class of hers that I take! I recently had the opportunity (as you know) to attend Femme Fitale fitness boxing classes, and this is where I had the chance to meet the lovely Sammie Kennedy. Now, I haven’t known her for long (about a month), but sometimes you just meet those people who you know right away will have a great impact on your life.
Sammie is realistic, she is honest, she is a butt-kicking drill sergeant coach (when she needs to be), and she most definitely practices what she preaches during class and in her life.
If she expects you to skip for 8 minutes then she is right there doing it with you – encouraging you along the way, and yelling friendly reminders of why you’re there in the first place when you have seemingly lost a bit of motivation.
Sammie admits that when she was younger she was the girl who cried during gym class and tried to forget her gym clothes, as some of us do, until she decided in 2005 that she was going to begin her fitness journey. She began her journey with a book program called Body for Life. Seeing such great results, in both body and mind, people kept asking her how she did it. This inspired her to help others achieve the same thing and so she began to personal train. This later evolved into her career as creator and CEO of Booty Camp Fitness and Femme Fitale.
She has had many trainers and mentors herself. International fitness model Maggie Diubaldo , who has graced the cover of Oxygen Magazine and many others, taught her a lot about training, structuring programs, and how to conduct herself and her training in a fun and friendly way that still pushed her clients at the same time. She credits another mentor of hers, Jason Battiste (who is a former Canadian Super Middle Weight Kickboxing Champion) for setting her up for success in kickboxing instruction, by setting such a great example for her in their training sessions.
Sammie takes pride in helping other women get fitter, faster and stronger, and this is what keeps her motivated to provide as much as she can for her recruits!
Why Sammie inspires me: Sammie inspires me in many ways. She inspires me to be a better ‘fitness’ me. I know that sounds kitschy, but if you meet her you’ll get it. She makes a lot of things look really easy (like burpees) but she also knows that everyone has a different fitness level and that they have to start somewhere. I’ve had coaches growing up that didn’t understand that not everyone was on the same level and it was often discouraging. I saw people quitting sports and fitness activities that they loved because of it, and that made me sad.
She inspires me to want to coach some day and be as confident as she is when it comes to fitness and an overall healthy lifestyle. I think we can all learn from each other, and build on what we know if we just take time to appreciate others around us who are going through the same journey.
She inspires me to practice what I preach. She doesn’t make us do anything that she can’t. She trains with us, and she supports us, even when we think that we can’t do something, and that means a lot. Having such a great positive reinforcement on your side is always a bonus 🙂
What we can learn from Sammie: Being the CEO of her own companies, Booty Camp Fitness and Femme Fitale, she shows us that being busy should not be an excuse to skip out on fitness. Her business is centered around fitness and she is often traveling all over the place for meetings and training. She doesn’t make this an excuse for cheating on her healthy eating goals or fitness. Fitness needs to be something that we have as a priority in our lives, no matter how busy and hectic our lives become.
Sammie also helps us realize that you don’t have to have an athletically graced background to succeed in fitness. You just have to find the activities that are right for you. When you do this, fitness won’t seem like a chore and in the end you will feel and look great. Fitness shouldn’t be a punishment, it should be something that you look forward to, and something that you are proud of!
7 Questions with Sammie Kennedy
What would you list as your biggest fitness/health accomplishment so far? Oh lord, tough question! I’d say the fact that I’ve been able to inspire over 30,000 women across Canada so far to embrace fitness and explore a healthy nutritional lifestyle pretty much takes the cake.
What inspired you to start Femme Fitale? I had been working one on one with a kickboxing coach for about 2-3 years and LOVED the way it made me feel, the stress release it provided and most of all how it easily and quickly improved my results in conjunction with my boot camp training. As a fitness professional you are always trying new things but this form of exercise stuck with me. I really felt there was a need to eliminate the intimidation factor of going to a kickboxing or martial arts gym and training with experienced male partners, and provide an environment where women could feel comfortable developing their skills with like-minded ladies.
What is the greatest thing about being the CEO of your own company? Having that ability to inspire women throughout the province by way of assisting, training and inspiring my instructors.
If/when someone is starting out on their own fitness/health journey, what advice do/would you give them? I always say to be patient because results take time (you won’t lose 10, 20, 50lbs overnight) and don’t get locked into a long-term contract until you find a form of exercise you enjoy. If you can’t have fun doing it, you won’t continue.
On those challenging days when you do not feel particularly motivated, what do you do to regain that missing motivation? I usually need some veggies! I find I am most down when I am too busy to properly prepare foods, so a quick green juice usually resets my vibe. I’m lucky though, I instruct most days, and my ladies keep me smiling!
If you could meet one fitness/health pro who would it be and why? Tony Horton the host of P90X, I admire his ability to create a program that reached over 2 million people across the world and would love to pick his brain! My own goal is to inspire 1 million women to embrace a healthy lifestyle so I’m sure he’d have some valuable advice!
Favourite fitness quote- Sore? Tired? Out of breath? Sweaty? Good it’s working!