Take the Big Bag

Mission-driven Personal Training

About me

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.

Mugshot, 2011

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.

me n vez on her bday
The carer and the cared-for both need to keep moving

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.


People and Nature

Some socialist ideas about society, the earth and their interaction

Mobilizing Ideas

Activists and Scholars Debate Social Movements and Social Change


Coaching | Connection | Change

Beltane Fire Society

Formed in 1988, Beltane Fire Society is a community arts performance charity that hosts the Beltane Fire Festival and Samhuinn Fire Festival in Edinburgh.


Ramblings And Reviews

Strike Map

Mapping workers taking action across the UK

World Critical Dietetics

the outlet for inquiry and exploration in the context of dietetics

Nodiggity Gardens

No dig growing using Natural farming techniques


Fitness and eating disorders

DIY or Die: Survival in a Post-Apocalyptic World

(or in this world we have already)


Changing How We Think About Pain


UFFC : Coalition of Affected Families


Wisdom from the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition

Black Venus In Furs

Dangerous forces lies within me- want to hear about them?

Life in the Hostile Environment

Stories and musings from the frontline of immigration

%d bloggers like this: