1. Can you tell us something about yourself and what you do?
I was born in Slovakia, a beautiful country located in the heart of Europe. Early on, when I was just a little girl, my goal at the age four was to become a scientist, later I found my passion in track and field competing, and now I am a determined young woman who wants to make a difference in the fitness world. I came from very athletic and artistic family.
My brother, parents as well as my grandparents did sports competitively. I was able to transfer to a division one university in the USA on a full athletic scholarship with the honor to train under a supervision of Lee Evans, who is 400 meter Olympic winner from 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. I spent 13 years competing in track and field. I placed top 3 in Sunbelt conference in 100m hurdles as well as 400m hurdles. I was also part of the team in Texas Relays, Florida Relays, as well as Regionals.
Currently, I am working as a conditioning specialist, personal trainer and life coach. Besides that, I am working towards getting my second degree, the Doctorate of Physical therapy.
2. Are you a full time fitness professional?
Yes, I am. After earning my degree in Public Relations I landed multiple office jobs. Working for a Fortune 500 company was a great experience, but some things just did not feel right. I could not imagine myself in the same cubicle five years later, doing the same thing. My heart was not in it, so I resigned and started earning my certifications in the fitness industry. Currently I own five of them, but there still room to grow.
3. Do you have another profession aside from being fitness professional? How are you able to balance fitness with your career?
I am my own boss, in charge of my work schedule. When I am not with my clients, the rest of the time is filled with school work. However, I have plenty hobbies that I would like to take to the next level. One of them is photography.
4. Are you a family man?/mother? How are you able to manage?
My brother and I live far from our family. There are times that it is hard and we try to make at least one trip a year to visit everyone back home in Slovakia.
5. How did you start training and what was your turning point?
I was a competitive child, setting my goals high. Before I fell in love with track and field, I played tennis for two years and I wanted to win World Championship. My parents have been very supportive of everything that I wanted to do. Two years into playing tennis, I was approached by one track and field coach. He offered me to join their track and field school program and I said yes.
I changed schools and that is how my track and field career started. During high school I became a member of Slovak Athletic Federation and won multiple times Slovak champion titles in 100m hurdles. One of the greatest accomplishments has been my 100 m hurdles Slovak National Junior record from 1999, which I believe is still active. I lived and breathed my sport, it did not matter if it rained, snowed or was burning hot, I kept training.
6. What motivates you to do fitness?
I have to start by saying I am thankful to my parents for who I am. They instilled in me the hunger for excellence and showed me what life and happiness are about. I always view them as my role models and best friends. They taught me to be determined, persistent, selfless person who is a go-getter and up for any challenge life can bring.
So, what motivates me to do fitness? I enjoy exceeding my own expectations. I don’t like to do things half way, why not do be the best we can, right? I believe, everyone should strive for greatness. Be yourself, find something that you love and go with it, see where it can take you. I like to challenge my limits and at the same time maintain a balanced lifestyle.
7. Do you compete for fitness? or do you have plans of competing in the future?
I have not competed in fitness yet, even though I keep my six pack year around. I never say no to try new things and
maybe the time for competing in fitness will come.
8. Do you have brands or business related to fitness? or do you see yourself having projects related to fitness?
I am currently developing few fitness projects. Hopefully I can share them with the rest of the world soon. I am pretty excited about them.
9. What training routines do you do to be able to maintain your physique?
I like innovative workout routines with an old school twist. It is mainly free weights, plyometrics, sprints, hills and I don’t mind to try workouts targeted to specific sports. But, sometimes it can be just a simple jog in the nature or on the beach.
10. What supplements do you take?
I must admit, I am consistently inconsistent when it comes to supplements. Most of the time, it is a protein shake. However, I get majority of my nutrients from the foods. Sometimes it is chlorella, lycopen or coenzymeQ10.
11. What is your typical diet?
My rule is to eat everything in moderation. I am not a fan of fat free and sugar free diets. I prefer to eat nutritionally balanced meals. In other words, no restrictions when it comes to meats or sea food as well veggies or fruits. I love to cook and experiment with diversity. Getting my groceries is fun. Everyone should try to buy things they have not tried before. My mom is a fantastic cook so she made it easy for me not to crave things such as frozen dinners, burgers or comfort foods. They just don’t taste that good to me.
12. What does your training regimen look like?
It is pretty simple. I don’t spend too much time in the gym. It is more about intensity and proper technique. With that said, the workout usually consist of a hard run for about 15-20 minutes by doing some intervals or hills and them I lift weights, or do jumps, and sometimes both. Swim, rollerblades and bike are great alternatives for me as well.
13. How does your discipline as a fitness professional influence your life as a whole?
It makes me feel happy and balanced. I try to translate that exact feeling to my clients and people who I surround myself with. There are days that my workout is cut short or I do not workout at all, and that is ok. But what is important is that I never stop being athlete in my mind and heart and that guides me to stay healthy. It definitely influences my life in a very positive way for countless reasons.
14. What made you attend the FMI Conference? What are your top 3 take aways?
I love to surround myself with like minded and smart people. To take it to the next level of recognition, a person have to network, people need to hear your story and what you want to represent in the fitness industry. It is also great for sharing ideas and creating friendships. My three take aways would be, create your identity or brand, set your goal and work on it until you achieve it no matter what obstacles you face, and never stop learning.
15. How would you like to be known in the fitness industry?
I find myself to be more than just fitness professional. I would like to be recognized as a successful business woman who is able to inspire, motivate people across the age, gender and background differences. I would like to offer my helping hand to people who want to start healthy lifestyle in an easy and fun way instead of seeing it as a hard adjustment. As I try to relate to my current clients on multiple levels including fitness, personal, health, lifestyle, and many others. My near future goal is also to reach people who live far away by online coaching and mentorship.
16. Where can we find you on the internet?
I am going to put my website together soon, but until then people can connect with me through facebook www.facebook.com/veronika.bobakova on twitter @veronikafitness or on instagram at #veronikabobakova