Hello, it’s me Bad to the Blonde – Dani on the Daily. Let’s get physically…personal. I hope you take the time to read this blog post and then make your own to share with others. Seriously, send it to your friends and family in an email. Ask for the same thing back. Let’s make this go viral. Let’s influence and motivate each other. Let’s get to know each other. Let’s lay it all out there…cheers!
(This required a bottle of wine FYI.)
I was asked to be apart of a creative project called “30 Interviews in 30 Days”, and answer these 12 questions as a challenge of sorts, from my friend Matt, owner of The Hero Lab (click the link for more interviews from his blog and check out what he does for a living – one of the hardest working and talented men I know at the race track). This project includes highlighting 30 people in Matt’s life who inspired him, inspire others and/or have helped shaped him into who he is today with the goal of that becoming 30 people in YOUR life who inspire you and others. Somehow I made this list…and you’ll make mine. See how this works?!
“Cause if your friends don’t inspire you, you have the wrong friends.” – Matt Barton
Well, when you replaced Matt with “your name” and other people like yourself read it, and other people like yourself join in the sharing and answering these 12 personal questions…we learn a lot about each other. As you see we have a really cool thing going. So read. Answer these 12 questions for yourself. Then share via email. A Facebook post. A blog post if you blog. Hell, we don’t care. Just share!
1. A brief history of yourself, where you were born/grew up/ type of up bringing. Or anything else relevant to your unique story than will help people understand where you came from.
I was born October 8, 1986, in Chisago Lakes, Minnesota, a small town about an hour north of the Twin Cities, and was raised the next small town over in Lindstrom. I had a very loving and positive upbringing with a mother and father who both were hardworking and supportive. I would say I had a perfect childhood. We weren’t spoiled but my parents gave us everything they could – as long as we worked for it. I never wanted to disappoint my parents. However, minor note, I was a little rebel during my 18-22 years of age (but who wasn’t). I was a decorated and talented gymnast and dancer, and snowmobile racer. I ran for town queen to please my Mom and walked away queen of tug-o-war for my Dad. I was a popular, well-known kid in high school but was friends with everyone and anyone. I wasn’t in a or “the click”. I didn’t have a prom date my senior year (and had to ask a very good friend of mine). We did end up in the running for prom king and queen but we didn’t win so I wasn’t prom queen or homecoming queen which was kinda a joke among my friends because I really didn’t like high school (and preferred club gymnastics and dance all the way). I pretty much grew up in the gym six days a week and danced for like five hours on Wednesday nights. In high school, I quit club gymnastics and went “high school” (I was not happy about this) and with much less hours in the gym (about 20 less) I started racing snowmobiles. I was a busy kid. Very athletic and happy. I was a teacher’s favorite and even though I wouldn’t consider myself smart – I did what was asked of me. Always.
2. What led you to choose the career/life that you lead?
I always loved NASCAR growing up and new I wanted to be the next Jamie Little. I was lucky to receive the credibility I did during my snowmobile racing days and was sometimes put on-camera to talk which led me to pursuing a degree in Journalism. My “internship”, which wasn’t really an internship but rather a paid “gig” that I wrote off as one (LOL), was with a TV show called Sledhead 24-7 on Fox Sports North and I was able to gain real reporting experience and start my demo reel. (Today, I can’t even watch it – it’s so bad.) I wanted to be a motorsports reporter and here I am. I wouldn’t say I have “made it” but I feel like I am getting close. There are a lot more on-camera talent/media personality and TV type jobs that I am working towards. I also want to continue to grow my YouTube channel (please subscribe to my channel) that I find quite entertaining and fun! I can honestly say that I have been successful but I am no where near satisfied with what I have accomplished so far. I have chosen a very different career path because I know I was “born to talk”.
3. What matters most to you? What would you fight for with your last dying breath?
A lot of things matter to me. Family and friends, and my health and well-being are at the top of my list. However, my last day will come and in that dying breath, I will stay pray and be in the fight against animal cruelty. I will never be able to understand how human beings can be so cruel. Be the voice for the voiceless. There are so many horrible and horrific images and videos online, but we can’t turn our backs to is really happening. In my time volunteering at an animal shelter, I have learned a lot and realized I love dogs more than people.
4. Growth often comes from pain. What painful situation are you now most grateful for? Or was there a pivotal moment in your life leading you towards today?
Pain. I once had a doctor tell me that I need to learn “pain tolerance” and with my first broken back injury we had to learn the “pain tolerance scale”. As a level 8/9 gymnast, pain is apart of a gymnasts life so that went right into snowmobile racing. I think I am one tough chick. But that is all physical pain. Emotional pain, of course, comes from breakups and losing someone important. Or a family pet (I am still not over the loss of my cat Bert who ate Doritos and lived to be like 20 – I considered him my brother and he died in my baby blanket). I have been lucky enough to still have the people (parents, brother and sisters, and best friends) that are most dear to me still alive. I lost almost all of my grandparents before high school started. The most recent painful situation that I am now most grateful for is my last breakup. I have actually blogged about it quite often and it still hurts my heart today. I am over him but the not the whole situation; it made me realize a lot of things – happiness is a very personal thing and no one else can make you happy but they can certainly make you unhappy. That relationship and breakup taught me so much and I never want to be in that position ever again, which is why I am still single. Note: I am still trying to be the next Bachelorette (I was actually almost on the season airing now but I am glad I wasn’t because he is not my type).
5. What drives you out of bed everyday? What really motivates you to do what you do?
I hate getting out of bed. I love to sleep and I spoon my dog Reese. But let’s be real. Coffee and the thought of coffee (the smell of coffee, the taste of coffee, fun coffee cups…) gets me out of bed every day and thanks to a friend I actually have a coffee sponsorship from High Octane Coffee Company (use my code “danionthedaily “OR “badtotheblonde” at checkout for a discount). What really motivates me (after coffee) is the ClassPass app! Caffeine and class! No joke! The ClassPass app LITERALLY gets me out of bed because I have to schedule my workout classes and if I bail and “no show” it costs me $12 each time (and I am not getting stronger). Join me on ClassPass and you’ll get $30 off your first month, no matter which plan you choose (you won’t need your boring gym membership anymore that you barely use)! ClassPass is the perfect way to keep your workout routine flexible and try everything from yoga and barre to cycling and Pilates!
6. Fear can be an equally good motivator, is there anything in life you are constantly working away from?
We are all scared of shit. I am scared of a lot of shit. Failing. Dying before I have accomplished my goals and traveling to the places I want to see. My fear is different though. I literally have a fear of getting married and starting a family. It scares the shit out of me. I am not one to commit to anything. Hence, why my career is a reporter/on-camera talent/model/model manager/dog mom/professional wine drinker/blogger/vlogger/gymnastics coach.
7. In the quite moments alone, where does your mind/heart go? What questions are you asking yourself in your pursuit?
In quiet moments my mind is always wondering to things that I need to do, should do and want to do. With that said, I have a whole list of “want to do” things that I really need to start doing. The one thing I won’t ever forget is something my favorite gymnastics coach told me and that was, “should-a, would-a, could-a”. This really resonates with me and my career. And yes, it would be so easy to walk away from all that I do to get a boring, dependable “full-time job” but that isn’t my style. I have way too much ADD/ADHD for that. I like to just do a lot of things. I often ask myself, how did these people do it? If I could figure that out – you would see me on my own talk show. A Kelly Ripa type…
Thanks to Instagram and YouTube, and blogs, I am always “creeping” people that I admire from different bloggers to other media personalities, hosts and reporters, asking myself how have they made it this far and what can I learn from them? It isn’t about being someone I am not but learning how to be the best version of me and truly living up to my potential in all aspects of my life (from health and fitness, to relationships and my career). For me being on TV and in the media (social media) it isn’t about the publicity and the cameras and trying to be “famous” – it’s sharing my personality, the messages and conversations with other people that I think are inspiring and important, and living in a fast-paced, unknown and unpromised industry. Because, after all, nothing in life is promised. I think the world needs to see more of me (LOL).
8. If tomorrow was your last day, what would your lasting legacy be? What do you hope it will be? Or do you have one right now?
If tomorrow as my last day, I want people to remember be for having a contagious smile and a loving, fun personality. Someone you should be friends with. Someone you wish you could marry. Someone you will miss, dearly.
9. Who in your life has had to most impact on who you have become today?
My parents have been had the most impact on my life. They always pushed me and allowed me to pursue the things that I dreamed of. They have always had my back and when I was at rock bottom there were two people who I knew I could count on to help me get me through it.
10. What are your core values? Everyday life is tough and we’re constantly faced with decisions. What fundamental beliefs help guide you?
There are a few things that I would say define my character and are the core values in which I live my life. I believe in health over wealth. I believe that happiness is really a personal thing. I believe in taking care of myself, first, and others second. I believe in praying every day. I believe in loving myself completely. I believe in not comparing myself to others (social media is so fake and so are most people on it). I believe in fresh air and strong coffee, and a glass of red wine at night. I believe in saying “please” and “thank you”. I believe in strongly sharing your opinions and beliefs. I believe in living like like you only can live it once. I believe in dessert as well as working it off. I believe in “less is more” (I am really working towards “minimalism”). I believe that everything happens for a reason and you just have to trust (and pray) to God.
Yoga has changed my life. I challenge you to “get on the mat” and purchase a Manduka mat. Yoga is seriously what keeps me sane. Yoga has taught me things that I don’t think anything or anyone else could have. I literally don’t breath right (from anxiety, stress, posture and my several broken back injuries). I don’t know how to quiet my mind. I don’t know how to be “present”. I don’t know how to stop thinking. I don’t know how to truly relax. But yoga is teaching me all of this! Yoga is making me grow from the insight out. Trust me, it’s bettering the people around me. Part of continuing yoga in my life has led me to become a Manduka brand influencer. I am very passionate about what brings me to the mat and trying to get other people “on the mat”. As a brand influencer, I do get 15% commission on all products sold. The Manduka brand is really worth every dollar and the company is very environmentally friendly. I challenge you to “get on the mat” and join me. I can’t wait to hear about your progress physically, mentally and emotionally. I have literally set-up my own in-home yoga space with blocks, a mat, towels, etc.
11. Lastly, if there is anything left on you list of “to do’s” what is the biggest one you need to accomplish? What’s long term for you?
I literally have “to do” lists all over my kitchen. I make them every day even though they are so pointless (typically they say this: dog park, workout, laundry, vacuum, blog, vlog, pay bills). I write stuff down to feel like I accomplish something but some big goals of mine are to start my own talk show, develop my blog into a money making machine, own my own home, grow my Puppy Pit Stop doggy business, focus on my commercial model, and to report for motorsports on Fox Sports…and they are on another more important list that should be my daily “to do ” list. I have my priorities ass backwards. I am well aware (and yoga is helping me work on this). Oh, and travel the world…maybe fall in love again. I don’t consider either of that long-term nor short-term but “to do” rather sooner than later.
12. Use this to reach out or promote anything you feel needs mentioning, organizations charities you may be involved with or anything felt went unsaid or unasked?
The hardest story I have ever followed is that of Marc Ching with Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation. Please support his organization fighting animal cruelty, the dog meat trade and dog meat festivals. Follow his journey and share his messages. It will break your heart. It makes me angry. It makes me literally sob, scream and cry. I hope it does the same to you so you join him so he isn’t alone in the fight against animal cruelty and the dog meat trade.
Also, donate to your local animal shelters and rescue organizations even if it’s $10 here and there. They need it. Volunteer your time and donate your money. We euthanize 4-5 MILLION perfect, healthy and adoptable animals in this country. Adopt don’t shop. That number really makes me physcially sick and angry as hell.
Ok, it’s your turn! You made it this far! Challenge excepted. I don’t care if you Facebook post the answers to these questions or personally email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (PLEASE DO – I PROMISE TO READ THEM) or Matt directly so he can publish them on his blog if you’re cool with it at email@example.com. We just want you to get involved. Let’s get to know each other.
“I’m not good at answering questions which is why I ask them.” – Dani Medin