UNLV - B.S. Physical Education
Cal U. of Pennsylvania - M.S. Health Promotion and Exercise Science
Danny Johnson's path to fitness guru status started with a paralyzing illness. Unable to walk after contracting E. coli while working as an acrobat at Sea World, Danny committed herself to hours of self-rehabilition in the gym. And what began as recovery evolved into a career the moment she decided to complete her certification — as well as a master's degree in exercise science and health promotion — to become a personal trainer and share her knowledge with others.
Eventually, Danny decided to go beyond the gym by creating the Sweaty Betties in 2011. The Sweaty Betties, an "irreverent group of women who are looking to get fit and have a whole lot of fun along the way," is an ever-growing online community of women dedicated to being fit in style. With more than 28,000 fans on Facebook alone, it's easy to see that women across the globe are embracing the enthusiastic, kick-butt, "don't be a bitch" style of Sweaty Betty motivation.
Health doesn't just mean exercise and nutrition, but all things including love, relationships and families.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the fitness industry and ultimately create The Sweaty Betties?
I got into personal training because I had been paralyzed by an illness and I was rehabbing myself. I was spending so much time in the gym I figured I might as well get certified. I've always had an interest in nutrition too, and once I started, I just loved it.
Some of our readers might not have heard of The Sweaty Betties. What does it mean to be a Sweaty Betty?
The Sweaty Betties is an online fitness community made to help every woman find balance in life and health. Health doesn’t just mean exercise and nutrition, but all things including love, relationships and families.
What does your job involve, and what types of responsibilities do you have in your position?
I do many things. I'm a host of my own videos, my own producer and editor. I'm a writer on my own page and have also been in a few publications. I'm also a trainer -- online and in person. My day is never the same.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of what I do is the amazing people I get to meet and work with on a daily basis. I've also been able to be a part of some very cool physical and spiritual transformations.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
I wouldn’t say that much keeps me up at night, except for ways to reach more people and spread more of my message in a big way.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
Oh, absolutely! I work from home, so it's often hard to “put work away” at times. It’s the first thing I do in the morning and last thing before I go to bed on a frequent basis. Taking my dogs out to the park or on a walk always gives me a nice break; being able to watch them run around and be free without a care makes me smile and come back to balance -- even if it's just for 15 minutes.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
When I got my first magazine cover and a three-page article accompanying it, I was very proud of myself for reaching a goal. That said, I still have many, many big goals, so I can’t say that I've quite “made it” yet.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Always give. I give my time when I don’t have a lot. I give money when I don’t have much. I just give. I think it's one of my gifts, because every time I give, I receive so many gifts that can’t be bought.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
I think it takes tenacity and a real, true love of people. If you aren’t a people person, you really won’t enjoy what I do.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Ha! Well, the 21-year-old version of myself was a huge hippie. I thought I was just going to backpack around and live in a tent. A part of me still loves that idealism, so I wouldn’t say anything to my 21-year-old self to ruin it!
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Five years from now, I hope to have a much larger company where I'm able to share my story in bigger ways. I hope to be able to share other strong women’s stories in an effort to help more and more women get out of their victim mentality and on to what life has in store for us all.