You’re too curvy to be a dancer. You’ll never make it as a model. It’s crazy to leave your career for a dream.
Imagine being hit by these words when you set out to pursue your goals. It would cause some to break. But for this year’s Women of Will, it just made their resolution stronger.
The only rules these inspirational women are bound by are the ones they’ve set for themselves. They take the concept of “Rule Yourself” to heart, and have forged their own path to success, despite being told it wasn’t in the cards for them.
Thanks to their determination and will, these women are changing the rules of the game. They’ve revolutionized the way we think about health, fitness and sport. Each one of them embodies the will to overcome whatever challenges and obstacles they’ve had in their way to becoming the leaders, visionaries and pioneers they are.
Get inspired by this year’s Women of Will and join them as they continue to redefine what it means to #RuleYourself.
Ballerina, Principal Dancer, American Ballet
Changing the face of dance and redefining sport
By ballet standards, she was too old, too curvy, and too dark to be a premiere ballerina. She didn’t fit the ballerina mold. So, she broke it and cast a new one. She made history as the first African American Female Principal Dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, and now, she is changing the face of ballet.
Words she lives by: “You can do anything you want, even if you are being told negative things. Stay strong and find motivation.”
International Yoga Teacher
Spreading a message of empowerment far beyond the yoga mat
Kathryn never fit the “long and lean” image commonly associated with the yoga industry, but she possesses exceptional strength and ability when she hits the mat as an internationally-celebrated yoga teacher. Kathryn wants to inspire and empower all women to be their best exactly how they are and not how they are told to be, and continues to do so through her book “Aim True” which will hit the shelves March 29th.
Words she lives by: “Doubt will try to wiggle its way in but it’s only fuel is your permission. Starve it with your faith and determination.”
Proving that the will to succeed is stronger than negativity
Gisele left her small countryside home in Brazil when she was just 14 and faced the challenges of our world by herself, without speaking English or any other language besides her native Portuguese. When she first attempted international fashion at 16 she got 43 NO’s before receiving her first YES. Through determination and willpower, Gisele has become the most iconic model of her era.
Words she lives by: “Anything in life — you gotta work for it!”
World Class Track and Field Athlete
Striving for excellence on and off the track
Natasha’s been dominating 400m sprints since her college days at South Carolina, where she won national titles in indoor and outdoor seasons in 2007. She’s been a staple on the US National 4×400 relay team ever since, helping the team win six international medals. In 2013 Hastings showed she still hasn’t lost a step when she finished first at the USA Outdoor championship. Now, she will continue to strive for her best while preparing for her quest for Gold in RIO 2016.
Words she lives by: “I have my days where I feel like I’m totally beat up, but the day I stay and bed and don’t get it done is the day my competitor had to get better than me.”
Entrepreneur, CEO, and Endomondo Co-Founder
Changing the way we track our fitness
Mette co-founded Endomondo back in 2007 with the mission of making fitness fun. When she set out to do it, not everyone thought she was making the right move. Leaving a great career behind to venture out on her own seemed like a risky decision, but that one choice proved to be a game changer not only for her, but for millions of people who use Endomondo to stay motivated as they pursue their fitness goals. Since joining forces with Under Armour in January 2015, Mette has taken on the role of leading Under Armour’s digital efforts within Run and Fitness, and is continuing to help change the way athletes track and improve their fitness.
Words she lives by: “Whatever our wildest dreams may be, they only scratch the surface of what is possible.”
– By Linda Lopez