Growing up as a girl, I was encouraged to be pretty, and of course thin, but never strong or athletic, so it was a huge breath of fresh air to meet Danielle Horan when starting my own CrossFit journey. Her strength and confidence inspire me every day to push myself and embrace my strength (and my muscles!). Her incredible transformation is proof of all her hard work and dedication. Today, Dani is not only a CrossFit coach but has also competed in numerous competitions.
Danielle: Before (2011)
POPSUGAR Fitness: When did you start CrossFit, and what made you want to try it?
Danielle Horan: I started CrossFit October 2010. I had stopped competing horses, and my dentist introduced me to it. I hadn't ever heard about CrossFit before I tried it; I was looking for something to fill the time that I used to spend in the stables. I was bored and looking for something to entertain me.
PS: What do you love most about CrossFit?
DH: Every day I am learning something new, being challenged in a different way. CrossFit makes me not just a better athlete, but a better individual.
PS: What are you most proud of when it comes to what your body can do?
DH: [That] I can do whatever I put my mind to.
Danielle: After (2016)
PS: What motivates you to push yourself so hard?
DH: I know what I'm capable of, and I see the results. I want to be the best version of me, and I won't stop until I get there.
PS: When and why did you become a CrossFit coach?
DH: I started coaching about six months after I started CrossFit. I love being able to help athletes learn new movements and feel good about themselves. My goal is for every athlete that comes to my class to have it be the best part of their day.
"I want to be the best version of me, and I won't stop until I get there."PS: What's your weekly workout schedule?
DH: It varies. I train five days a week four to six hours a day. [On my active recovery days] I train for about an hour, usually on the bike at an easy heart rate, or on Sundays I like to try to do something active outside of the gym like a hike.
PS: When and why did you start competing?
DH: I started competing because I've always been competitive and I was seeking that out again. [Editor's note: Since 2012, Danielle has competed in nine CrossFit competitions.]
PS: What is your current fitness goal?
DH: I am training to become the best version of myself. I want to find out what I am truly capable of. My programming focus is cardio, I've been running . . . a lot!
Always something to work on & improve. One of my favorite reasons why I love CrossFit. 💙 Things that went well this week: ⋅ 3 x 3 Front Squat #263 (after cardio) ⋅ #223 Clean Complex Made after failing Jerk at #213 (after cardio) ⋅ Forcing myself to move when I wanted to rest ⋅ Remaining positive ⋅ Maintaining a higher Heart Rate during running intervals ⋅ Reading my new book ⋅ Spending extra time on Mobility Things I need to work on: ⋅Staying in my right heel when I split Jerk ⋅Being focused on my current task ⋅Accepting there are only so many hours in a day ⋅Kipping the dip when I do Ring Muscle-ups ⋅Daily S/L Activation Drills ⋅Remembering 1% Better Every Day adds up #dailyreflections #gratitude #hungry #wantmore
PS: What's a typical day of meals and snacks?
Wake Up: coffee and milk
Pre-Workout: Fuel For Fire and banana
During: Sometimes a quick-digesting carb
Post-workout: Protein shake (using Mission 6 protein powder)
Breakfast: Oatmeal, eggs, some type of veggies
Pre-Workout: Fuel For Fire
During: Sometimes a quick-digesting carb
Post-workout: Protein shake
In addition to the above, I'll have two to three meals consisting of veggies, protein, and carbs throughout the evening. I don't eat strict Paleo; I focus on a well-balanced diet. I'll have a treat every once in a while. I eat a certain number of protein, fats, and carbs every day. I weigh and measure everything. I have a nutrition coach, Jason Phillips. He currently has me eating 160 grams of protein, 80 grams of fat, and 395 grams of carbs. I currently weigh 148 pounds and my body fat percentage is 11.
PS: Because you look so strong, do you ever get comments about your physique? How do you deal with negativity?
DH: Yes. I usually ignore them, but yes when I travel and people ask me what I do, I say Zumba. It started as a joke a few years ago, but I still say it.
PS: Advice for other women who want to try CrossFit?
DH: Just start. Don't wait until you're "in shape." Focus on yourself and doing the best that you can do.