By Paul Fitzgerald

Fran Life is a BlogPassion, determination, and drive are qualities many people desire and strive for as they are fundamental in the true definition of success.

For Francisca Dennis, a popular fitness coach, these traits come naturally and are the key reason why she is such a positive influence on others and successful in so many ways.

Simply put, she is a one-of-a-kind person – genuine, outgoing and charismatic, and her energy is downright contagious.

And when it comes to being in shape, she is a tough match to beat: from head to toe her body is in perfect form, which is complimented by her stunning smile and her elegant complexion.

“I have always been internally motivated and driven. I’m in love with the process. It turns my crank to have a goal no matter what it is and step to it every day,” says Dennis during an interview at a local gym in Burlington, ON.

The founder and owner of FD Lifestyle has a long list of clients that she trains daily throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Toronto for that matter, and she is hailed as an icon in the fitness world.

And while the 44 year-old is a champion in her own right in the world of fitness, she is set to prove herself as an actor on the silver screen

It’s a big leap from the gym, but she is ready for the challenge and the adventure.

Yes, she will no doubt be a star on the silver screen, but she is humble and yet poised to embark on a new and inimitable sort of excursion.

Dennis is gearing up to play a star role in the Road of the Dead, starring the notable Dan Richardson. The Nighthawk Production, directed by David Bispham and Danny Albury, will be filmed in the UK in 2015.

“I am the lead female and will play a kick-butt lieutenant opposite Dan Richardson, in this post-apocalyptic action movie,” she smiles. “I am super excited about this opportunity; I am simply elated.”

“My physicality and fitness background definitely helped me land this role. My character is a strong woman both mentally and physically. The directors saw that I could bring this to help bring my character to life and I was fortunate enough to get the job.”

Last fall the charming fitness guru also starred in X-Species, a FreeSpark Production, and she says it was an incredible experience working on the set in New Mexico.

“The scenery there was absolutely breathtaking,” she recalls.

“For one of the scenes I had to lay in on the ground for hours with my mouth agape. Some of the crew were there just to keep the scorpions and snakes off the set, so of course this is going through my mind as I am laying there take-after-take. It was a thrilling adventure and I loved every minute of it – even with the threat of spiders crawling in my mouth during my death scene,” she laughs.

Dennis, who is a fitness coach, author, and speaker, contends that her passion for fitness and physicality is a gift that is meant to be shared.

“I’ve seen how I have been able to influence others and inspire them to start, to not give up and it means so much to me. I feel my purpose is to help people see the strength they have within. Motivating them to be their very own heroes,” she says.

While successful in on every level, she admits that her journey in life hasn’t been an easy one, but the gym and healthy living became her savior.

“I actually struggled with body image issues in my twenties,” she says. “I was so thin that I had to layer clothing on just so I wouldn’t feel like a walking skeleton. I would hear hurtful names, comments and rumors of me having an eating disorder – which I didn’t have, but for the life of me I couldn’t put on weight no matter what I consumed.”

She adds, “I wanted to change my body composition so I started getting serious about weight training and educating myself on proper nutrition and supplementation. I began to see the results of my hard work and my stick arms were actually growing baby muscles which excited and motivated me to keep going, which is what I did and why I love ‘process’ or the ‘journey.’

She also admits that she has had countless experiences in her life that have attributed to her inner drive.

“As a child of adoption, I think that I always had a need to prove something to the world and perhaps myself that I was good enough, that I was worthy,” she says.

As a teen mom she knew that she had to work harder than other young women her age so that certain circumstances would not dictate the future.

She grew up quickly, but she took the challenges head on and is better for it.

“I put my head down, went to school, got straight A’s, and raised my daughter while caring for my handicapped mother,” she says. “Again, I wanted to prove to myself and the world that no matter what situation you find yourself in, you control the outcome with your thoughts, your words, and your actions.”

Written by Trina Stewart

Trina Stewart is the editor-in-chief at Life's a Blog. Blogging and Social Media is her passion by night, while project management and business development fills her day.

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