Strength to Strength to Strength, Fit Works Training are honoured to welcome Laura, who is going to be taking Hambledon by storm with Outdoor Group Fitness and Personal Training. She has such incredible energy and a wealth of experience so continue reading to get to know the newest member of our team!!
How did I get here?
Sometimes it takes something truly unimaginable like the year we’ve just had to make you sit back reassess what you want out of life. I’ve been a primary school teacher for 12 years and for the most part I loved it. I always strived to nurture individuality, creativity and curiosity and encourage children to persevere through challenges, develop resilience and a strong sense of self-worth and self-belief. It’s these lessons and skills that we carry with us through-out our lives and is what I hope to encourage in my own daughter. Ironically, part of the reason I left teaching was for her. My job simple wasn’t making me happy anymore. I was so stressed and burnt out and I wasn’t enjoying my time with my daughter because I was so tired or preoccupied. I wanted to be happier and more present, for her.
Over the years I have thought about changing to a career in health and fitness but I was too scared to make the leap. In March 2020 schools closed and I continued to plan and teach my lessons via zoom. I kept thinking about this new life I could have but I still wasn’t brave enough. It wasn’t until December 2020 that I decided it was now or never.
Fast forward 6 months and I am now a fully qualified personal trainer and am bursting with passion and loving life! I haven’t doubted my decision for a second and I know I am on the right path. I am incredibly lucky to have a wonderfully supportive family who were behind my decision every step of the way and gave me the confidence to believe I can do this! As well as having the support of my family, I feel honoured to be taken under the wings of these inspiring strong women at Fit Works TRaining. It’s an incredible feeling to be welcomed into this community and have people believe in me.
A little bit about me:
I was a sporty child, dabbled in most sports at school and was part of the sports teams. I was a competitive swimmer until my late-teens and hadn’t ever worried about the calories I consumed. After I stopped competitive swimming I started to punish myself for eating, I made sure I burnt off every calorie I consumed and became totally obsessed with reading the calorie content of everything. The obsession got steadily worse during my A-levels and before I knew it an eating disorder had taken hold of me. I was on a cycle of starving, binging, vomiting, partnered with exercising as much as possible. I kept this secret for several years, fooling everyone around me. My periods stopped and I found it hard to think about anything but food and exercise.
Everything changed when I made some incredible friends at university and I confided in them about my eating disorder. I believe it was their healthy, confident attitudes towards their own bodies that made me look at myself differently. I hadn’t been around girls or women that were so truly comfortable and confident in their own skin. For the first time in years, I wanted to get better but I don’t know if I could have done it without them. I am eternally grateful to them. It’s such an amazing feeling to have food freedom and have a healthy relationship with food and my body. I love fuelling my body and feeling strong and being a positive role model to my daughter.
This crazy year has made me prioritise my health and well-being. I have stopped “living for the weekend” and just started living. I’m not in a vicious cycle of feeling unhappy and stressed and then feeling a compulsive sense to unwind (unleash) at the weekend and drink too much. Drinking too much always made me feel miserable and anxious for days but I always seemed to repeat my mistakes time and time again. I am filled with so much gratitude to be in the place I am now, with these new opportunities and a new lease of life.
Me and fitness now:
I rely on exercise to keep me balanced and happy. I have suffered with depression and anxiety in the past and exercise is my lifeline. I am a massive lover of being outdoors and am much more at home wading through mud, climbing a tree or swimming in a lake than sitting at a desk. I really enjoy running, although it doesn’t always like me – I have had a few ankle injuries over the years. I love love LOVE a super sweaty HIIT workout or a hardcore bootcamp, come sun or snow!
I have a few fitness goals I am working towards, which are to take more time for the slower, more mindful forms of exercise whether it be Yoga, Pilates or Mace Flow. I did mace for the first time with Hannah recently and loved it, although I don’t like being a beginner at things – another lesson I’m learning is to have more patience and enjoy the journey. I’m also on a bit of a pull up/ chin up mission so any tips welcome.
And finally, I would really like to train for a triathlon but I haven’t ridden a bike much since I was a kid, so if anyone wants to train with me, I’m here!!
For more information on Outdoor Group Classes and Personal Training with Laura, Get in touch!