Home » Libby Westphal
PROVING TRANSFORMATION AND SUCCESS IS ATTAINABLE AT ANY AGE
A BUSINESS OWNER. A BODYBUILDING COMPETITOR. ND NOW A PAGEANT WINNER. SOME YEARS AGO LIBBY WESTPHAL COULDN’T HAVE IMAGINED BEING ALL THESE. SHE WAS ALREADY AN ADULT, WELL ESTABLISHED IN HER CAREER, AND BUSY AS A WORKING MOM AND WIFE. WHY WOULD ANYONE VENTURE INTO SUCH “FOREIGN” TERRITORY, ESPECIALLY IN MIDDLE AGE? NOW THAT SHE HAS DONE ALL THESE THINGS, LIBBY NOT ONLY EMBRACES CHANGE BUT ALSO ENCOURAGES OTHERS TO SEEK OUT NEW ADVENTURES – AT ANY AGE.
Libby, the owner of 110 Fit, is a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. She founded 110 Fit in 2014 after a major transformation of her own. Along the way of helping others transform themselves, she also tried new things, fueled by her zest for life and genuine belief that anything is possible.
Libby was working as a government contractor when she completely switched careers. A four-time cancer survivor who endured months of chemotherapy and nearly a dozen surgeries, she also had worked hard to lose 70 pounds. Her dedication to her health inspired others to seek her advice. Soon she began working as a freelance personal trainer, applying her education from the professional certifications she obtained and what she’d learned from her own weight-loss journey. She became so in demand that she decided to enter the field of personal training full-time…at 45 years old.
“It was really fulfilling to be able to help people on such a personal level,” she says, “and I couldn’t do that in my previous job.” After working one-on-one with clients and later renting out space in other studios, she finally opened a place of her own in 2015.
Today 110 Fit is a boutique fitness facility in Leesburg, Virginia, focused on small groups and individualized training, and Libby is a recognized business leader (the town of Leesburg has given her two proclamations). We spoke with Libby about what makes her studio special, how to embrace change at any stage in life, and what she loves most about Northern Virginia.
Tell us about more about 110 Fit
Libby: We are not part of a chain but a small business that encourages you to do your best. People can see right away that we’re different because the gym is 2,000 square feet, but we have just enough equipment for 10 people, our maximum class size. The name was inspired by my clients, who, the day after a session, were amazed with what they’d done. I would respond that it’s because they gave 110 percent.
What makes 110 Fit different from other fitness centers or gyms?
Libby: There’s a big revolution in training, now, focused on the importance of strength training—but interval training is also important—so every class on our schedule captures both those elements. One thing that makes us very different is that our classes are not choreographed, so you can move at your own pace. We design our classes on body parts, not cool moves or music. People work on the same areas, but individually tailored. Our trainers [Libby, plus nine others] all come with strong qualifications, either professional certifications or degrees in exercise science or kinesiology. They put the clients first and assess them by asking about their background, injuries, and activity level to offer some modification. This is the kind of attention that you don’t get at a big gym. We also make sure our clients feel safe. Many of them are high-profile professionals, so they value the smaller, more private feel of our space.
What are you most proud of about 110 Fit?
Libby: I’ve been fortunate to build a strong team. I value them and pay them well so they stay, and we don’t have a lot of turnover. And I’m proud of the impact that I have on my community. I live in the location where my studio is at, so these aren’t just clients – they’re my neighbors: they’re my friends.
How did creating the gym lead to other roles?
Libby: I like to lead by example and to serve as a role model and inspiration, especially for the “aging population” of which I’m a part. I just turned 50 years old, and I only recently got into fitness competitions, including one bodybuilding contest where I finished in the top three of the categories in which I competed. I’m always telling my clients that you’re never too old for anything, so I decided to compete in Mrs. Virginia America and was recently named Mrs. Leesburg.
What does the Mrs. Leesburg honor entail?
Libby: I was chosen by the Mrs. Virginia America organization to be a delegate from a field of applicants received from throughout the area. As the first Mrs. Leesburg, in April 2019 I will compete for the title of Mrs. Virginia America. This will help bring attention to the causes that I care about deeply, because the platform of the contest is about volunteerism and giving back.
Tell us more about your volunteering
Libby: I have been to 20 local schools to talk about the importance of fitness and eating well, sharing how I personally beat cancer, overcame being overweight, became a fitness competitor, and now run a successful business. I’ve spoken to students from elementary through high school, including with the Future Business Leaders of America and Jobs for the Day (career shadowing) programs. As a military veteran, with a passion to support our wounded soldiers, I also volunteer at Boulder Crest, which works to improve the physical and emotional well-being of military and first responders.
You’re very busy, so how do you enjoy downtime?
Libby: I like to spend time with my son (age 12) and husband. I like to travel and show my son the world, and we recently went to Prague.
How long have you lived in Northern Virginia, and what’s your favorite thing about it?
Libby: I am a born-and-raised Virginian. I was born in Fairfax and raised on a farm in Rappahannock County. Although I moved around from being in the military, my goal was always to get back to Virginia. I’ve been in Leesburg since 2005, and I love it here because it has a small-town feel but also everything that you’d have access to in a big city. We are close to the mountains, yet within five miles, I can get to 20 different restaurants and shopping.
How do you maintain such a positive outlook?
Libby: I don’t sweat the small stuff. I’m generally a happy person, and I really do believe you can do anything you set your mind to, so I strive to be an inspiration for, and example of, what you can achieve at any age.
BY PATRICIA LEE HALL
PHOTOS BY TRACI MEDLOCK