The Fitness Coach & Cover Model With Her Bulldog Harley & Cat Loki
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
Making fitness a priority (beyond our daily dog walks) can be a challenge, and we’ve found no better inspiration this year than five-time fitness cover model and mom of four, Nichelle Laus. Balancing her own business and clients, family, and life with a dog and cat, she still makes her own goals a priority. As her boys are big into Batman and Spiderman (with the family Bulldog aptly named after Harley Quinn), we’re going to say Nichelle’s role is definitely Wonder Woman. Get to know more about this power house and her pets below.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like:
For the past six years, I have been a competition coach and a transformation specialist where I have trained and transformed hundreds of women. I am also a certified personal trainer, kickboxing and kettlebell instructor, a motivational speaker, and a proud mom of four boys under the age of 10. Additionally, I am a five-time fitness cover model, and over the past twelve years, my workouts and images have been featured in several magazines worldwide.
My career in fitness started when I became an amateur competitive boxer and kickboxer which lasted over twenty years. I retired from the fighting circuit about twelve years ago. I then started competing in physique competitions.
Fitness took a bit of a pause when I became a Police Officer for fifteen years but as my passion for fitness always came running back, I decided to resign almost two years ago to nurture my new venture. Shortly afterwards, my husband and I opened up a 6,000 square foot personal training facility in Toronto, Canada called Optimum Training Centre (OTC).
My day includes my early morning workout to set the tempo for the day. After I get the kids off to school, I head into work, which is my personal training studio at OTC. I do various things throughout the day including training clients and administrative duties.
After the kids are home from school, I am back to my mom/house duties. I take the kids to their evening activities, and when they finally settle down for the evening, I start my online business work. I do lead a busy life, but I can’t imagine doing anything else. I love what I do, and I don’t think of it as work. My passion is driven by seeing my clients succeed. I enjoy the process along the way because although the end result is important, we can’t forget the journey it took to get there.
Please tell us a bit about your pets Loki and Harely. How did they come into your life? Is there a story behind their names or particular breed?
I was at work one day (when I was still a Police Officer) and my husband and kids were out shopping. Next thing I knew, I received a text message with a photo of all of them in the car with big smiles on their faces, and a small cat crate. They told me that they had just left the pet store and had adopted the cat we had seen a few days prior. Leo was his original name, but the kids wanted to name him Loki, after a superhero (boys, of course!).
Harley (originally Peaches) was from a breeder. She is an Alpha Blue Blood Bulldog. We had met Harley’s brother at a family function and just loved how he interacted with the kids. His temperament was so perfect and we had been looking for a dog for a while but we weren’t in a rush. We called the breeder as we were told there was one female left. The breeder told us she was keeping her to herself to breed, but must have felt bad for us because she called us back the day after to tell us we could have her. The boys named her Harley after Harley Quinn from Suicide Squad (the villainess from DC Comics).
With four boys, a husband, and two pets, you definitely have a full house! How do you stay organized with work and family while finding time for yourself and your own fitness?
I have definitely mastered the art of multi-tasking! Family is always first. I usually set my major priorities and then create the smaller ones under that. Because daily tasks always change, I need to be as flexible as possible which is great about owning my own business. I try to make myself as available as possible (within reason) and then rearrange priorities as need. I have learned how to juggle multiple things over time. I will use car rides to make phone calls for example, check emails while doing cardio, and work on my online clients programs while I am waiting for my kids at their activities.
You are known for transforming bodies in competitive spaces, from fitness models to professional cheerleaders. What tips would you have for the everyday person looking to improve their fitness?
Baby steps. If you have made the decision to make better choices and lead a healthier lifestyle, get a coach who can help you. That extra set of eyes, and the accountability to someone can be the difference between “wanting” to getting it done, and actually getting it done.
How would you describe your personal style?
Casual and comfortable. I always laugh because I change from my workout clothes that I actually work out in, to my workout clothes that I work in! Sometimes I dress up, but I always make sure I am comfortable and have that pair of flat shoes in the car for the ride home!
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
Clean, comfortable, and simple. With four active young boys, and two pets it’s hard to keep anything nice in the house as a lot of things get damaged. I like to keep it simple and inexpensive so I don’t feel so bad when it gets broken. I do like the clean contemporary look but nothing too fancy.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
My weekend usually revolves around family. Once the housework has been caught up on, our Saturday’s are spent around the house just enjoying each other’s company, playing, laughing, and going for walks with the dog. Sundays we enjoy having family over or we go around visiting.
What inspires you?
Knowing that I am motivating and inspiring others in my own journey inspires me. I can relate to so many people because of my life experiences. They push me to be a better person, coach, mom, and entrepreneur because I know they are looking up to me for support and guidance, and I don’t want to disappoint anyone.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about Loki or Harley?
They are certainly funny together. They play the typical cat and mouse game. Harley will chase Loki and he will either run away, or pretend to ignore her. Then when Harley finally gives up and walks away, Loki will swat her, and the play battle continues again. Loki runs under the bed and Harley tries to cram herself under there as well but is soon learning that she is getting too big to get back out from under there! Loki also loves to sit on top of Harley’s kennel when Harley is inside. Almost like he is showing off and taunting her that he gets to be on the outside like king of the castle. They make us laugh!