In the spirit of recognizing that all dentists have vibrant lives outside the professional realm, Incisal Edge reporter Liz Diltz recently asked the 2015 Lucy Hobbs Project Award recipients to express their true passions. The magazine then captured them in a series of portraits, which can be viewed in the dental lifestyle publication’s summer edition:

Meanwhile, at the National Dental Museum in Baltimore, at a June 4 reception to launch the 3rd annual The Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration –which honors six exemplary women in dentistry –attendees were invited to share their passions as well (with the help of Lucy Hobbs Project and Benco Dental teams, and a few whiteboards.) Shown above, Dr. Desiree Walker, slated as opening speaker for the June 5 festivities at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor, classifies her passions as “gymnastics and helping others smile.”

The Lumberton, North Carolina, dentist overcame both musculoskeletal problems that afflicted her in dental school and an accident in which she was hit by a van during a cycling race. To recuperate, she revamped her approach to exercise, focusing on total body movement and transforming her fitness to the point where she has made multiple appearances on American Ninja Warrior (tune in to NBC in June to find out how she fared.)

During the Lucy Hobbs Project 3rd Annual Celebration in Baltimore today, Dr. Walker will be speaking about how overcoming a fear is essential to any life challenge.

That is one of the enduring lessons of the life of Lucy Hobbs — whose inspirational story at the first female dentist Dr. Walker cites when discussing her own career and the advice she would offer any woman in dentistry. ” She stayed true to her passion no matter her setbacks, no matter her ‘failures,'” Dr. Walker says. “She wasn’t afraid to fail, and she let that fuel her desire to become a dentist even more.”