Monika Human is a professional athlete (WBFF Pro), personal trainer, nutritional advisor, life coach, fit mom and sports coach. After moving to South Africa and struggling to fit in, Monika battled with her self-image and weight – dropping to 48kg. However, she soon discovered her own strength through weight training, competing and helping others. Here is her #StrongWomen story.
Tell us more about your fitness journey.
I am a professional athlete, personal trainer, nutritional advisor and life coach. I work as a physical education teacher and sport coach at Bryanston Primary School. I am a huge advocate for children and women’s health. My brand, beACTIVE, focuses exactly on that. I educate moms on how to start a healthy, active life with the whole family; how to include their children so they can learn the importance of a healthy lifestyle and physical activity from a very young age. I am also a mom of two amazing little girls. As a fitness professional I am currently preparing to compete again this year after taking some much-needed time off. In between my busy schedule, I am completing my degree in Psychology majoring in Psychological Counseling. I absolutely love my life right now. However, getting where I am today was far from an easy path.
Fitness is not only transforming bodies but minds too. There is a powerful connection between body and mind. . My prep for my first @wbff_official show have transformed my life completely. . It's never easy but it teaches you discipline, persistence, dedication and determination. . Time to do it all over again #WBFF . #transformationtuesday #transformation #wbffpro #wbffprep #wbffdiva #fit #fitness #fitnessdiva #fitnessgirl #fitnessmodel #passion #determination #dedication #motivation #inspiration #girlswholift #girlswithmuscle #fitfam #fitnessgoals #fitnessjourney #fitnessaddict #polishgirl #polishmissfit #teamON #optimumnutrition #trifocusfitnessacademy #bodybuilding
What are some of the challenges you have faced throughout your journey?
I had quite a few challenges throughout my journey. After I moved to South Africa in late 2010, as I am from Poland, I struggled to fit in for a very long time. I went through a phase where I lost a lot of weight due to excessive cardio and restricted calorie intake. I dropped to a scary 48kg at a height of 1,68m. I thought that being skinny will make me feel better. That was also the moment when I was introduced to the competative physique industry and competing. It has changed my life forever. About two years after that I won my PRO status with WBFF. Due to personal circumstances, I still wasn’t happy and I was not where I really wanted to be.
I went through a time of where I struggled with depression, but luckily I had people around me who never gave up on me. My husband is my biggest supporter and without him I wouldn’t have achieved as much as I have. Two years ago, I took a leap of faith and moved over from a corporate job into personal training and coaching. I have never looked back since.
I always tell people that bad days are not here to stay. They pass, so no matter what situation you are in, never stop chasing your dreams. I am grateful for every obstacle in my way, every stone thrown at me, every person who doubted me. Because thanks to them, I am who I am today; a strong woman with vision. There is a powerful connection between body and mind. My physical strength has helped me with mental strength. It has given me confidence and determination. Today, my goal is to help other women to find that strength within them, to help women who are lost like I once was, and guide them through the days when they want to give up.
Sometimes it feels like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders… But don't give up! Squat that sh*t! . #mondaymotivation #monday #squats #squadgoals #dreambig #nevergiveup #workout #training #girlswithmuscle #girlswholift #strong #determination #motivation #inspiration #wbff #wbffpro #wbffdiva #womeninspiringwomen #womensupportingwomen #womenpower #girlswholift #girlswithmuscle #bodygoals #bodybuilder #bodybuilding #polishgirl #polishmissfit #beActive
Who inspires you to be strong?
We all have women who motivate us in many ways. I must say that every woman out there and especially moms, inspire me. Being a mom is not an easy job. We all know that MOM can easily be translated to a cook, cleaner, gardener, personal assistant, fashion advisor, teacher, cash machine, therapist, nurse and so on. Every mommy out there, young or old, fit or unfit, is doing an amazing job raising little humans. When I meet people, either in person or through social media, I search for something magical in them that will motivate and inspire me. And I can guarantee you that I manage to find that in every single woman.
But the extra strength comes from my children. Not only my two girls, all of them! I work with over 850 kids every day! They give my life a purpose, and I hope that whatever I do will contribute to a better their life and at the same time change the world, one child (and their family) at the time.
"Little girls with dreams become women with vision" . #beActive #womenpower #womenempowerment #strongwomen #polishgirl #polishmissfit #fit #fitmom #fitspo #fitpro #fitfam #adidas #adidaswomen #adidastraining #motivation #inspiration #quotes #quoteoftheday #healthy #healthyliving #healthylife #healthymom #fitness #fitnessgirl #fitnessgoals
Who do you nominate as #StrongWomen?
If I had to list all my strong ladies that I look up to I would be here till tomorrow. But there are a few who I believe are angels sent to guide others. I definitely nominate:
Letsego Zulu (@letsegozulu) for her unbelievable strength in times when others would give up. She has faced an obstacle of losing a loved one; something that I cannot even begin to imagine overcoming, yet she has stayed strong for both her daughter and herself.
Khethi Mlangeni (@khethi.m) for being an amazing mom and a huge role model to her children. After meeting her daughter and son I couldn’t believe how much they know about living a healthy, active life; the importance of it and how much they are willing to help others. She gets a Star Mom of the year from me. Both Letsego and Khathi give so much to other women through their Pop Up Gym. Their passion and will to help others bring many women together.
Another girl is Ntando Kunene (@kunene_ntando) also Miss South Africa 2016, who is proof to many young girls in South Africa that dreams do come true. She is one of the most humble, kind, loving women I have ever met. At the same time, she is strong, smart and determined. She is that young girl with dreams that is now a wonderful woman with vision. I am privileged to have worked with Ntando during her preparation to Miss South Africa 2016 that she had won. She is one of the most amazing Miss South Africa that this country had worked with. She has already made a huge impact on lives of many young girls and women in South Africa.
What is your favourite #StrongWomen quote?
Little girls with dreams become women with vision.
Brand new week. New goals. New challenges. New opportunities. . You Got This 💪🏼 . #monday #mondaymotivation #fit #fitfam #fitspo #fitpro #fitmom #adidas #adidaswomen #adidastraining #motivation #inspiration #womenshealth #womenpower #beActive #polishmissfit #polishgirl #active #dreambig #determination #yougotthis #teamON #trifocusfitnessacademy
Follow Monika’s inspiring #StrongWomen journey on Instagram.
Share your #StrongWomen moment!
Nominate your candidate to feature in our new #StrongWomen series. Tell us how she inspires and/or motivates you through her actions and passion, and we’ll share her story with the world.
- Daily #Strongwomen. Your #StrongWomen nomination can be featured in our daily post.
- 5 of the #StrongWomen candidates will go on to have their full features published in Fitness magazine
- You too can win, with a Caribbean Tan & Boost Gymwear hamper worth R2,660 up for grabs to those who nominate their #StrongWomen
Nominate them now!
Share your #strongwomen moment with us. Nominate your #StrongWomen by posting a photo, magazine cover moment or strong moment on social media and tagging us. You can also email your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Who inspires you to be strong?
2. Who do you nominate as a #strongwomen and why?
3. What’s your favourite #strongwomen quote?
We’re giving away a pamper hamper to the nomination of the best #strongwomen story. Hamper contains Caribbean Tan products and Boost Gymwear goodies worth R2,660.
Author: Mariska du Plessis
Mariska is the editor of Fitness Magazine, Bootcamp Instructor, Writer, Photographer and Wellness Blogger.
Follow her on Instagram: @justmariska_