Laila Ali is well known as the daughter of retired heavyweight boxing legend Muhammad Ali and is a retired professional boxing star as well. But the beautiful woman is so much more than what one sees when gazing at her stunning photo on her website, in magazines or viewing her on TV. Behind her gorgeous and vivacious exterior is an amazing intelligent woman who speaks her mind about staying true to one’s self and continuously striving to conquer new goals. The importance of family and staying healthy are ideals that Laila proudly articulates. After speaking with Laila Ali, one walks away feeling as if they can win at anything as long as they strive for honesty and stay in control of one’s own destiny as she has.
Laila Ali speaks up about people needing to begin the road to feeling good from the inside out.
“When your body is working as it should on the inside, you feel as if there isn’t anything you can’t accomplish."
Happily married to former NFL player Curtis Conway, Laila is mom to her two young children, a son Curtis Muhammad Conway Jr. and a daughter, Sydney Jurldine Conway as well as three teenaged step children. Her most important focus is on family. Laila has now made a career working to spread her knowledge to stay healthy and beautiful. She successfully and continuously morphs her know-how to help others through her website and other endeavors.
Laila answered my questions regarding her family and passions for life in her well versed and thoughtful honesty.
Carol Ruth Weber: Laila you were an entrepreneur at a very young age, owning a nail salon and working as a manicurist, was a difficult choice to trade in beautiful nails for a boxing career?
Laila Ali: No, because of the many similarities of having the opportunity of being in control. I have always been an ambitious person stating, I like to play by my own rules. My ambitions always included that I wanted to work for myself and stay in control of my success, whether it was running a salon, working as a boxer, or now running a successful business. Boxing was the perfect sport for me since it is a one-person sport that I could be in control of.
CRW: With successful skills as a business owner I queried did they helped you to move into boxing and now your other endeavors since retiring from the boxing ring?
LA: I have always had high expectations for myself, striving to be the best at everything I do. It’s in my DNA. Authenticity is very important – be true to one’s self.
CRW: With a degree in Business Management, as well as owning a business, has it helped you succeed in balancing a successful family along with a flourishing career?
LA: They are two separate things. Family comes first. Focus on being balanced – success is balance.
CRW: In addition to boxing what else have you inherited from your father?
LA: My father taught me how to be confident and to be fearless in life.
CRW: As a mother now yourself, what did you learn from your own mom?
LA: My mother is a “super” person that I have a lot of respect for. She is a very graceful woman who always had faith in her children, believing that she should not set limits on what they can accomplish by giving unconditional love.
CRW: Entering into the sport of boxing did your parents worry when you decided to follow dad into the arena?
LA: Of course! Although they were nervous, my parents never told me not to do it. My mother had much faith in me and knew that I could make it as a boxer. She is now relieved that I am finished with being in the ring.
CRW: As a family friend, what effect did Nelson Mandela have on your life and what would you personally like to pay forward so that people may never forget such a wonderful human being?
LA: I first met him when I was around 20 years old. People need to remember his story, knowing his story teaches how strong we can be as humans. It is necessary to continue to share his story so it is never forgotten and its spirit is carried on.
CRW: Was it tough trading boxing for raising children and which is more challenging to win at?
LA: Boxing was a piece of cake! Being a mother is the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done.
CRW: Now that you have stepped out of the professional ring how do you stay in shape juggling being a mom with everything else that you do?
LA: I have an easy favorite go-to workout routine. I simply do a circuit workout using a treadmill and hand weights. My working out on the treadmill consists of sprinting, then heading up hill and finishing with speed walking.
CRW: What healthy snacks and foods does she eat as well as recommend, and what healthy snacks do her children most enjoy?
LA: Instead of making chips and cookies the go to choices in my home I make sure that there are always fruits and vegetables available for myself and my family. I enjoy making vegetable soup that is a healthy dish to eat. It is important to stay away from processed foods. My children enjoy the fruit and vegetables as well plus my son now likes protein shakes that he says taste like chocolate milk.
CRW: What is the one piece of advice that you have to give to help someone to achieve wellbeing and be at their best in all facets of their lives?
LA: I strongly believe that good health begins from within and urge people to begin their road to a healthy lifestyle by first looking at their digestive heath. Feeling good from the inside should be the first step. Once one learns how to eat right and healthy they can then continue on their road to a healthier and more-fit self by exercising and continuing to eat properly.
Laila Ali is a unique person that many can learn from. Her drive to be the best at what she strives for in life, while also having an honest and gentle soul that shows true caring and understanding of others’ needs, makes her an amazing role model for people and children of all ages. I am thankful that I had the chance to sit down and speak with Laila and am grateful that she welcomed me to share my experience of meeting her with my own daughter. Laila Ali is truly a beautiful person inside and out and strives to pass on her aura to everyone.
All should follow this strong woman’s lead to a healthy and accomplished life and to remember to never be afraid to dance!