Friday, August 26, 2011
A Powerful Interview of a Woman who Empower Others!
This is the last day of our celebration week and we welcome my new co-laborer friend and lovely lady Michelle V. Green. Michelle and I connected on Facebook and I am very thankful to have her here today to tell us about her organization, and a little bit about herself! Please meet Michelle!
CP: Thank you so much Michelle for joining us today! Give us a brief bio of who you are?
MVG: Thank you Cynthia. I am a native of New Orleans, LA and have always been in the business of encouraging and helping family & friends reach and SURPASS their goals. My parents have always praised all that I have done all that I say I will do, so I’ve always had the Confidence to “Just Do It!” The word “can’t” was not allowed in our household. I think that alone shaped a big part of who I am today.
I attended Louisiana State University where I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering in 2003. Upon graduating I moved to Houston, TX to work at NASA as a Systems Engineer and obtained a Master’s of Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2006.
Since moving to Houston I have used that same childhood confidence and started to check off one by one the items on my “Life Goals” list that I created as a little girl. Just a few of those things included having a successful career in the Aerospace industry, obtaining a Master’s Degree, becoming a licensed Real Estate Broker, becoming a certified Personal Fitness Trainer, becoming a professional model, starting my own fitness company, 1st Choice Fitness and a few more that I am still working toward to be a 100% entrepreneur!
To much surprise I was a natural born introvert! It was through many life experiences that my extrovert tendencies started to pour out and now my well is over-flowing! I have discovered many of my life passions which include health & fitness and empowering others to be as great as they are called to be. I have too many hobbies to name but some of my favorites are traveling, star-gazing, boxing, kickboxing, rock-climbing, horseback riding, roller skating and spinning. In addition, on my journey of achieving my “Life Goals” I have met some AMAZING people and have had some very fulfilling experiences. To name a few I have met and trained several NASA astronauts; conducted health & wellness seminars during Johnson Space Center’s Safety & Total Health Day and held free workshops in my community; I have traveled the world gaining knowledge, networking and meeting fellow entrepreneurs; I’ve trained with ex-heavyweight boxer Lee Canalito for several years; and I have walked the stage with fellow models and been featured in Mirror Mirror episodes on ABC. Of course one of my most fulfilling experiences to date came with the establishment of Women Empowered (WE). It gets better every time!
Since I also am the owner of 1st Choice Fitness, several people also know me as the “Boot Camp Instructor”. My training specialties include healthy weight loss strategies; cardiovascular fitness for overall heart health, strength/balance training, new client coaching & motivation, and most importantly health & fitness education. You can check out my website www.1st-choice-fitness.com and be sure to “Like Me” on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/1stchoicefitness#!/.
CP: Wow, you are a busy lady! Can you give us a brief overview of your organization?
MVG: Women Empowered (WE) was established in July 2010. Since then, quarterly seminars are held at various venues in the Houston area to discuss a plethora of Women's Topics. These topics include, but are not limited to, Women's Social Skills, Finding Inner peace, Forgiveness, Life Transformation, Self-Improvement, Personal Growth, Spirituality, Effective Leadership skills for Women, Assertiveness skills, Increasing self-esteem, Finding the Entrepreneur in YOU, and of course Self Empowerment & Exploration.
Women’s empowerment is one of my passions. “I love seeing women who have been “sitting on the sidelines” finally give themselves permission to express their Magnificence!”
I hope you will join Women Empowered (WE) on your journey as well! https://www.facebook.com/groups/208468662525311/.
CP: Who do you imagine is your ideal client/participant?
MVG: The ideal 1st Choice Fitness client would be anyone with the willingness to want to live a healthy & fit lifestyle. As a personal trainer I provide the knowledge and the tools for anyone to be half successful but it takes the consistency and determination of the client to bring the other half.
The ideal WE participant is a woman (all ages) who is looking to either empowered or be empowered! So that would be all of us! I have had several WE participants come to a seminar “just to see” and have left more empowered than ever! WE has made many connections and formed long-lasting relationships. WE has encouraged women to start their own businesses, apply to law school, and to start their own “Sister Circles”.
CP: If given the opportunity to speak with one of the most influential women past or present, who would it be and what would you ask her?
MVG: It would definitely be Ernestine Shepherd! At the age 74 she holds the Guinness World Record for the Oldest Female Body Builder and is in better shape than most people, decades her junior. Like me she is a certified personal trainer and spends her days running, lifting weights and working out. She is a role model not just for senior women everywhere, but for every one of us. As a fan of hers I know her story of what motivated her journey. If I met her I would ask her if she still does it for her sister (her original motivation) or if her sister is now all of the other women that she encourages and inspires on a daily basis. I’m pretty sure I know that answer but from one female personal trainer to another that would be a great conversation to have!
CP: What one book, written by a woman, do you wish you'd written yourself? Why?
Truthfully, I do plenty of reading. However, I have not actually had much time to actually read an entire book these days. I’m still waiting on my next 9 hour flight to get the time to read a book written by a friend of mine, “Running from Solace” by Nakia Laushaul. I can’t wait! You can also check her out at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nakia-R-Laushaul-presents-The-Truth-As-I-See-It-In-Poetry-Prose/346645442878?ref=ts
CP: What was your journey to get where you are today? Any advice you can give to a younger woman?
MVG: My journey to where I am today all really began with my ministry of health and fitness in being a personal trainer. I meet all types of women/men who are often seeking to be fit but not necessarily healthy. Of course, it’s my job to provide you with the tools and knowledge to understand that you need both! So as I taught these lessons I began to take it a step further. To be able to complete the walk the Lord has outlined for you much is required – a healthy mind, body, and spirit! We also consider health as a basic and dynamic force in our daily lives, influenced by our circumstances, beliefs, culture and social, economic and physical environments. In order for me to be able to encourage others I must encourage myself and constantly seek the tools and knowledge to walk the talk! Hosting WE Seminars allow me to do just that by bringing other like-minded women together to empower each other on topics that aid in having a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Advice I always give to younger women is to find a mentor. It can be your mom, grandmother, aunt, sister, cousin, or someone that just exudes the qualities you’d like to have! You can have a mentor for every aspect of your life (school, work, fitness, personal matters, etc.) and know that you can have a mentor at 10 and still have one at 90. A good piece of advice I once received was to encourage someone else because it may come back around to you just when you need it!
CP: Michelle, you are a busy woman. Do you find it difficult to manage your time, speaking engagements, shifting focus between marketing your ministry, as well as any day-to-day responsibilities?
MVG: Yes and no. Although I work full-time, train part-time, and host quarterly WE seminars I am very good at planning and being Ms. Organized! Therefore, my planner stays full with clients, networking and marketing events but if I write it down I must check it off. The good thing is that I have a great support system. My husband supports all of my endeavors (as I do his) and is always willing to lend a hand or help. As women we have a natural tendency to “do it all” and not ask for help or say “yes” when help is offered. Through some of the lessons learned and great mentors I have had in recent years I have learned to let go once in awhile. That being said I usually know when I’m at that tipping point and need a break. If not, my husband is definitely aware of when we “need a vacation”.
In addition, I have a great network of women that always help me pull off the WE Seminars. They do a number of things from speaking at some of the seminars to helping me arrange locations, speakers, donating door prizes, snacks and of course spread the WE word! Special thanks to Nakia Laushaul, Sophia Flot-Warner, Alexa Jones, Reba Charleston, Ingrid Walker, Angel’a Jones, Andrea Cojoe, Adria Carter, Lillian Johnson, Cheryl D. Jones & Nina James.
CP: Michelle tell us, what's next for you? Any upcoming events for your ministry?
MVG: The next thing up for WE is to continue to get bigger and better while reaching more women to become involved in the journey of empowerment.
The next WE Seminar will be held on November 5, 2011. Join the Women Empowered (WE) Group on Facebook to keep up with all of the latest and for more information.
Thank you so much for stopping by today Michelle! I’m sure everyone has enjoyed meeting you and hearing about you and your endeavors as much as I have. God bless you my dear!