Laila Ali: From Boxing Champ to Wellness Warrior
Written By: Michelle Emmick
If you know anything about sports, you know that the last name Ali is synonymous with the word ‘Champ.’ So many little girls grow up with a twinkle in their eye, worshipping their fathers and believing that their dad is the G.O.A.T. I know I did. I still do. Yet, not too many of those girls can actually say their dad holds the real title. Laila Ali is the daughter of larger-than-life global icon and, who most believe to be, The Greatest of All Time heavyweight boxing champion Muhammed Ali.
While that’s on a whole ‘nother level of how cool is that, consider the fact that Laila Ali herself holds the title undefeated World Champion Boxer with a 24-0 record. I guess the saying is true- the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Having witnessed what it takes to develop the strength and skills in the ring, it’s the applied and unwavering mental skills that have fostered this champion. Laila shared with us that boxing is and will always be her first love. “I went into the sport without any experience as an athlete in general. I knew that I wanted to become a world champion and stay undefeated. It took a lot of self-belief, determination, and consistent hard work in the gym. Achieving that goal gives me a tremendous amount of confidence in everything I do. But it all starts with self-belief.”
These days, Laila focuses her attention on a wellness mission to educate and empower people to improve their quality of life through healthy living. When it comes to beauty, aging, and wellness, Laila shares that she believes we are all blessed with each year that passes. “I focus on getting better in life. I listen to my body as it changes so I know what it needs regarding food, supplements, sleep, and exercise. What worked for me 20 years ago isn’t necessarily going to be the best thing for me now. So, I stay open-minded and always willing to learn and grow with time,” she told us. Laila’s number one tip to make the most significant impact on one’s overall health and wellbeing is to make sure to drink plenty of purified water. “I aim to drink 1/2 my body weight in ounces daily,” Laila shared. “If you’re 150 pounds, you would drink 75 ounces daily.”
Just like the powerful and well-known lessons from her father, Laila, too, is full of life’s wisdom. “It’s really important to identify what your values are in life. You have to know what’s important to you, what you’re passionate about, and what you are willing to stay dedicated to. Those answers look like something different for each of us and basically help you sum up your life’s purpose. Once you know the answers to those questions, it’s important to stay grounded and focused so you can make sure you’re always moving in the right direction towards your purpose in life.”
And while we live in a world that often wants to tell us what to do and what to think, it takes the courage of a champion to speak your truth. Laila understands the importance of transparent expression so that you don’t live in fear and can be true to your beliefs. That’s because, as she shared with us, her greatest advice in living your best life is to focus on listening to your inner voice or intuition. “Every time I allow myself to be persuaded by someone else’s opinion, I end up regretting that I didn’t go with my own gut feelings,” Laila confided. “It definitely takes practice, but once you get used to trusting yourself, the easier it becomes.”
While as strong as she is in both her mind and body, Laila also knows the importance of surrounding herself with forward-moving, positive people. “My husband is my biggest champion. He knows my best and worst qualities and loves me unconditionally. He also challenges me in a way that no one else has or can! I can truly say that he has made me a better person than I was before I met him.”
Interestingly, Laila shared that she sometimes feels people who don’t know her personally think she is serious and guarded.
“Growing up as the daughter of a global icon definitely shaped me into someone who chooses her tribe carefully, but I actually don’t take myself very seriously and have a big sense of humor.”
Her fun and up-for-anything personality has, however, shown up in her appearances on shows such as The Masked Singer, Dancing With The Stars, The Apprentice, and her hosting of American Gladiators. Laila’s always-learning mentality can be found in what I like to call ‘The Successful Personal Playbook.’ She has used her experiences and affections to fuel her brand. “I appreciate that I have been able to take my passion for cooking, health, and wellness, etc., and turn it into a business that helps improve people’s lives and offer them inspiration to become the greatest version of themselves.”
Laila continues her family’s legacy in the humanitarian work that always remains at the forefront of everything she is a part of.
“I have multiple organizations that I support,” Laila proudly shared. “Some of them are listed on my website through my Fan Corner. I donate 100% of the profit from sales to charity because I feel it’s important to give back, and I’m blessed to be able to do so.”
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