By Libby Burkhalter
I spent most of my childhood upside down and flipping from the gymnastics floor to the living room floor. Physical movement has been a part of my daily living for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t until college, when I had to quit gymnastics due to an injury, that I realized I had taken my physical abilities for granted. Finding myself overweight and out of shape for the first time in my life was a rude awakening. Devastated by the numbers on the scale and the doctors announcing how overweight I was, my self-confidence plummeted. Determined to find a path to wellness, my journey began.
Little did I know the journey would last a lifetime and lead me to a passion for health, fitness, and mentoring young girls and women to Rock Strong. Many of us have had coaches or mentors in our life. Some are great, some not so good, and some can cause really negative experiences. Through all my years of competitive gymnastics and dance training, I was fortunate to encounter some amazing coaches. I also had a very negative experience that left me struggling with my self-worth and body image. Sometimes life brings layers of hurts, weighing us down, breaking our self-confidence, and lowering our self-esteem. Society and media puts pressure on girls and women to look a certain way. Girls need coaching and mentors that uplift, empower, and build self-esteem. We need to honor and love our bodies, and we need to know we are enough just like we are. It is God’s goodness that always makes us good enough. Through my own life experiences a seed was planted. A love for coaching developed and a passion for mentoring others evolved. I wanted to pay it forward and inspire girls and women to feel secure in themselves, to make positive choices in their own lives and do positive things in the lives of others.
For the last thirty-four years I have been active in the Fitness Industry as a personal trainer, health coach, and group exercise instructor. I have loved working with every age group from children to teens and adults to even seniors. There has always been a special place in my heart to empower young girls to walk taller, feel stronger, and know they are enough. I believe God planted that seed, and that He allowed me to grow into the role I now hold.
Last year I had the opportunity to meet up with some amazing trainers from Wisconsin, Kari Woodall and Jane Westreich. We were at a mentorship conference for our online coaching business. We are all moms with daughters in different stages and ages of life. We had also all been athletes. As we talked with one another, we realized we had a deep desire to develop a program that would impact mothers and daughters. We wanted to not just create a program but start a movement. The idea for Rock Your Strong was born. Rock Your Strong is an empowering community for girls to strengthen movement, healthy habits, self-esteem, and connection. It is designed to help girls own their choices and own their life.
I chose to live strong because being physically strong makes me mentally and spiritually strong as well.In our crazy busy lives, sometimes we forget to focus on the real connections. We are too busy with logistics of parenting. Rock Your Strong provides a 7-Day online mentorship with some live optional components. Each day has a different focus, discussion point, and suggested physical activity to do together. We deliver a well-planned week of positivity, self-exploration, fitness, nutrition, and mind-body connection. We are able to connect mothers and daughters from all across the United States through our online and in person platforms. We form connections, new friendships, and insight into our own lives and those of our daughters. Making good choices in your life shapes the direction your life goes. I made a decision to choose a healthy lifestyle a long time ago, and it has shaped me into who I am today and how I live my life. I chose to live strong because being physically strong makes me mentally and spiritually strong as well.
In our mentorship, we journey into the choices you face daily: purpose, fitness, nutrition, kindness, life goals, and relationships. So many moms and daughters need a community to find common ground with their health, to find insight into their children, to create connections with other moms and daughters, and to make time to bond with their own. One of the moms shared her experience from our last mentorship: “The daily mantras gave me some insight as to what is important to my daughter. I sure did like how it sparked thought with my fourteen-year old. I think Rock Your Strong gives you a definite motivator to connect and spend just a little bit of extra time together.”
In June, we completed our second 7-Day mentorship with a live cooking demo and healthy luncheon. It was so fun meeting new friends, sharing ideas for healthy meal prepping, and talking about rules for our health and how we can share what we have learned with others. I am so thrilled to bring Rock Your Strong to our community and across the U.S. I am looking forward to expanding the program and reaching out to more moms and daughters. We have another mentorship scheduled for July and August. Our live events will focus on Back to School Meal Prep ideas and fun workouts that moms and daughters can do together! For older girls going off to college, my Fit Camp is a great prep heading off on their own.
I really believe Rock Your Strong comes from the heart. It is more than just a workout. It is empowering girls with purpose and vision through fitness, wellness, and a positive sense of self. If you would like more information regarding Rock Your Strong and how you can participate, feel free to contact me. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you and your daughter!Your Strong and how you can participate feel free to contact me. I would welcome the opportunity to work with you and your daughter! Blessings for a healthy life!
Libby Burkhalter is a certified personal trainer and group exercise specialist and owner of Libbfit Training and LB Management, LLC. Libby has been working in the fitness industry for the past 34 years. During that time she has worn many hats from Studio owner, to running Corporate Fit Challenges, Fitcamps for kids, teens, college students, and adults to online fitness and nutrition coaching. Her love for teaching and inspiring others to live a healthy lifestyle continues to be her passion. “Improving your fitness can change your body, but your mind and spirit will change as well.” Self-care is your personal foundation for a high quality life. You deserve to feel good, have more energy, enjoy life and live inspired!” Libby lives in Shreveport with her husband Steve Burkhalter. She has two wonderful grown children, Lauren Blanco and Taylor Burkhalter of Fayetteville, Arkansas.