We had the good fortune of connecting with Daniela Celi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Daniela, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
We can either live in fear and doubt, allowing our insecurities and resistance to push us into complacency, or we can face those fears with a deeper desire and a fire inside that is more powerful than any obstacle thrown our way. Taking risks comes with hard work, and sometimes results in mistakes, but it can be worth it as long as you have the will to push towards your goals.
Taking risks has gotten me to where I am today, so I’d say the role it’s played in my life has been pivotal, and I am so grateful for the risks I’ve taken thus far. I moved from NYC to LA to start a new life away from family, friends, and everything familiar to me. It was one of the scariest, yet most essential things I’d ever done, because it was my chance to shove all fears aside and pursue my dreams.
Quitting my sales job to pursue a career in fitness created a lot of doubt. I had thoughts like, ‘Will I be eaten alive by the already saturated industry of fitness instructors in LA?’ ‘Will I even be good at teaching?’ ‘Will anyone come to my class?’ ‘What if it’s not what I expected?’ ‘What if I can’t find a job, and now I don’t have financial security?’ Resistance, imposter syndrome, you name it, I went through it. Going through that part was brutal, but it got me to where I am today. If I hadn’t walked into my former boss’s office at that sales job and said, “I need to be doing what I’m meant to be doing, and it’s not this,” then I wouldn’t be changing hundreds of people’s lives right now and I wouldn’t be bringing people joy through movement.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a NASM Certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, tennis coach, and co-founder of Fuego Fitness. I’ve been an athlete my entire life, so naturally when I put my headset on and start teaching any class, it’s like walking onto a tennis court, it’s “game time”. I’m all about making people enjoy the workout so much that they don’t even realize they’re exercising, but I also make sure my clients know that just like in tennis where every shot can change the outcome of the entire match, every single rep counts. My motivation and high energy guide each session, and I am committed to showing up for my clients just as much as I expect them to show up for themselves.
I’ve experienced numerous professions including unfulfilling and stressful ones where I’d sit in my car and cry during lunch breaks. However, I’m thankful for every experience I’ve had because they’ve allowed me to grow and learn to love myself enough to search for happiness by following my dreams.
The thing I’m most proud of is not giving up when the world shut down during the pandemic. I didn’t freak out, didn’t break down, instead I called up my friend Luis Cervantes right away and said, “Want to start teaching virtual classes together?” If I had never made that phone call and had never taken that risk, Fuego Fitness wouldn’t exist today. Starting my own company in the health and wellness space is something I’ve always dreamed of. Our goal at Fuego Fitness is to make your workout the best part of your day, have you feeling confident in your own skin, and translate that vibe to all other aspects of your life. This defines everything I believe in when it comes to my passion for movement and community, which I find can be phenomenal medicines for your physical and mental health. When you blend that with two animated instructors who turn up the intensity, crank up the jams, and vow to make every class a party, you are left feeling challenged, accomplished, and invigorated. In class we tell our community to “bring the FUEGO in everything you do”, in other words, always give your all no matter what. When people think of Fuego Fitness, I want them to be reminded that they are capable, strong, and hold the belief that they are greater than any obstacle. We want them to know that they have a resilient support system via our amazing community, and last but not least, remember not to take themselves too seriously and make time for a dance break once in a while!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was visiting me in LA, this is what our week would look like: We’d wake up early enough to make my favorite morning matcha, then we’d go for a run to the beach just in time to catch the dolphins swimming along the shore. From there we’d go to Santa Monica’s Main Street and grab a Munchies Burrito from Dogtown (make sure to get their Fuego sauce). We’d scooter over to Abbott Kinney, shop around, and then hit up Erewhon Market because it’s basically a museum of amazing locally sourced, organic food and you can’t go wrong with their food bar. For activities during the week, we’d hit up the beach, go surfing, play tennis on my rooftop, check out a yoga class nearby, and go for a beautiful hike in Malibu. For dinner, we’d make a reservation at Charcoal Venice and leave room for the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, and then finish the night right down the street at The Whaler for a vibey Venice sunset rooftop moment and cocktail. On another night, we’ll get take-out from Pho MDR which has the best Rare Steak Pho and delicious wings and go for a walk around the marina!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
When I moved to LA, I had a feeling I’d find my person. The person who would love me, be my partner in life, and let’s be real, the person who would call me out on my excuses. My boyfriend Ryan has by far been my number one supporter, believer in my abilities, and has helped me shift my own perspective on what it means to be successful. He constantly pushes the barriers that I put up for myself and doesn’t let me get lost in self-doubt. He gave me courage to pursue my passion and has helped me stay on track throughout the years. If not for his unconditional support and constant encouragement, I don’t know if I would have had the courage to take the leap. Ryan for the win!
Instagram: @fuegofitnessla @deeceli