― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
Learn to feel present, love your life and live your purpose.
From a young age I was always interested in exercise and sports. That became a hobby of mine. As I grew into my teens I had a keen interest in lifting weights and this has been a hobby and passion to this day.
It was just over 10 years ago that I wanted to take my hobby more seriously. I felt my job at the time wasn’t rewarding. I wanted to invest my time into doing what I loved, which eventually meant having a hands on approach to helping people restore balance in areas that were not just physical (corrective/performance) but mental, emotional, and spiritual, and give more meaning to people’s lives.
I firstly acquired the standard level 2/3 PT qualifications before moving into qualifications with a holistic approach with the CHEK Institute. Studying with the CHEK Institute allowed me to work on myself and identify my goals/values and have more of an appreciation for food, where it comes from, and how it is produced. This education dug deeper and looked at the bigger picture. During this time, I adopted more of a ‘train don’t drain’ approach to exercise, and gained a better understanding for not just spending energy, but cultivating energy through chi exercise.
By working and implementing this knowledge and using it on myself first – my values, choices, exercise prescription, my dream and purpose changed into one that was much more meaningful. Only then did I get a better understanding of working with others.
My vision is to shift the fitness industry’s philosophy from an aesthetic insecurity based sector to a practical functional self care industry and help as many people as I can, express what they can do through movement. If people can move well, they are much more likely to think and feel well. By helping one person, this will not only impact them but the people around them too, thus creating a ripple effect for the better.
It’s only when I got close to my forties that I decided to get serious about my health and fitness. I hated sports at school; being tall, people assumed I was naturally good at running or playing basketball… well I wasn’t! But later (without the pressure of my peers), I enjoyed learning to play tennis, practice a bit of yoga, running here and there, even trained as a Zumba instructor!… but my fitness was never a priority in my life.
I was terrified to lose my shape as I aged and I thought that if I wanted to be stronger and more flexible, it was now or never. So, I started doing Crossfit, because I was impressed by how strong the girls were. Crossfit was a bit too brutal though and later, I came across the world of bodybuilding and fitness contests. I started training at the gym and the looming competitions helped me to stay motivated. I did 3 contests in the Bikini Masters category with different bodybuilding federations. This was a completely different world of sports I’d never came across before, which included restrictive diets with supplements and aiming for super low body fat.
Then I met Louis, who introduced me to a more holistic, healthy and natural way of training. Being an advovate for protecting nature, his approach really appealed to me.
This is when everything became connected for me: my love for health and fitness and my passion for protecting the environment.
I have worked for 14 years in the energy industry promoting renewable technologies for sustainable development. And I hold a Masters degree in Environmental Sciences. The challenge with trying to change people’s habits so that we minimise our impact on the planet, is that usually those ‘ecohabits’ (like avoid taking the plane, take shorter showers, reduce the temperature of your thermostats, etc.) have no direct benefits for people and therefore very little chances to become mainstream and having a long term impact.
Looking at our habits from a health and fitness perspective however changes everything. Because as you take care of your health, you automatically have a positive impact on the planet. Think about eating locally grown, organic food for example, or walking places to get fresh air and natural sunlight. It’s a win-win situation.
So I’m here to help people who want to take care of their physical and emotional health, adopt long lasting habits, so that together, not only we have a healthier nation, but a healthier planet too.