There’s no denying that Dani Schwalbe is strong; she brought home the middleweight title at the Strongman Corporation’s "Strongest Woman in the World" competition in August.
She can push some serious weight.
‘"My log is 240; I want to get it up to 270 by April,” Schwalbe says. “My deadlift is 440. My circus dumbbell is 167; I want to get it up to at least 180, then eventually 200."
Schwalbe grew up in the Treasure Valley and is a former Boise State athlete. She now works as a P.E. teacher at Canyon Springs, Caldwell’s alternative high school.
"She’s really nice, she’s always positive,” says sophomore “Weasel” Sanchez. “She always likes to have fun and get everybody pumped up.”
Schwalbe is a mainstay in the halls of Canyon Springs, where the 29-year-old is in her fourth year of teaching.
In her weights and lifetime fitness classes, everyone is part of the team.
“It’s like a team, but it’s really more like family,” Sanchez says.
The lessons learned in the weight room have much greater impacts when these kids leave her class.
"You don't feel just physically strong; you feel mentally and emotionally strong,” says senior Jonathan Munoz. “Like, I'm going through something hard, but I can get through it."
"Honestly, I never even thought about setting goals, like, I'll just get there when I get there,” says sophomore Jesse Freeman. “I didn't think about pushing or driving and she helps us a lot. It helps me think about my future when I really don't think about my future.”
She may hold the official title of “Strongest Woman”, but it's the titles of "teacher", "leader", and "friend" that make her the biggest inspiration.
"It inspires us more than probably anybody else would know,” Munoz says. “She's out there basically representing our school, so we try hard to represent her in a good way as well."
"Like, if Miss Schwalbe can do it, why not [me]" says Sanchez.
Schwalbe's dedication to her students knows few bounds. Schwalbe won four-thousand dollars in prize money when she took home her title. Some of that money she spent on her kids, buying them new weights for class.
You can follow Schwalbe on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/dlschwabs/