Name: Anndi McAfee
Business: FitMuses, a fitness mobile app that shares health stories from real women
Industry: Health & Beauty–Fitness mobile app
Location: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Reason for starting: I am very passionate about women’s health and self-esteem. I wanted to use my 24 years as a successful voice-over artist to create the supportive, motivational, and inspirational experience women get when they work out with each other. When friends aren’t around, they can work out with the help of our smartphone app. FitMuses approaches fitness as a lifestyle and journey to health and happiness using the stories of real women. They all have different body types, lifestyles, ages, fitness goals, etc, but they are always the friend that exercises with you and keeps you company. That’s the type of support that keeps me healthy; I want to bring that feeling to other women.
How do you define success? Success is that moment after you fall down (sometimes flat on your face), when you pick yourself back up and take another step. That makes me very successful because I am quite the klutz. I fall down often, but I always get back up, even if it hurts.
Biggest Success: I was an on-camera and voice-over actress until I fell very ill at 17 years old. I was diagnosed with Gaucher’s Disease, and had to give up my on-camera career while I focused on my medical treatment. I continued my voice-over career, as it required less physical energy, and discovered I absolutely loved it. I got my master’s degree while managing my disease and nurturing a successful voice over-career. I would say my biggest success was accepting an incredibly scary and life-altering diagnosis at 18 and not allowing it to dictate or limit my confidence in myself and what I can do in this world.
What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? I have so much passion and want to impact the world in so many ways. However, I was born with a chronic disease, and learning how to balance what my body needs with what I want to do in the world has been a huge challenge. I am still working on it, but I try to listen to my body and not get stuck worrying about missed opportunities. It’s very hard for me to admit the weakness I feel as a result of this disease to others, and even to admit to myself. I am learning it is ok not only to acknowledge when I am vulnerable, but that I don’t have to explain myself when I don’t have the energy to do so.
Who is your most important role model? J.K. Rowling is my role model, because she took her passion and turned it into something that became a worldwide phenomenon, touched countless lives, and influenced pop culture across generations, all at a time in her life when she was struggling.
Edited by The Story Exchange