For many of us, being "on" from the moment we step out of bed sounds out of the realm of possibility. But for Danielle Edwards, it's a non-negotiable. As the founder and lead trainer of The New Body Project, a female-only bootcamp studio in Brooklyn, New York, Edwards quite literally has to hit the ground running—starting the morning off strong, after all, is kind of a job requirement as she continues to build and inspire the tight-knit community of women who now congregate at her studio.
"I love coming to work and seeing everyone excited to put themselves first," she says. "I was once in all of their positions so I can relate. Trying to take your body back isn’t an easy feat. It requires first acknowledging that you need and want assistance, which takes great courage. This is why my energy, excitement, and skills are at 1000%-because I just love to help people."
Many of the women in the New Body Project community choose to start their day with Edwards, which means that she has to channel that infectious energy during the earliest hours of the morning—though Edwards will be the first to admit that being a morning person isn't exactly something that has always felt natural to her. "I never considered myself one but I would dream about being THAT person who woke up and worked out while the world still slept." Soon enough, her routine ended up forcing the habit. "After having kids and starting my company, that all changed," she says.
And a big part of that evolution, she says, was the realization that in order to show up for all the people in her life, she needed to show up for herself first. "Because I wear so many hats as the owner and trainer of a fitness studio, as well as a mom and wife, it’s often difficult to find time for myself," she says. "I’m privileged enough to be in a position that gives to so many people. I have to practice what I preach and I make sure to take a class at another studio or train myself for self-care."
Below, Edwards shares how that all falls into place every morning—usually, starting well before the crack of dawn.