Hey y’all! My name is Natalie Higby and I am the Co-Founder of The Durable Athlete. I grew up an athlete, playing almost every sport that was presented to me. Not only did I love all of the preparation that went into competing, I enjoyed having a coach and a team (community) that pushed me to become a better version of myself day in and day out. Along with my passion for sports, I have always gravitated towards living an active lifestyle, spending most of my free time outdoors. I knew at a very young age that my purpose was to help people. As early as second grade I decided that I was going to be a teacher. Throughout my academic and athletic career I was often chosen to be a peer-mediator, peer-helper, captain of my team(s), and a mentor to others. Even when I didn’t see these qualities in myself, it was apparent to others that I had the ability to communicate with others, build relationships, and lead. I spent many years volunteering and tutoring at the local Boys & Girls Club, and I always assumed that after college I would teach and coach youth athletes.
My freshman year of college I played basketball at The University of Texas at Dallas and pursued a major in Education. Being that I grew up in Dallas, I decided that after one year there I needed to spread my wings and explore a new city or town. I landed in San Marcos at Texas State. Throughout my college years I had a tendency to seek out training and courses within the categories of: Personal Development, Nutrition, Training, Martial Arts, etc.. It was my final semester of college when I was student teaching, that all of this continuing education and my passion for health and wellness provided me the opportunity to Coach at a local CrossFit Gym. This is where I absolutely fell in love with working in the fitness industry. As a coach I was able to develop a Kids and Women’s program and touch the lives of many other general population clients which gave me great joy. What I realized during this time was I not only wanted to impact people’s lives by giving them proper movement training and improving their physical fitness, but I was drawn to the mental side of things as well; the holistic approach to health and wellness seemed to be the key to an optimized life.
As much as I loved my job, after about 4 years I found it very difficult to sustain the lifestyle of Personal Trainer. Not only was the schedule taxing on my mind and body, I felt like I was not able to truly affect my clients the way I wanted. I always knew that in order to optimize one’s life, it would take much more than a few 1-hour training sessions a week. An optimized lifestyle is one that supports healthy habits revolving around Sleep, Nutrition, Breath, & Movement. I could talk to my clients on a daily basis about these things, but did not have a way to provide the quality of service I knew I could to not only educate them properly on these topics, but to hold them accountable and help them reach their goals inside and out of the gym.
With my teaching certification in my back pocket and my passion ultimately being to educate people to live their best life in order to reach their full potential, I decided to take my knowledge and skills to the classroom, where kids were in great need of building these habits that I spoke about on a daily basis. The truth of the matter is, what we learn at an early age has a huge impact on the type of adult we will become. I decided to challenge myself and said yes to the opportunity to teach 3rd grade at Eanes Elementary.
While teaching all of the core subjects were important to me, my number one goal was to educate these kids how to incorporate habits that were going to help them work through struggles, optimize their life and keep their brains and body healthy for the longevity of their life because truth be told, kids, teenagers and adults are all experiencing high amounts of stress that lead to health-sabotaging patterns.
Being a life-long student is what motivated me to continue to seek out different fitness and nutrition certifications such as: Onnit Academy Certification(s), Precision Nutrition Level 1, Stretch to Win Fascial Stretch Therapy, Functional Range Conditioning, Art of Breath, etc.. It was through these pursuits that I got offered the opportunity to coach once again, this time at The Onnit Gym HQ. Having put myself through multiple styles of training, experimenting with different diets and finding ways to mitigate stress in my own life, I knew that I wanted to be the type of coach that focused more on Sleep, Nutrition, Breath, and Movement in order to optimize my clients’ overall longevity, performance and ultimately their lifestyle!
Through all of these experiences, I began to develop a much clearer vision of what it was that I wanted to provide the world. While I still enjoy and spend time training my athletes/clients one-on-one, I want to be able to take all of my previous experiences and acquired knowledge and build an online platform that allows me to work with people who are looking to better themselves in multiple areas of their life. I want to provide people the tools and accountability to grow and manifest their dreams into reality and do so with integrity and an approach that will be sustainable, leading to a more fulfilling and successful life!
This is what The Durable Athlete is all about; helping people attain their full potential and become the best version of themselves mentally and physically! We believe that each individual is an athlete in their own right, pushing themselves to every day to try and become 1% better each day, and although the path to success is not always straight, it is the belief that we can and will be better that keeps us going. It doesn’t matter if you’ve lost sight of who you are, where you want to go, or if you have a crystal clear vision, but need some coaching and accountability along the way, The Durable Athlete was developed to assist you in your journey and to provide the services that will help you cultivate a healthy, happy and successful lifestyle.