Name: Dana Wildeboer (formerly Rygwelski)
Hometown: Morton, PA (15 mins outside of Philly)
When and why did you come to Austin?
I first came to Austin in 2013 for a short term project with work. While here, I fell in love with Austin and lifting at Austin Simply Fit. When work offered me the opportunity to move to Austin permanently, I took them up on it.
How did you get into personal training?
I’ve always been obsessed with physical training and movement; and eventually, let my passion for making a film and building a career pull me away from it. I decided to train for a triathlon, and a friend said I should try a CrossFit to help with conditioning. The first CrossFit class was the first time I touched a barbell in over a decade and fell in love with it all over again. From there, about two years later I found powerlifting — and well, there’s just nothing better than being so strong that you feel like you can stand up a tree. I love to share that passion for raw strength with people, and the mindset that comes with it. The athlete’s mindset is a powerful tool.
Tell us about your current fitness goals and training:
I’m recently recovered from renal cancer, an ectopic pregnancy, and three hernia repairs in under three years. Right now, I’m focused on being athletic and explosive. Current crushing some box jumps and headed straight for pull-ups!
What is the most common fitness myth you work through with your clients?
That working out is only for physique. Don’t get me wrong, working out will help you build tight arms and shoulders, and even a plumper rump. But most of that comes from nutrition. The benefits of exercise far surpass what you look like in the mirror. From feeling confident to exuding power to feeling proud. There are few better ways to set yourself up for little wins outside of a daily workout.
What do you want your clients to take away from each training session with you?
A sense of empowerment and the belief that it’s OK to take up space and be seen.
What sets you apart from other fitness professionals?
I keep it real. As a Philly woman, you’re only going to get it from me straight – there will be no mixed words.
What is your favorite thing about Austin Simply Fit?
The people! This is a world-class community!
Favorite quote and who said it?
“Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did; but she did it backward and in high heels!”