I’m no natural to fitness
I never used to like sport or exercise at all. I was the kid at school who went right to the back of the field so that the ball wouldn’t come near me; a nerd who preferred sitting in the shade with one of my mate’s earphones to any sort of moving around.
I started late
By the time I got to young adulthood, nothing had changed. I had enough energy to do my job, I wasn’t changing shape, I had a social life and felt fine. I was enjoying living on white bread and veggie hotdogs with ketchup, washed down with lots of fizzy drink (and vodka and rollups).
It was a psychological change I was seeking
The beginning of my fitness story wasn’t triggered by anything to do with my health or my body, but my mindset. I was an easy going, laidback person. Suddenly, in 2006, something major kicked off in my life that made me realise I needed to change my way of operating. I had a huge effort to sustain, a campaign to protect something bigger than me that I cared about very deeply. I had also been watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. So at that point, I walked into a martial arts gym, and started what would turn into a decade-long journey into martial arts and change.
10 years of getting fit and practising martial arts has made me who I am
I don’t train because I’m disciplined. I’m disciplined because I train. We ended up losing the campaign. But I went on and boxed for seven years. I learned karate and silat too, and Brazilian jiu jitsu for a short time. Although I loved it, I was never that good at boxing… having short arms doesn’t help. What I did discover is that I was great at getting extremely fit.
Fitness has made me strong enough to support those who need me
As I hoped, there was a massive carryover into the rest of my life. The endorphins and aching muscles from a gym session one evening were laying the groundwork for increased confidence and self-esteem the following morning. I was able to use my new found strength to help a close family member to battle and eventually defeat eating disorders.
Fitness has kept me going when the challenges of life have rocked me to my core
My coach saw that I could be a role model for other women and he encouraged me to start teaching women’s circuit training. I wanted to make this an accessible community activity. I was just getting started, when a bombshell hit. Out of the blue, a loved one suddenly became seriously disabled. Having been an NHS worker I understood the very real danger that those who care for others sacrifice their own health massively. I knew that to sustain the effort of caring long term, with my responsibilities set to rise as time passes, I needed to lock myself into prioritising my own fitness as a foundation.
Whether you have a health challenge, a caring role, or a personal mission out in the wider world, working on your fitness will build your power
This was my reason for studying to qualify as a Personal Trainer. To make sure that I keep myself in top condition to support others, and to do big things beyond that too. I want to pass on and share the physical – and above all mental – gift that I have received through my own training habits and practice.