Chandra Hampton is a ball of inspirational energy! A friend recently introduced us during the Athleta Presents: Style Evolution Fall Fashion Show. Chandra is Zumba Fitness instructor who currently serves as a brand ambassador for Athleta and is the founder of Champion Lifestyle Fitness. This year she was awarded Best Dance Class 2017 by the Washington City Paper. Her story is truly inspirational and I thank her for taking out time to chat with me.
“I started my hair journey because I was tired of relaxing my hair. I’d relax my hair as soon as it got long only for it to break off and then I would cut it into a bob for it to grow out again. It was the same repetitive process. I had been getting relaxers since I was five years old, so I didn’t know what to expect. After a while, I just built up the courage and I decided that I was going to do the big chop. To be honest, being natural in the fitness industry is a double edged sword. Nothing will ever make me relax my hair again, however. It’s hard when you teach four to five classes a week because you’re constantly sweating and because of the tightness of my coil, sweat as well as lent can easily get trapped in my hair. The type of styles that I can do are limited because I don’t have a lot of time to constantly wash my hair if I want to wear it out.
I was married for a couple of years and it didn’t as expected. Everyone gets married for it to last forever, but that wasn’t my story. I got a divorce and literally became so depressed because I felt like a failure. At that point, I decided to do something with myself. I decided to start changing things. I gained courage by doing activities that I enjoyed, but never did before because of time. I started going to the gym which is a good confidence builder. Long story short, I fell in love with going to Zumba class about four times a week and lost 30 pounds. During that time, I went through the process with my hair as well. Losing weight gave me more courage which in turn motivated me to do the big chop. The hair change and the weight change made me feel like I wanted to be a dance fitness instructor, specifically a Zumba Fitness instructor. Everything changed from that point. I realized that I can really do this. And not just the teaching, but life. You will always be okay. Period.”