An aerobics instructor can become a role model for many people. I think several of Ildi’s guests look up to her too, as she motivates people to move, give them the strength to not give up, inspires and encourages them. Meanwhile, her positive attitude and vibrant energy is an example of a worthwhile way to approach life. But who could she be looking up to? In her article, Ildikó Szántó tells about her role models.

A role model is a person you choose to emulate because you discover qualities in them that are valuable to you. An ideal you strive to become in certain ways, or even entirely. Although you can never fully become your ideal, as everyone’s unique. :) Regardless, the presence of such a person in your life can be extremely motivating, even if you don’t know them personally. A role model can set an example in terms of personality traits, success, range of interests, appearance, and even the path they’ve taken to achieve what they want.

Almost everyone has at least one role model, even if one doesn’t specifically think of them as role models: the fact that they encourage you to do something or behave in a particular way is enough. They can help you achieve your goals and find your way in life.

Trying to follow your role model at all costs, however, can lead to disappointment, as you might not be able to achieve what they’ve managed in any aspect of life. Although I’d call this worshiping an idol rather than following an example. A healthy version is when you look up to certain qualities of a person and derive values for your own life based on these qualities.

I feel that I’m walking my own path in life, and I’m trying to stay on this path and continue going forward. But some people have played a huge role in finding my path, people I’ve admired from the beginning and will always do. OK, one of them I don’t know personally but look up to nonetheless. :)

I’d like to share with you that I work as an aerobics and dance instructor, and I couldn’t imagine a better job. I’ve had my heart and soul in sports since I was 6 and a half years old. Every day I’m grateful for the life I have. I love my family, my boyfriend, my job, my clients, and I have countless people around me I can look up to due to some of their qualities. But I’d still like to highlight those who played a decisive role in what I am, how I approach life and my fellow human beings. I wholeheartedly recommend my article to those who enjoy my writing or who would like to gain a bit of insight into the people who primarily influenced me to become what I am today. Each of the fantastic individuals I’m about to introduce sets and example for me in different aspects of life.


My number one role models are my mother and father. I hope it’s not a problem to mention them by name: Ildikó and Sándor Szántó. :) By loving me, they were the ones who taught me to love myself and others. They always encourage me to follow my dreams (within reasonable boundaries, of course). They support me morally and financially as much as they can. They started out with pretty much nothing and built up the life where me and my brother have everything we need. They’re noticeably proud of us. They help with everything we need. I was raised to notice the good things in life, to ignore malicious people, and to help others as much as I can. And they didn’t just say these things, they live by them themselves. They always support from the background, but they let me make my own choices. When I’m about to give up something I’d otherwise be capable of, they encourage me to keep going. When I ask for advice, they offer advice, yet they don’t expect me to always follow it; they tell me that I should decide what’s best for myself. If I become a parent, I’ll try to be like them. I feel that they raised me a good person, and fortunately I’m not the only one with this opinion. Although what’s “good” someone is subjective, I’d never intentionally harm anyone. Perhaps this at least qualifies. :)

My second role model is my former fitness instructor Rafael Alija. I attended her fitness classes for 20 years, and we participated in competitions and performances together. The only reason I stopped doing fitness is that I can’t travel home so often due to my work and that I didn’t want to go to another instructor. As a child, Alija was a gymnast in the Soviet Union, then she became an instructor. Later, she continued her fantastic work in Várpalota, a small Hungarian town. In a foreign country, initially without knowing the language, she created the same thing she did in her homeland. She had many successes with her students, that is, with us, and to this day she keeps track of us. She’s an extremely rigorous instructor someone can’t stand, but that’s exactly what I needed, as did many other children. In fact, most children today could benefit from a few training sessions with her. :) She’s the one who made me fall in love with sports, the one who set me on this journey. She was always confident in my abilities and she brought out the best in me. She sometimes achieved that with a bit of shouting, but she never allowed me to accomplish less than I was capable of. For example, when I was afraid to perform an acrobatic element or I thought I’d mess it up, she didn’t let me give up and drove me until I managed to do it. Her work brought honor to the town, and she’s always proud of her students; we can count on her to this day. She’s the one from whom I learned perseverance, discipline and respect. She also taught me to perform on stage, which is an important aspect of my job. :)

I think it’s important to mention my high school PE teacher Ágnes Melinda Torba. She’s simply always cheerful, kind to everyone, even when she has a bad day or any kind of problem. She loves to do and teach all kinds of sports. She does her job wholeheartedly. She clearly loves life and her students. She treats even her most uninterested students kindly, and she has plenty of patience for them. I also attended a few of her aerobic classes, which she conducted cheerfully, always having something kind to say to everyone. She smiles a lot and she’s very positive. Her private life is not at all problem-free, be it about health or family, yet she overcomes all obstacles and even strengthens others.


Thankfully, I have friends I love, respect and appreciate. But there is one among them, someone with outstanding qualities, someone who could set an example for many. I look up to her, even though she’s younger than me. I met Niki Szikszai at the University of Physical Education. A brilliant woman, despite the fact that life has put her through many hardships throughout her life. Those who don’t know her might think, based on her philosophy and behavior, that everything was handed to her on a silver platter. However, nothing could be further from the truth. She works hard to earn everything in life, yet her aura and passion for life is amazing. She has earned her physique and her sports successes, and she supports her family in every way possible. Sometimes she gets depressed for a moment because she’s been disappointed many times, but then she always gets up and continues unstoppably on her path, shining light on the lives of those around her. Her friends and family are there to support her, but she accomplishes everything on her own, and she always achieves her goals in the end. Her strength, not only moral and mental, but also physical, is fascinating, as she’s a four-time world champion in Kenpo. :) Despite her busy schedule, she always has time for her friends. The saying goes: you’re the maker of your own destiny. Right, but I think it matters what kind of „raw material” you need to work with. However, Niki is here to show the world that you don’t need the purest ore to temper excellent steel. :)

One famous person did make it to the list, someone I’d like to resemble in some ways. She’s called Jennifer Lopez. I’ve liked her work since I was a child and I’ve admired her since I was an adult. I love her songs with Latin influence, I consider her and excellent actress, her stage performances are impressive to me, but of course there are the looks, too. I think she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world. She’s special, beautiful and feminine. What’s immensely captivating about her is that she’s not one of the typical ultra slim models who are usually made into stars, and most people I know like her curvaceous figure. She maintained her figure even after giving birth. I’m sure she got plenty of help, and all she has to do is to stay in shape, but it’s still exemplary. Unfortunately, I heard that in everyday life she tends to act superior, but on the one hand, who knows how much of that is actually true, and on the other hand I don’t look up to her because of her personality, but her talent and performance. Additionally, I think her tracks make countless fans happy. :)

All in all, I look up to many of my acquaintances, but those whom I listed are the ones that are particularly motivating or have influenced the development of my personality.

The fact that there are people who consider me a role model is a wonderful feeling. This is not my own invention, some of my former younger teammates (or their moms :) ) and some of my current students actually told me. In fact, sometimes words aren’t even necessary; I can see the twinkle in their eyes, for which I’m truly grateful.

Based on all this, I concluded that role models don’t need to be famous persons. Often, our ideals are people whom others don’t even notice, yet to us, they’re outstanding in some way. A single captivating quality is enough to nudge us in the right direction. They can facilitate the development of abilities and skills we were not even aware of.

I wish for everyone to be surrounded by constructive people who are worth to look up to, as a couple of role models can help follow a path of happiness.

Source of featured image:

Translation by Ádám Hittaller

16440cookie-checkThe Role Models of a Role Model