Monique Walker – Verve Fitness

Laci Ollison | September 15th, 2020
Monique Walker

Monique Walker

In a world that has become consumed with outer beauty and appearances, 41-year-old Monique Walker has made it her life’s mission to help people feel more beautiful in a meaningful and transformative way.

A native of California, Monique relocated to Memphis in 2009 where she opened her own salon called Mood Styling Studio. Monique soon secured a position as the hair stylist for the Grizz Girls, the professional dance team of the NBA Memphis Grizzlies.

Although Monique built a successful career as a beauty business owner, she maintained a desire to help people in a more fulfilling way. In fact, she struggled with being a hairdresser.
“It was one of those things that came about not something I aspired to become,” said Monique. “I feel there is a difference in the two. I am grateful that God gifted me with the ability to be successful in that industry and that I had an awesome career for twenty years.”

Monique then sought to turn her passion for dance into a career as an Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) certified Group Fitness Instructor.
The decision to focus on health and wellness was exactly the desire she was searching to fulfill. Thus, Verve Fitness was born.

Monique said the decision to leave her position as the hairstylist for an NBA dance team wasn’t an easy one.

“I built a relationship with that part of the franchise,” said Monique. “However, there were changes being made and it seemed like a good time to exit when I did. I was blessed to be with them for eleven seasons and was lucky to score an opportunity to host a two-day bootcamp with them in my transition period into fitness.”

Thus her transition into the fitness industry began.

“I don’t recall an exact moment when I knew fitness was my jam,” Monique said. “I think as I became more proficient in body movement, seeing results in people mentally and physically and doing self-study, is how I came to know this is what I was meant to do.”

Monique’s journey in wellness deepened when she began practicing yoga in 2015. She has since earned her 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher certification with the accredited Yoga Alliance.
But Monique’s journey hasn’t always been easy.

“Certainly, there are always a million challenges and hurdles when launching a business, Monique said. “The big one for me, however, is dealing with imposter syndrome.”
Monique recalls growing up as a heavy child, and an even heavier young adult. She didn’t begin to lose weight and seek wellness until her thirties after she had her daughter.

“Always feeling like I don’t fit the mold for a health coach, fitness instructor, or yoga teacher is very real for me. I deal with the same body struggles as my clients, so I know how they feel when battling weight loss and physical limitations.”

Monique believes that we are all fed the same imagery and narrative for what it means to be “beautiful” or be “fit.”

“So what happens when you aren’t ‘those’ things?” Monique said. “Not being those things create barriers of fear and self-doubt which has the bigger ability to keep you from achieving your goals. This is the thing I work at daily.”

Monique said that her biggest motivation is knowing that people are counting on her. “If I don’t show up for a class or a coaching session then I have potentially prohibited someone from getting their dose of physical activity. I know from my personal struggle with weight and body image that accountability and consistency are huge,” said Monique. “If I don’t show up for a coaching session, change class times or cancel classes, I recognize how that can impact someone who is trying to steady the course with this fitness thing. The average person is just trying to fit it all in and having a coach/instructor who is consistent helps them to do that.”

The most memorable part of Monique’s entrepreneurship has been gaining the knowledge of business.

“It is so humbling when you have to be multi-faceted in one business, “Monique said.” As the owner you wear all the hats! It will make you appreciate other businesses because you know what it takes to make all the things happen.”

Monique also said that she is inspired by the resilience and boldness of people who get things done.

“I love that we are so hungry and determined to make this life worth something that we won’t stand for anything less,” Monique said. This is the era where we gain our equality, redefine body image and beauty, love who you want and speak loudly about what you are! It is riveting to watch, listen, learn and be a part of such a bold era of people. Snaps to us all!”

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