Success Story: I Choose to Be Strong Every Day

August 16, 2012 was the day that Daniell Nielson’s life changed forever. Her husband, Brandon Nielson, a St. John the Baptist deputy was ambushed and killed by anti-government extremists. “Everything changed that day,” said Daniell. “Everything.”

At age 35, Nielsen was left to care for the couple’s five children.

Realizing that she needed to be strong for the kids, just six weeks after her husband died, Nielsen joined Anytime Fitness in Destrehan. She and Brandon had struggled with their weight for years. Joining the club was part of process that Nielsen refers to as “a choice to be strong.”

“People say to me, ‘I don’t know where you get your strength,’” Daniell said. “I tell them that strength is not something you’re born with. You have to choose to be strong – every day, often multiple times in a single day.”

Personal trainer Brandon Hebert volunteered to train Nielsen for free.

“We talked a lot and I understood that she wanted to change her identity from someone whose life was just shattered and broken into someone who was able to mold herself into a better person,” said Hebert. “I was honored to help her do that.”

Working out at Anytime Fitness several times a week, Nielsen has lost more than 80 pounds and she’s strengthened virtually every muscle in her body.

“I don’t want people to feel sorry for me,” Nielsen says. “I want them to say, ‘This is what happened to her and this is how she reacted. This is how she overcame this tragedy in her life.’”


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Ranked #1 on Entrepreneur magazine’s prestigious "Top Global Franchise" list and #2 in the “Franchise 500” list, Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing fitness club franchise in the world, with more than 2.5 million members and 3,000 clubs worldwide. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing our members with surprisingly personable service in convenient and well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Clubs are now open in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Grand Cayman, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Qatar, Chile, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Taiwan, and China. Join one club and use them all. Franchised clubs are individually owned and operated. Members also enjoy free access to, the most comprehensive wellness website available.