Donna Richardson is a renowned wellness/travel expert who’s expansive career includes experience as a prolific Best Selling Author, producer and speaker. Traveling all over the globe she made it her life’s mission to help people lead productive and purposeful lives. Proud of her many accomplishments, Donna has starred in over 25 award-winning videos and has made appearances on major networks such as CNN, BET, WFAA, and Fox.
Health and fitness continually remain at the epicenter of Donna’s life and she has become one of the only council members to serve under two Presidents and now currently acts as an ambassador for the First Lady, Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move Initiative.” As an active role model, Donna has lectured at schools, community centers, churches and corporations around the globe; even teaching several years in South Africa at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls.
Among her many accolades Donna has been inducted into the Fitness Hall of Fame, successfully climbed Kilimanjaro and ran 200 miles leading the first team of African American women in the Hood to Coast Relay. She has even broken the Guiness Book of World Records for the world’s largest line dance!
Always living life to its fullest, Donna is well known for her infectious energy, beauty and humility. Continually striving to give back to the global community her abundance of love for others is her greatest achievement.
How did your career begin? I grew up playing sports all my life. I pursued a career in health and wellness because I became sick and tired of being sick and tired of seeing loved ones in my family, my community and my church pass away of preventable illnesses. Back in the day when someone died in the 80’s or 90″s I remember my mother saying “oh they passed away from old age. Now people in their 30’s having heart attacks, people in their 40’s having strokes and my best friend’s four siblings died in their 50’s from diabetes complications. I’m a messenger and I spread the gospel of good health; mind, body and spirit around the world. My commitment to myself is to always strive to be my best.
Is there a person in your life that has served as a mentor for you? In June I released my Old School Dance Party DVD in honor of my Papa who passed away last June. I used to have a weekly date night with my father and often we would go dancing. So it’s befitting to kick off of my Dance Around the World Tour. Because of my Papa I visit senior citizen centers so I can continue to love, dance and sow into our elders. I was a caregiver for 13 years. I took care of both my fathers until they were ushered into Heaven.
After all these years between your mega video, “Buns of Steel” and now, what impacted your decision to release another fitness video? My videos have been award winning and best sellers….millions sold! My products are great and God has given me gifts that I use to bless others. The way I see it. Success is intentional; failure isn’t an option. I’m passionate and relentless in pursuit of my dreams.
You are a lover of music and dancing, what’s your favorite song? I love music and different genres of music: Pop, R&B, Latin, Opera and Rock!
What mantra do you live by? My Morning Ritual everyday is called ‘PMS” …..the good PMS. Prayer, Mediation, Stretching!
Do you consider yourself a role model? Yes I’m a role model and a mentor. I have women whose influences are deeply rooted into me and I think it’s important for me to help cultivate the next generations of women leaders. It has been a honor for the past seven years to work with First Lady Michelle’s “Let’s Move” Initiative. I will always treasure my time spent with her making a differences in the lives of our children.
Where do you see your brand in the next decade? My brand in a decade will be a global lifestyle brand! My passion has set my purpose on fire. My misery has become my ministry. I’m enjoying the essences of my being .I stand in my own truth and I continue to do things greater then myself.
What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you? I crochet and knit. I crochet and knit afghans and shawls for Christmas gifts for family, friends and people who inspire me. I learned how to crochet in 4th grade in my home economic class. By the time I was in 5th grade I decided to start a business, “Donna’s Crocheting Specialties.” I had a thriving business but half way through a high school I closed shop. My interested shifted to more sports, cheerleading and…….did I mention boys.
What has it been so important for you to travel? I live a fulfilling life and I immerse myself into life enchanting and mind expanding experiences. My greatest joys of traveling is to meet new people and explore new cultures that stretch me and challenges me to be a better me.
Your biggest accomplishment? Although I have received many accolades and awards but my greatest achievement was taking care of my fathers. I’m grateful and honored to have served as an ambassador for First Lady Michelle’s “Let’s Move Initiative.” She has spearheaded a movement to end childhood obesity. (Check out her website for a report card of the impact her program has made.) It’s apart of legacy and I will continue to work along side this initiative because It’s making a difference. During my tour I speak and conduct activity sessions with schools who are signed with her program.
Where do you get your fitness/lifestyle inspiration from? Spirit – In pursuit of your goal to live your best life it takes faith, courage and perseverance. I believe I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Body – By combining faith, fitness and healthy foods daily, you sow good seeds and reap good returns.
Your favorite workout? I love many activities – dancing, swimming, golfing, hiking, running and biking.
When you aren’t being so healthy what is your favorite indulgence? Pizza, My Momma’s fried chicken and waffles, truffle fries and tiramisu.
Your #1 most important advice for staying healthy? Take the best care of you mental, physical and spiritual health. Mind – It doesn’t matter what your goals are, you have to change the voice inside your head. There is nothing more power then a changed mind. When you change your thinking your actions will follow. Be active daily for 30 minutes. Make better food choices to fuel your body not rob your body. Also decrease stress and get more rest. Remember every good choice you make is a victory. Keep making better choices so you have victory after victory. Do what you love to do. Do what excites you and go for it. You will win if you don’t quit! I have had to dig deep, grind it and work my basketball booty off.
What projects are you working on now? So, I’ve already shared some of my past accomplishments with you but in the last 6 months two of my dreams have come to fruition. First, the release of my new video will be the first time in 22 years that I owned and produced my DVD. I’m thankful for the fitness videos I starred in with Buns of Steel, ESPN, Nike, Beachbody and others but this is my baby. Most would have given up but patience, perseverance, drive and hard work kept me in pursue of achieving my goals. Second, I’m ecstatic about my upcoming reality/travel show, “The Fly Babe” premiering in September with Apple, Google and Amazon online. I have traveled to 50 states, 51 countries and 6 continents so I know a little something about travel. My show is entertaining, motivating and informative and the focus is women.