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Humans of HIIT Injury Male Sport Workouts Classes

Ross Simpson

“I started training for my sport when I was 14 years old and I’ve enjoyed it ever since. Due to my sport being high risk, I’ve had different injuries and through my course at university I’ve learnt how to overcome them and different ways to prevent them.

I love exercising and mixing up my workouts from doing strength training, cardio or HIIT sessions. I enjoy seeing results and looking for ways to progress every week. Since starting my university course two years ago, I’ve learnt different exercises and workouts that has allowed my training to expand, and my passion for exercise and keeping healthy has grown. Exercise is the one thing I always look forward to each day, as it always makes me feel good after every session and my enjoyment always allows me to keep motivated.”

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Humans of HIIT Injury Male Mental Health Running School Sport University

Gamel Oki

I have a strange relationship with sports – I started out really disliking sports, or rather disliking how bad I was at team sports. But as I became older, sports, exercise and fitness became something that I could fall back on in my most significant times of hardship. 

Growing up, I was terrible at sports. I grew up with two older sisters, one of whom wasn’t into sports, and one of whom was a fantastic basketball player. Being much younger than either of my sisters and having older parents, I didn’t really grow up playing sports. Especially not team sports – I did learn to ride a bike and swim, but things like football, rugby and hockey didn’t really enter my life until I went to school.  

Being a late starter in sports, I have distinct memories of how unpleasant social sports were. There’s nothing quite like being the last player to be picked to destroy what little confidence you have in your abilities. But in retrospect – I was so bad I can see why. This curse of being “bad at sports” followed me into secondary school where playing football was THE essential social activity for my peer group. 

I still wasn’t a particularly skilled sportsman. Yet, in secondary school, I discovered something – I was fast, much faster than most of my peers. I was actually third fastest in the entire year group (there were about 180 of us). For the first time, I had discovered something physical that I could excel at – I could chase down attacking players with relative ease. For the first time, I felt of value to the teams I played for and started to play more. I began to get better, I wasn’t the last picked anymore, though this was in part because I was one of the few people who didn’t play as a striker. I started to feel like I contributed to our victories and stalled our losses; at the age of about 15/16, I have my first memories of actually enjoying team sports. 

University was a different ball game(pun intended). I was studying in the arts and between being a ‘creative’ and my brand new social life, I didn’t make time for team sports, or in fact any sports. This all changed in my second year when I joined the ski and snowboard club! It further changed after graduation when I stayed on as Students’ Union staff and joined the climbing club. These weren’t sports I was doing because they were a necessary part of having a social circle, these sports I loved! It was also strange as they both involved being very high up and I’m actually scared of heights. 

But the major turning point was when I was back in London and went through my first BIG breakup. The first big one is always the worst they say, and this was no exception. Unsure of how to process what I felt or even thought at the time, I dived headfirst into my job and career. I would work weekends and evenings, pushing myself to hit crazy targets with minimal resources. The results I achieved with this near-obsessive approach to work gained me the praise of peers and management and promotion to Department Manager (though not the pay rise I was hoping for). However, this didn’t come without a cost, overworking left me physically and mentally depleted, and I would often sleep for up to 14 hours on Saturdays as I tried to recuperate from 70hour+ weeks. Mentally I was numb – focusing so heavily on the tasks at hand left me devoid of much emotion and cold to everyone, including my friends and team members. 

Then I started running. I’d done some running after university. Still, long-distance runs were a foreign concept to a guy who mostly runs 100m and 200m sprints. I had noticed that Nike was hosting a run club starting out from their central London store and running a loop of Hyde Park, I decided to get some running trainers and join. Running was challenging, not only physically or mentally. For 40 minutes, I was forced to confront my own thoughts and feelings about my breakup, my life, my job and pretty anything else that wandered into my mind. Even when running in a group, I was uniquely alone with my thoughts, and my pain (Actual physical pain – my lower back would be killing after 2km). It was sobering and strengthening, I started to find that running was my time to digest and understand my own thoughts and feelings. People have asked me if running made me happier; honestly, I’m not sure. But it did allow me to find peace and balance. It also made my lower back stronger. 

As the first few months of running turned to a year, my mental health, work/life balance, and fitness all improved. I became a regular Nike Town runner and even made some friends in the running scene (yes there’s a scene). As the years of running rolled by, I took on new challenges; half marathons, obstacle courses, martial arts, and finally signing up to a gym. My work obsession turned into a healthy drive, and I started to make more use of my time outside of the office. My increased fitness (and better work/life ratio) allowed me to also excel as a snowboarder and climber (though I still have a long way to go). The various activities I’m involved in not only help me with maintaining balance but help me build positive habits and routines within my life. Which are handy in getting me out of the office before 10pm. 

When I think back to how I started, my fear of being the worst at sports and where I am now – I do feel a sense of pride. It took time, growth and some pain, but now I understand my strengths and weaknesses. Though looking back at how I started, it’s not a surprise that I’m not really a “team sport” person.

As I’ve gotten older, my commitments (and injuries) have grown, but I’ve kept up the running, though I don’t do it as much as I used to. I’m more of a climber these days, but I still go for a run whenever I need time to think or process a feeling, I’ll also run if there is any group of runners heading out. I still wear the same make of Nike running trainers (Lunarglide – I’m on my second or third pair) and have the same soundtracks to listen to.

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Family Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Injury Mental Health Pregnancy Weight Loss

Miranda McIntyre

“Depending on who you ask they would say my journey is complete or only beginning. I see it as a consistent journey.

I started my weight loss portion of my journey in 2010. I can not tell you my exact starting weight as I had become far too ashamed and afraid to know the truth, so I base my start at my last known doctor’s weigh in. 265lbs. I guarantee you I was well over that at the start of everything.

A little bit of background, I was a super skinny high energy kid, until I was about ten. Then my whole body composition and view of myself started to change. I hit puberty earlier than all my friends and started to gain weight very easily. I was 140lbs in fifth grade. From there I moved to a new town and school just before junior high. That added to me withdrawing and becoming far less active. Fast forward to high school graduation year, stress of school and the rest of my life facing me head on I gained more weight. Enough that my dress for grad didn’t fit well even with two layers of compressive garments to help sausage me into it. 184lbs at 18, it was extremely depressing for me. I was aware I was big, bigger than most of my friends. So I tried to hide my insecurity with being the helpful smiling friend. Pushing aside my own feelings, it wasn’t as if I wasn’t happy. I just didn’t deal with things when I should have. I suppressed a lot.

Pushing forward, I was married 29 days after my 21st birthday and got pregnant on my wedding night. Surprise! Definitely not something you plan to have happen. Though as unready as I was then, you honestly are never actually ready for kids. They come into your life and shake it all sorts of crazy in the best ways possible. Once my daughter arrived, my life didn’t change much in the way of my health. Two years later, I was pregnant with my son. His birth was traumatic on my body and my mental health. I developed postpartum depression, which manifested in me being only concerned with my kids. I didn’t want and need to have connections with friends or other family. Not even my husband. Needless to say my marriage dissolved and we divorced when my kids were 3 and 1. Though I began to make a few online friends, who were mums with kids the same age as mine. None of my friends were in that area of life yet; though they absolutely adored my kids.

The end of my marriage thrust me into living in a new city and back at home with my mum and dad for a couple years. It was within that time when I finally hit my “reason why” moment. I couldn’t make it up the stairs chasing my toddler without struggling to breathe. I decided since it was just me and my kids, I had to do everything in my power to be better for them. To make sure I was around as long as possible for them.

There I was at 27 years old trying to start my life over again and make the right choices for my health. I set myself as a priority for the first time in so many years. I struggled with that because I was so used to putting others ahead was always my way. Changing my diet, eating smaller portions, cutting out pop was the start. I then did the hard part. I would wait until my kids were asleep and go to the basement and work out to Jillian Michaels dvd’s and do minimum three Zumba songs on the Wii as cardio. This was my life for almost a year, every single night. I didn’t feel comfortable going to a gym. I had no idea what I was to even do at a gym. I started to research and after a while when I was not progressing much further with my home workouts, I found weight myself using my community sports complex gym. I was still sticking mostly to cardio because I had a delusional view of what my goal was. Skinny was the only goal that seemed to be in my mind; anything but fat. I had a new job which was very physically demanding now, my food intake was minimal. I had slipped into a very dangerous mindset.

I wanted to try running a Mud Hero Obstacle course. So in 2014 I did it! I was extremely proud of myself, I manage the run in under an hour and felt amazing for doing it. I was at my lowest weight 117lbs…..and I was still not happy nor was I actually healthy yet. I hit a wall in life again. I made some changes, was able to get my kids and myself into our own place. I had managed to move up in my company into an office position. I had a new drive to succeed. I also started a relationship with an amazing man. Life was improving. So needless to say going from a job that was physical and barely eating to a desk job and snacking of office snacks, my weight began to rise. I was becoming paranoid of the weight-gain, I was weighing myself 4 times a day. Knowing exactly if I limited myself to exact foods, I would gain an ounce. It was extremely damaging, thankfully I had my boyfriend who cared enough to push the hard conversation with me. To help me to see the truth in own worth and that I didn’t need to find value in the scale. That I didn’t need to fear, that I would get back to being over 265lbs. He helped me to see that I was strong, that because I was determined not to let myself get so overweight again I wouldn’t. He also pointed out that I needed to break away from the unhealthy need to be “skinny” that I needed to be healthy. Regardless that if for my body that means being closer to 135-140lbs.

I still have moments of struggle, but I wanted to find strength over being skinny. I needed to find what was MY healthy. I took that challenge of running the Mud Hero into running multiple Spartan Races, the community was so supportive and encouraging in finding your strengths and pushing your goals. I adjusted my training to include weight lifting and I could not have been happier! I even completed my Trifecta which is running a Sprint, Super and Beast in one season. The Spartan Beast was 24km+ up and down a mountain with obstacles, 33* blazing sun. I finished in 6 hours all alone. I got a finishers medal, a t-shirt and second degree sunburn! Beyond all that I proved to myself I can overcome anything. I hung up my racing glory for the past couple years since I was pretty darn banged up from multiple injuries, but my weightlifting has continued. I spoiled myself with new workout gear when I started my Spartan journey, that is how I found Gymshark and it changed my life. The clothes gave me a new found confidence in my body along with new connections in the fitness world. I have learnt so much from others whose journeys I have begun to follow. I took part in two Gymshark 66 challenges, I loved the engaging support and friends it has brought into my life. This isn’t just a company it is a family world wide. I even won third place in the 2019 campaign! I was dumbstruck! The fitness journey I am on is not a start and stop race. This is a lifestyle for me, ever evolving and being exactly what I need to live my truest healthiest life. I now love and appreciate my body, embrace my story, celebrate my shape even if it wasn’t the ideal of media. I share my journey to help anyone who was ever in the place I was, to know you can continue, you can change, you can adapt, it isn’t failing if you need to change your plans. It is only failing if you stop and you give up.

I am beyond grateful for my kids for being the reason that pushed me forward and continue to drive me. My boyfriend who loves me no matter what I am going through. To my friends who have joined me on this crazy lifestyle change and embraced their journey. I am proud and never want to stop this drive towards living my life instead of must numbingly let it pass foggy in front on me. I look forward to 5am gym sessions, hiking, family movie nights with lots of snacks, to balance in all parts of my life.”

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Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Injury School Sport University

Megan McEvoy

“My fitness journey began at four years old when I stepped on the ice for the first time. From that moment on, I fell in love with figure skating and I competed for 13 years. At the end of senior year of high school I was no longer able to jump on the ice due to ankle injuries, and I ended up moving to Florida to attend college. It was a huge change to not be able to figure skate anymore because it made up so much of my life and was my true passion.

At school, I worked out six days a week consistently but it still felt like something was missing. From searching for that missing piece I discovered a passion for the field of physical therapy and working with athletes. I have recently become a NASM-CPT and I plan to complete my undergraduate degree in Athletic Training and go on to Physical Therapy School. I can’t wait to share my knowledge and passion for fitness and movement with the world.”

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Humans of HIIT Injury Male Religion Running

Gerald Gyane

“I am an avid footballer, it’s been my favourite sport ever since I was a child. I was gutted that I couldn’t make it as a pro. I channeled my passion into giving back to the youth as I was involved in youth work in my church. I organised regular keep fit sessions and even got more senior citizens to join. My passion for sports has always been tied in to my faith in God.

As a Christian I recognise that I have been entrusted with my body by God to do good and enrich my community with deeds of God’s love. I cannot do so if I abuse my body. Keeping fit by playing football, jogging, and badminton enables me to keep my body in good shape so I can show God’s love in my community.

Self-discipline and self control are biblical disciplines that have helped me greatly in sport especially as one who used to easily lose my temper on the pitch. I have learnt to rein in myself and I am now as cool as a cucumber all from deepening my faith in God and applying it to physical activity.

I gave up sports for almost 8 months due to a knee injury and started putting on weight. Just as I began light training the COVID nightmare plagued the globe. I have taken up jogging and skipping in the mean time to maintain my weight. However I am very eager to get back on the pitch again so I can race back to full fitness.

Stay healthy and look after your body, it is what you need to enjoy life on this earth.”

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Family Humans of HIIT Injury Mental Health Physical Impairment Sport University Weight Loss

Michael Kiddell

“I’m a mature student that has thrown himself into university life. I am a student night manager, university sports exec vice chair and President of the American Football club. I have also just been voted in as Development Officer for the University of Portsmouth Students Union, plus I have a family and two amazing children.

Sport has been a journey for me, I played rugby and football from a young age, I played multiple levels of rugby but due to injury and finding out I had a rare ligament disease stopped me playing. This where I lost track, lost a lot of friends and went off the rails. There were a lot of dark days and I gained a lot of weight. Almost 3 years in plaster cast on both legs will do that to you.

I tried as much sport as I could to try and re-find the love and passion I had. Then I found American football. It’s a family that has opened their arms and have welcomed me in on so many levels. I still have some of those dark days but I have become very close to some of my teammates. I have told them things I would’ve never felt comfortable saying to anyone, even family. I know I can finally talk about some of the issues going on. I have people that will never know how much they have helped me and are helping me every single day.

I’m taking this year to focus on my Development role, get my aches and pains sorted and lose more weight.”

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Gym Training Humans of HIIT Injury Male Mental Health Running School Sport Weight Loss

Harry Millard

“Going to boarding school, rugby was a huge part of our daily life. I was training and playing during the week for school and then for the local club at the weekend. Every evening we were in the school gym, trying to get bigger and stronger – it was about as stereotypical as you can imagine (stringer vests and all)! Unfortunately being active all the time was masking the disordered eating habits I had picked up. When I was sidelined with a serious head injury the habits only got worse, and I dealt with my depression by going to the shop every day and taking food back to my room to binge – I stopped working out and, at my worst, I was over 130kg (20.5 stone) and miserable. I started my fitness Instagram to give myself some accountability and to document my journey with others – and it gave me a new drive to continue to improve. I fell back in love with the gym and with rugby – I started my career and was really in a good place. Then I was hit with another serious injury, this time a broken ankle, and I landed squarely back on square one. I continue to document my up-and-down journey back from that setback, and have found passion in being active again – including signing up for the Great South Run later this year! Whilst rugby remains a huge part of my life and remains a key motivation behind improving my physical ability, I also train for health and happiness that I know it brings.”

 

Thank you from the Humans of HIIT community for sharing your story!

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Family Female Humans of HIIT Injury Mental Health Personal Trainers Pregnancy Sport University

Sue Tetley

“My relationship with sport and exercise has been rather mixed throughout my life. I was never particularly sporty as a child. I enjoyed sprinting and doing the long jump. I went to school in the 80’s to mid 90’s and still remember very clearly waiting to be picked for teams. I was generally picked somewhere in the middle or towards the end. Never a good thing for a child’s self-esteem. 

As a teenager, I really got into racket sports, badminton initially then squash.  I had a few friends  who were at a similar level and would enjoy playing weekly. At the age of 18 I went to Loughborough University to study psychology. I was aware this was a very sporty university, but that wasn’t really a consideration when I went there. The level of even the inter-mural hall sports was very high.  It did put me off trying much sport there. I chose to do karate as it was something I could start with as a beginner and work up the grades. I enjoyed this and did it for a few years. Twenty odd years on, I wish I had made more of the available facilities. 

Following university, I started to dabble in running and did my first race for life. Prior to that, I don’t think I’d ever run 5K before. A few years later, I did my first half marathon in Nottingham where I was living at the time. This was a huge achievement for me. It was great that lots of my friends did the event as well. Throughout my 20’s and 30’s I was always rather inconsistent with exercise, training for an event and then not doing much afterwards. I was definitely a ‘Yo Yo’ exerciser.

In my mid 30’s exercise took on a different and more cathartic role and really helped me with my mental well-being as well as physical well-being whilst going through multiple rounds of IVF.  After each failed attempt, I would enter a running event or cycling event. After I had decided to stop treatment and choose to adopt instead, I threw myself into a more consistent pattern of exercise.

Around 4 years ago a friend of mine spent about 6 months trying to persuade me to join the local triathlon club.  Initially I thought I wasn’t good enough at any of the disciplines, however, soon realised that this didn’t matter at all.  I was getting injured just running. I started PT sessions and soon realised I needed to do loads more strength and conditioning to prevent injury. Joining TRISudbury was a real turning point for me.  I had never been part of a club before and had always exercised on my own. I really started to enjoy training with groups and have made some great friends.

I have now done many triathlons and taken on new challenges each year.  I also discovered my love of swimming in open water and last summer did a 2 mile swim in the Serpentine. I really love challenging myself. I’m never going to be the fastest, however, I am mentally tough and won’t give up on my goals. My next challenge will be a half ironman distance triathlon. In addition to this, I also became the Welfare Officer for the club for 2 years. I am now one of the club’s Mental Health Champions. At the AGM earlier this year, I was delighted this year to be given the female Grindstone award and became a This Girl Can Ambassador for Suffolk as well.

I am nearly 43 and I totally believe that if you work hard and never give up on your goals you can achieve anything. It’s so important to me to be a good role model for my little girl. I am fitter now than I ever have been and would say to anyone to never let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve something!”

 

Thank you from the Humans of HIIT community for sharing your story!