Updated: May 31
Naturally sporty at school and always keen for the outdoor stuff – excelling in either the 100m or long distance cross country. I still remember (and use!) some of the thought mantras that helped me to keep going, even when I was getting tired (namely counting to 8 over and over again – nothing special!).
Then in my early 20’s at art college I fell spectacularly off that wagon and lived a life of (ahem), ‘carefree abandon’! (I first visited Hay On Wye in 1984 as one of your dreaded hippy travellers)! Fast track to 1998 and I’m a fitness Instructor; Dancy, high impact, high energy aerobics, and LOVING IT for a good few years until Shin Splints attack. A re-think or the career is going to be WAY too short. Reducing those sessions, adding in body conditioning and more Personal Training consultations mean less punishing on the body (for now)!
2002 and Gym and Tonic is born (up on Castle Street then). I’m still doing community classes, relatively injury free.
In 2006 I founded Hay Hotfooters, however, after 4 years of coaching these fab runners my lower back started to object and I could tell my days were going to be numbered. During a hot summer I remember thinking “what could I do new, yet keep cool over the summer”… so I took the Freestyle Pilates course in 2005 – never realising that it would be the most successful discipline of all (17 in my class last Friday). But best of all, I’d tapped in to the antidote to all these punishing predecessors, and along with improving posture and everything else associated with Pilates, I was also becoming aware of the importance of cross training (the whole purpose of this article, did you guess?!).
The next revelation was Freestyle Fitness Yoga. We were warned never to take on anyone with certain back issues, yet that was the answer to mine! It’s SO good for thoracic rotation thus freeing the lower back from overwork. Bingo! Cured!
MY Barre classes from 2016 gave us all buns of steel – I smashed my Elliptigo record that year and could feel the power from my Glutes!
Finally – Meditation and Embodied Yoga Principles have taught me the value of relaxing and pulling away from all sports.