New Jersey Air National Guard Tech. Sgt. Danielle Todman was selected by the Air National Guard as the Female Athlete of the Year.
Todman, a member of the 177th Fighter Wing Force Support Squadron, competes on the Air Force Track Team and is currently an alternate for the U.S. Olympic Bobsled team.
“I was humbled and shocked,” Todman said after receiving the honor. “I don’t do this for notoriety, I do this to inspire others.”
Todman first enlisted into the active duty Air Force in 2006. During her six years of service with the Air Force, she competed with the United States Track Team and the United States Air Force Track Team. She enlisted with the New Jersey Air National Guard’s 177th Fighter Wing in 2013 and continues to serve as a traditional guardsman. In her personal life, she works as a personal trainer in addition to coaching the Newark Technical High School track team, where she works to help improve and inspire others.
“I help them recognize the why and how to get better,” Todman explained about coaching. “Earlier in life, I was at a point when I wanted to be better and didn’t know how. I want to help people accomplish things they didn’t think was possible.”
Even after competing in track while attending Bishop George Ahr High School and Bucknell University, Todman continues to improve with age. For instance, in 2015, she was selected to represent the United States in the Military World Games 400m hurdles event, which she ran in 59.69 seconds. Her personal best in the same event while attending Bucknell University was 62.29s.
“Improvement is a platform,” Todman explained. “My mom paved the way by serving as an inspiration to me. I also try to lead by example the best I can as a supervisor, trainer and coach.”
Todman continues to lead and set the example for her fellow airmen, especially in the area of the Air Force Fitness Program. The goal of the program is to motivate members to participate in a year-round physical conditioning program that emphasizes total fitness, to include proper aerobic conditioning, muscular fitness training, and healthy eating in order to maintain a higher level of readiness.
“Failure is not fatal,” Todman stated about airmen struggling to meet fitness standards. “It’s a ‘First Attempt In Learning’. Just because you fail, you did not fail as a person. You must ask for help. You can’t get any better if you don’t know what you’re doing wrong.”