Meet Tiffaney Florentine
Tiffaney has always had a passion for health and fitness. She has helped others focus on health and fitness during her time in the military, as a management consultant and now as an entrepreneur relentlessly focused on transforming lives via health and fitness. Two years ago she learned about the power of community, which compelled her to launch Trodo. Trodo is Greek for vulnerability. Trodo is all about having the courage to be vulnerable and creating experiences for others to put themselves out there.
Tiffaney drives rapid and sustainable change in people’s lives by building and strengthening communities dedicated to fitness. She consults schools (Trodo Youth), consults with CrossFit affiliates (Trodo Consulting and Trodo Box League) and consults with companies (Trodo Workplace).
What do you know for sure? Starting Trodo was the best decision I have ever made in my life. I’m incredibly fortunate and grateful for the opportunity to wake up every morning and positively impact the lives of others through health and fitness.
Every life experience that I’ve had has helped me develop the mission and vision of Trodo. From my days spent working on a factory floor, to my year caring for my ailing father, to my time in the Air Force, to my life as a consultant, and even my time as an American Gladiator contender; every single life experience happened for a reason. These experiences have shaped my views on the importance of living a healthy life and the power of surrounding myself with positive, loving and caring people. All of these experiences and powerful interactions have inspired me to chase what’s most meaningful in life —- helping others.
With the love and support of my partner, family and friends, I was able to launch Trodo. Now, I focus on creating experiences for individuals to be vulnerable, to push themselves outside of their comfort zones to get better, both physically and emotionally.
I am sure I am living my dream. Through Trodo, we are poised to impact many more lives through the power of community.
What inspires you? People with the passion to be better and the courage to be vulnerable inspire me.
It’s incredibly moving to see someone walk into a fitness community (CrossFit gym) for the first time, or to see a traditionally ‘not athletic’ student actively engage in fitness programming in front of his/her peers for the first time.
Their vulnerability and desire to be better motivates me. Every time I see it in action, I just want to high five and hug people that show up for the first time. I want to jump up and down and congratulate them for climbing the biggest mountain imaginable…by just walking in the door and saying, “here I am. I am vulnerable. I am ready to ‘be better.” Let’s be honest, most of the time I do jump up and down and hug them.
Every one of these individuals becomes an athlete. These athletes inspire me.
A little known fact about yourself? I have two little known facts. One is a fun fact, and the other not so fun.
Fun: I had the opportunity to compete on American Gladiators as a contender and finished in second place. I was fortunate to be selected out of 14,000 applicants around the United States. I took a leave of absence from the stressful management consulting world to spend six weeks in an arena competing against enormous Gladiators, and spent time with 39 fascinating, incredibly fit contenders with amazing stories. It was a once in a lifetime experience.
After episodes aired on NBC, others began viewing me as having an expertise in health and fitness and sought me out to share personal goals and achievements and to seek motivation and help along their journey. This was eye opening. I could inspire, motivate and educate others to live better lives through health and wellness! Wow, I found my calling!
I realized I had a unique ability to influence and empower others to live healthier, fitter lives. I realized I could enable personal transformations that could last a lifetime, and would positively impact all areas of their lives; health, family, career, etc. Right then and there, I committed to building a future that would allow me to impact as many people as possible.
My less fun fact: I live, healthily, with a debilitating disease. When I served in the military overseas, I began experiencing severe pains in my abdomen. After several rounds of poking, prodding and testing, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. I was ultimately medically discharged from the military because of it and it limited my life for a number of years. While most people with UC live on painkillers for the rest of their lives, I have been lucky enough to manage this disease through a healthy lifestyle and diet. I workout regularly, manage my stress levels, and avoid gluten to live a high quality life despite this chronic condition. I consider this a victory. I did not let this disease dictate my life direction. I found a way to manage and control what’s controllable. I had a choice, and I chose to deal with it and turn this experience into an opportunity to educate myself, live an even healthier lifestyle and forge ahead in the direction to inspire and educate others to live a healthier life.
What do you geek out about? Progress. I’m obsessed with progress. It does not matter where you start, it just matters that you’re forging ahead to be better. Passion and grit are the underlying factors that drive continuous progress in life. I commend anyone that has the courage to set a goal and relentlessly pursue it. Making a choice to hurdle an obstacle takes courage. Progress gives us a pep in our step, a confidence boost. This boost influences attitude and personal drive and it’s contagious.
Create a contagious environment. Progress in something that matters to you. You’ll be better and others around you will be better, because you’re bound to inspire someone.
Favorite word? Vulnerability. Being vulnerable is scary, and sometimes viewed as being weak. It’s not weak. It’s everything. You will not grow unless you step into a place of vulnerability first. No one ever accomplished anything in life without stepping outside of his or her personal comfort zone.
When was the last time you accomplished something you were proud of? You were scared at first, right? You were hesitant to completely dive in, right? Ask yourself what would have happened if things didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to. I’m certain that if you were open-minded and chose to learn from the experience, you grew from it. You are better because of it.
Courage is admirable. Courage is what makes our lives vibrant and meaningful, and it drives us to be vulnerable. Be courageous. Be vulnerable. If your eyes and your heart are open, you can only learn and grow in the process.
Want more? Check out Trodo, connect on Facebook and Twitter
(and because I just HAD to find some video of her time on American Gladiator, I thought I would share! Sorry not sorry Tiffaney.) Min. 6:28
Photo Credit: Jamie Davis at Greenhouse Loft Photo