If you want it, go get it!
I have always been an active person, I much prefer being out doing stuff than sat around not doing much. As with many women, I had body image issues and a low sense of self-esteem as a teenager and into my early twenties. At age 16 I began training in the local community centre gym to help me feel better about myself. Although I have never carried overly excessive body weight, I have always thought I am larger than I am which played havoc with my self-esteem at times.
In my early twenties I began working in the leisure industry full-time and I started training harder in the gym with the boys. I really enjoyed lifting weights – because despite many women’s thoughts on lifting weights, it is really good for your body tone and metabolism and because we don’t have an overabundance of testosterone, we women will never grow super human big muscles!
After living overseas for 2 ½ years and learning to snowboard, snowboarding became my main activity. I did, however, meet Pierre just before this took off as he was my personal trainer at another Swindon gym in 2008/2009.
After problems at work and in my personal life my self-esteem hit a very low point. I let myself be treated very badly in a personal relationship and knew enough was enough. Sadly, I’d had a few relationships where my partners were not keen on me training in the gym and so with snowboarding also as another favoured activity that I found hard to fit in, I hadn’t trained much in a gym environment for a few years.
In November 2015 I came across a particular form of functional training and began to train in the gym lifting weights. The style of training incorporates Olympic weight lifting, gymnastics, calisthenics and metabolic conditioning (cardio). There is also an element of competitiveness to the sport and there are many functional fitness competitions around in which to compete.
Through learning mental toughness in the sport due to the difficulty of some of the metabolic conditioning workouts, my self-esteem started to grow strong. You have to have mental toughness to finish some of the workouts. There is no such thing as quitting or just doing half the reps of the workout.
In 2016 I had been doing this training for about 7 months when a friend begged me to take her place in a pairs competition held in Bristol called the Superhuman Games. I took the opportunity despite being new to the sport. To my surprise my partner and I finished in the masters category in 5th place!
However, I was still at a point where my self-esteem was in its infancy of redeveloping and I know certain behaviours of mine leading up to the event meant I felt I let my training partner down by not making the podium after being in the top three until the results of the last two events came in. My competing partner is an incredibly fit woman! I felt that I really let her down.
We both enjoyed the day a lot and singed up immediately for the 2017 Superhuman Games event. I made it my mission to ensure I put my partner on the podium in 2017. I started doing extra training and joined Battleground Fitness as a member. I had my eyes on one goal and I decided to train hard to get what I wanted.
On the day of the event I decided that I wanted to go out, have fun and just give my all in every event and then see where that would leave us. I believe that you can only give what you can give. Even though competitions are a situation where you are pitted against others, the only thing you can worry about is you and your own game. You can’t watch others and worry about what they are doing. If you give your all, that’s all you can do. If you have trained hard and put in the work you just never know where it might lead you. I think this ethos also applies to life in general and not just training.
I didn’t want to know where we were on the leader board all day. I just went into each event to have fun and work hard. To my surprise, at the end of the day I discovered we were the only female team to have top three finishes in all 5 events, with two 3rd place finishes, one 2nd place tied finish and two outright 2nd place finishes. We came 1st place overall!
I cannot tell you what an achievement this was for me. Not only was it a display of my fitness journey to that point in time, but it was also a huge personal journey of self-esteem and self-discovery. I think this is one of the proudest moments of my life so far.
From this event I went on in 2017 to have 2 more podium finishes in team competitions, both 2nd place finishes. I narrowly missed out on a podium place in my second ever individual competition, at which I came 1st in 3 out of the 5 workouts on the day. I also ran my first obstacle course race and my first half marathon! Anyone who knows me knows that I do not classify myself as a runner! My friends had trouble convincing me to go along to a regular 5km run with them and before I knew it I was signed up to run half a marathon! Considering that I had very little training time from signing up to running, I finished with a time of 2:16 which I was very proud of.
This was all during a year where I still experienced some difficult times, as life seems to enjoy throwing bumps in the road for us all. My childishly joyful outlook on life is not because life has been ever so kind to me, but rather because if I didn’t see the positives in life I think I would have gotten into a big old mess a long time ago!
If there is any advice I can give to anyone reading this it is that if you want it, go get it! I have had one of the most amazing years of my life this year and a huge part of that I owe to my training. I have met and become friends with some amazing and likeminded people along the way which has made this journey of fitness even more enjoyable and fulfilling.
If you would like any advice on training please don’t hesitate to come and speak with me. I am very excited to be working for Pierre at Battleground Fitness and hope I can help him grow the business as well as help members achieve their own goals. If you want it, go get it!