Voici une entrevue que la conférencière Violet Zaki m’a accordé à titre d’ambassadrice ECA (le texte est en anglais).

Violet opens up about her passion for fitness, her commitment to the industry, and her devotion to anyone who is lucky enough to cross her path.

 

1. How did fitness become a part of your life?

My teenage years, like for many of us, were challenging, frequently undermined by a variety of emotions, pressures, and self-perceptions. After growing from underdeveloped but hyperactive as a child to overweight as a teenager, I eventually reflected long and hard about my condition and its causes, including certain unhealthy aspects of my family’s lifestyle and cultural influences compounded by a vulnerable genetic predisposition in some respects. Determined to change, I lied about my age in order to join my sister’s university gym at the age of 15 and set out on a fitness adventure that continues today. Within a year of joining that gym, I was trusted on stage to teach my first group class when the instructor had an emergency and I was called on to finish the session. I eventually became a certified instructor, teaching my own classes, while gaining a degree in Applied Science at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia and subsequently starting a duel career in human services at the Victorian Royal Guide Dogs for the Blind and Victorian School for Deaf Children in Melbourne.

 

2. What is your favorite part about teaching?

I love being fit, strong and mentally disciplined – opportunity to share it, so that others can see and feel the benefits I have experienced.

Connecting with people and being authentic in my approach to life and fitness. This allows my students to trust me and hopefully get them closer to their goals.

Some of my students have said “sometimes when I’m at work or home and I am faced with a challenge, I can hear your voice saying “finish what you started”. So, the physical element of what I do definitely translates into a person’s mind and emotions.

The key is to have fun, connect with my students, see them grow and stay innovative in my programming. I determine the tone I set for my class and I have the freedom to create and be a source of motivation. I have a lot of energy and I use my work to channel that energy into something positive while challenging other human beings to overcome psychological and physiological obstacles in class that may translate into the rest of their world.

 

3. My philosophy is:

One mind, one body, one life…. getting out of the bleachers and getting onto the court to play the game. I believe that we all want the same thing…happiness, love and good health.

 

4. Who is your biggest inspiration?

Grandmaster Tadashi Nakamura, Founder of Seido Karate and my instructor. An important part of his role is to contribute to his community through charity work. Kaicho (Grand Master – 9th Dan) Nakamura has received praise and recognition from City, State, National and International leaders for the good works of the benefit foundation he has created. The Seido Juku Foundation sponsors or provides much of the funds for special karate programs and instruction for the Visually Impaired, Deaf, Victims of Domestic Abuse, Homeless Children, and the learning and developmentally-disabled. Kaicho is an amazing athlete (at the age of 72) and role model.

 

5. What is your proudest achievement?

I am most proud of going from being a self-perceived underdog to becoming a support system for those who face similar personal struggles.

The ability to dig deep and become a successful, self-made professional female, especially when remembering the personal reinvention necessary at times along the way, is very much part of this gratification. I relate back to this and the feeling gets reinforced every time a student of mine shares the emotional, mental and physical strengthening they are undergoing as a result of my teachings, authentic engagement with them, and efforts to create a positive environment allowing them to grow while still challenging them to get out of their comfort zone.

Thank you Violet for taking the time to partake in ECA’s Q&A. You truly make us want to become a better version of ourselves.

Violet Zaki

Is an Aussie NY-based elite Fitness Professional, a graduate from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a Lifestyle Coach. As well as being a Certified Fitness Instructor, Violet has a black belt in Seido Karate. Violet shares her passion for fitness via high energy workout DVDs, her weekly teaching schedule, TV guest appearances, motivational speaking events and contributing journalism articles to various magazines. She is one of the most sought-after teachers at New York’s premier club, Equinox Fitness. Violet says, “Gaining confidence, self-esteem, and overcoming mental obstacles are a result of hard work. Group fitness and Life coaching has given me a platform to encourage others to strive for their very best. You don’t get what you wish for…..you’ve gotta work for it!”

Violet wields a famously passionate, sharp-witted, unapologetic approach to motivation, propelling her students and clients to live their lives up to their potential, achieve their goals, and self-empower, while not forgetting to include fun along the way.