Claiming the title of photo contest winner this month is Monique Govan! The 35-year-old, who hails from Los Angeles but calls Chicago home, is a fitness trainer AND a production/event manager who's worked with major fitness athletic brands like Nike and Jordan. Outside of her professional life, she lives life inspiring others through two quotes. First up, "The way you do one thing, is the way you do everything." And secondly, "Do better!"
We recently had the chance to chat with Govan, getting the scoop on everything from her career as a health professional to her personal goals for the future. Keep reading to learn more about our January photo contest winner, and prepare to be empowered!
1. Tell us how your winning photo came about?
Every Friday, one of my good friends Armani hosts a free workout to give back to the community. I am so blessed and grateful, because he allows me to help and assist him as one of the coaches during our Friday #WRK workouts. During [these sessions], you are required to give your best effort. So, I wanted to push a little harder, and I challenged my teammates and workout crew to do the same.
2. Please briefly share your fitness journey with us.
My fitness journey is not your typical one. I started playing sports and was active at a very young age with the encouragement of my Granny. As a young girl, I was shy and kept to myself. So, my Granny would often ask my youngest uncle to take me with him when he would go to the park and play. I always had an interest in basketball and other sports, and eventually, I began to play basketball with my uncle and all of the other guys at the park. I practiced, got better each day, and eventually I received a full scholarship to go to college.
After I graduated, I went into coaching college basketball as well. While coaching, I was no longer focused on my health and wellness, I wasn't practicing and lifting every day, so I gained quite a bit of weight. During my coaching career, my Granny became ill and eventually passed away. She had always had some health issues (diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.). My granny was my twin, and she is the reason I took a step away from coaching college basketball and started focusing 100% on being in the best shape of my life. I want to make sure I don't suffer from those health issues, and I just want to live a long, healthy and fulfilled life. She always told me I could achieve and do anything I put my mind. She is my driving force daily to DO BETTER, BE BETTER and give 100% in everything I do.
3. We believe fitness + friendship = FUN! What is your favorite group fitness workout?
My favorite group fitness workouts are HIIT workouts with my boy Armani and my FitFam — and going for a run with my running crew, Movement Runners.
4. While working out is important, so is eating the right foods. What is your go-to pre-workout meal?
When it comes to a pre-workout meal, I typically don't eat too much before my workouts, because I usually workout so early in the morning. I just normally have some green tea, a banana and some water. If I workout later in the day, I have a protein shake.
5. How do you refuel after a workout?
After a workout, I will typically have a protein shake right. Once I get home, I normally eat a meal that consists of salmon or ground turkey, leafy greens, and then I will have a complex carb like sweet potatoes. I always try to focus on eating whole foods.
6. What is one item that is always in your gym bag?
I don't really carry a gym bag. I actually hate having a lot of stuff on me. But, I always have my backpack with my water and chapstick in it (which I typically leave in the car).
7. What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
I played AAU basketball with Candice Parker and competed against Cappie Pondexter in high school. They are two of the best female basketball players in the WNBA right now!
8. What are your top three goals you hope to accomplish in life?
1. Inspire and motivate over a million women, men, girls and boys across the globe to live their best life.
2. Start the Jean Scott Foundation (in honor of my Granny), and start a community organization to help as many young inner-city girls and boys reach their full potential. I want them to know that they can accomplish anything their hearts desire. I want them to have a safe space that empowers them to achieve their goals and dreams.
3. I want to be financially free. Financial freedom will allow me to help so many people in many different ways.
9. What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?
PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT means you can be a badass working out in the gym, going hard on the court or in any fitness — or life situation and still be a woman and still have your femininity. Oftentimes, people and society will try and strip [those attributes] from us, because we are training hard or lifting weights or busting it at work.
10. Since PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT, what is your favorite deodorant?
My favorite deodorant is Degree Women Shower Clean MotionSense.