My journey in fitness began as a wild child with an insatiable love for movement - I dreamed of being Wonder Woman.

I even begged my parents to let me wear my Wonder Woman underroos to preschool, but they just wouldn't budge. Can you blame me, though? Linda Carter wore hers everywhere!

As I grew older, my love for movement transformed into a passion for gymnastics, which felt like the closest sport that could teach me to fly. From ages 5 to 17, I did competitive gymnastics and loved every moment of it.

But then college happened, and I moved further away from that happy, blissful love of movement. I started exercising solely for physical appearance, and I took it to excessive levels. I made no progress, and it left me feeling unfulfilled. This was just the beginning of movement in the "wrong" ways in my life.

As I said before, college was just the start of my fitness journey becoming less than healthy  to say the least.

I discovered endurance sports and excelled in running, even qualifying for the Boston Marathon on my first attempt. But my obsession led to injuries, including a hip stress fracture, tendinitis, and knee surgery. In an attempt to find a better balance, I turned to triathlons and learned how to swim. However, dental school brought a sedentary lifestyle and severe neck and back pain. This pain nearly caused me to drop out of dental school altogether.

That's when I decided to give club gymnastics a try. To my surprise, my back felt better after the first practice. I realized what I was missing was movement - real, nutritious movement that wasn't just endless cardio. The experience highlighted the importance of mobility, stretching, and strength training. I then entered fitness competitions and fell in love with strength training, but a focus on outward appearance led me to unhealthy habits. With the help of mentors and partners, I changed my approach to focus on nourishing my body and achieved my IFBB Fitness Procard. Eventually, I decided to shift my focus from competition to feeling good on the inside out.

This is when I new something had to give.

After competing in one professional fitness show, I realized that the focus on the outward appearance of my body was not fulfilling. Instead, I wanted to prioritize how my body felt on the inside and just have fun. This change of focus led me to build my own gym at my dental practice and explore different training modalities. My passion for fitness and training in my dental office workout playground even led me to compete on NBC's American Ninja Warrior three times. I'm known by many as the "ninja dentist" and have learned valuable lessons about balancing passion and work. Wanting to challenge myself further, I got into powerlifting and won the all-around women's title and set three world records in the squat at the Equipped Powerlifting World Championships in 2022.

how Femme Strong was born

Through all the pain and injury, I've stumbled on failures and found success. I've learned that success is not just about achieving a certain physique, but also about nourishing the mind, body, and soul. I want to bring the lessons I've learned to the female community and empower them to ignite their own passions from pain. I want to show them that fitness and nutrition principles are just one part of the equation, and that true success requires a lifestyle that prioritizes mindset, balance, and self-care. I am dedicated to helping women harness their inner strength and achieve their goals, both inside and outside the gym. With Femme Strong, I hope to inspire women to embrace their own journey and become the best version of themselves.

Let's work together to unleash your highest potential!

- coach desirée

my fitness accolades and qualifications:

  • 3 x World Record Holder and Overall Women’s Powerlifting World Champion

  • 3 X American Ninja Warrior Competitor

  • Former IFBB Pro Fitness Competitor

  • Former National Ranked Triathlete

  • Boston Marathon and Chicago Marathon Finisher

  • Degree in Nutrition from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

  • Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of North Carolina 

  • ACSM Personal Trainer Certified