Stephanie Worth is a U.S. Army Officer and Certified Personal Trainer, fitness nutritionist, OCB Bikini competitor and owner of Airborne Unicorn, a positive online community designed to help people achieve their health and fitness goals. Some of the programs Stephanie offers include daily workouts, postpartum-specific regimens, marathon training, natural bodybuilding and weight loss. You can learn more and subscribe to Stephanie’s fitness group at airborneunicorn.com and follow Stephanie on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, to name a few.
According to your bio, you went from college athlete to couch potato to US Army soldier, and can you briefly tell us about that transformation or roller coaster as you describe it?
So in the time from going to college and focusing on health and fitness every day and then finishing college, getting out and getting a regular job, I just did not take care of myself at all. And then once I joined the army, I was like, “I probably needs to be taking better care of myself, people are counting on me.”
So my business, Airborne Unicorn, is very focused on providing for just self-care and also fitness, nutrition, and just being the best version of yourself. So that’s what I focused on after that crazy 10 year transitions of up and downs in weight and eating terribly and eating great and losing weight, gaining weight. That’s what we’re focused on and what we’re all about.
At what point did you branch out into influencer marketing?
I just thought it would be a great addition to the brand because so many of my clients were always asking for recommendations and I was like, “Why would I not try to reach out and work with the companies that I’m recommending?”
So from beauty products to just anything for self-care, like your hair, your skin, and then as well as supplements and nutrition choices and athletic equipment. I worked with people that do resistance bands or fitness trackers, just things like that to give my clients a good recommendation and then also build a relationship with the brands that I’m recommending.
Do you have any brand collaborations that are come to mind (some memorable ones)?
I’ve been working with a company that does fitness trackers multiple times. The woman that managed it, that her name is Joy, and so every time I’m like, “Hey, I need a new fitness tracker. I need something that isn’t a super expensive version of one for my clients. Something that they can track their fitness and not pay an arm and a leg for something.” And she’s always come through with really excellent products. So I’m super happy to work with her and I’m glad that we’ve met through Intellifluence.
You’re an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer. Can you tell me a little bit about that and what that entails?
So through the Army, I started to get really focused on fitness because the Army is transitioning from the model based on all cardio and running to one based on strength and power lifting. And as someone who it wasn’t ever really a part of that, I was like, “How do I get smart on what it means to be a good powerlifter? How to get strong, basically how to change what I’ve been doing this whole time?” So the American Council on Exercise, they’re my certifying authority.
I took a six month class and then I took a test to be certified through them, and every year I … Also, every two years, I have to take another class to stay current, but it helps me work with my clients and provide them with absolutely the best possible coaching, the most relevant up to date information on what’s going on in the fitness world? What are people researching? They have sort of a lobbying arm as well, where they work with political organizations to make sure that people are … They’re passing legislation that keeps people healthy. So I’m super happy to be a part of that organization.
In reading your bio, you have a lot going on. And you very correctly say that life can get in the way of achieving fitness goals, and so what are some commonalities that you find and diagnose when it comes to people falling short of their fitness goals due to their busy lives? And what do you typically prescribe when working with them through Airborne Unicorn?
Most of the time people that set a goal and then fall short have decided along that journey that something else was more important and it wasn’t worth the sacrifice that they thought it was to achieve that goal. So especially now in these crazy times we live in where most of us are stuck at home. I’m working from home every day. I have to work out in my garage. My gym membership doesn’t mean anything right now. So just the ability to figure out what are you giving up versus what you’re gaining? It’s that super difficult balance, and I found the best way to mitigate that is to just have a support network.
So what Airborne Unicorn is: I run a Facebook group for all of my clients where they’ll post something like, “I got stuck at work super late and I didn’t get to work out until 10 o’clock at night. So my workout wasn’t great.” And the other women that are part of the group will be like, “Hey, that’s okay. Just get after it tomorrow.” Or someone will be like, “Man, I’ve had a super bad day, I need some motivation.” And someone will be like, “You set out this goal for yourself. It’s for you, get after it.” So it’s a group of women that are helping each other and just having someone else to rely on.
Because if you’re just having that conversation with yourself, you’re not really achieving those goals because you’re continually giving yourself a pass. So just having a safety net of other women that will encourage you and inspire you is super important.
With everything you’re involved in, how do you structure your average week so you can see you can accomplish everything that you need to accomplish and still have some time to relax and recover?
I work a normal job nine to five on most days, and then I try to dedicate at least an hour a day to exercise. And then so either on my way to work or on my way home from work, when I’m not working from home, dedicate that to work out, go to the gym, get that fitness time in. And then when I come home in the evening, spend quality time with my family, unplug, turn off the phone and just be present with my kids, with my husband in order to make that happen. And then that, it’s just a recharge moment for myself as well. So just being able to structure each of those activities is super important, definitely.
Tell us about your half marathon program through Airborne Unicorn…
So the people that I train with for half marathons, a lot of them … A half marathon is really the distance that if you’re running that you’re not having a super amount of wear and tear on your body. So you need to have some muscular strength, but you also need to have that endurance build. So that’s what the program does. It balances three days a week where you’re training, you’re working towards that long run on the weekends, but then you’re also doing strength training throughout the week. You can maintain that level of distance and strength training for almost a indefinite amount of time, as long as you’re not getting injured, you’re not overexerting yourself. So that’s honestly, probably one of my favorite programs, and the reason that a lot of women join is to do that program.
Tell us a little bit more about Airborne Unicorn and how people can get started (who the target demographic is) and where they can go (to get started)?
So I initially started it – I was working for another personal training company with a much larger reach and it was for weight loss and just that quick I need to lose 40 pounds in two months sort of thing. And people were like, “Quick, dip, weight loss.” And I was like, “I want to make something that isn’t just a quick weight loss program. I want to make something that lasts for life, so that you can create different programs.” And I’ve always found the most important way to get yourself ready to achieve a goal is to have a specific thing that you’re working towards.
So many people are like, “Oh, I just want to lose weight. I just want to get in better shape. I don’t know.” But that’s not really going to help you achieve those things. You need to have a specific goal. So over time, what I’ve built with Airborne Unicorn is that you can follow these programs, which range from four weeks long to 16 or 20 weeks long that have specific meal plans because I’m a fitness nutritionist as well. So they have specific meal plans and then the exercise component to just keep you motivated and then the community that goes along with it.
I run it through our Facebook page. You can get access to the whole program at airborneunicorn.com, and then once you figure out what you want to do as part of that, I just add folks to the Facebook page. So it was originally tailored just for women, but so many men have reached out as well and said, “Hey, this is something I’d really like to be a part of. My goal is super in line with this.” And I’ve added them as well. So it’s really for anybody that has a goal that wants to be part of a really positive community.
Note: Influencer Spotlight interviews are edited for time and clarity.
Andrew is the Head of Client Services for Intellifluence and has a background in communications. He is committed to helping brands get the most out of their campaigns and is the voice behind many of the Intellifluence tutorial videos (for better or worse).