Categories
Humans of HIIT Male Mental Health Running

David Clarke

“As a boy growing up I was always fit, running around riding bikes and roller blading which I still do.

As I grew up the busyness of life started to creep in. Work more work, marriage and children. I then started a business.

Back in December 2018 I had my first breakdown. It was too much. I was stretched too thin. February 2019 I took up running.

I now try to run 3 days a week. I say try as sometimes I can’t do it. I blame my medication, or I blame my depression.

The hardest part is getting out of bed, putting on clothes and getting started.

My best runs are the ones that I find takes the most effort to start. They end up being the most rewarding.”

Categories
Family Female Humans of HIIT Mental Health

Stacey Hitchcock

“Since becoming a Mum, my attitude to fitness has changed dramatically. I want to be a positive role model for my daughter showing her that fitness is a way of life and makes us feel strong and healthy and that size doesn’t matter. 

When I was growing up my family didn’t go swimming or do any sort of family activities together, we ate terribly all the time and I would only take part in PE at school because I had to. I wasn’t educated about the right sort of foods we should eat, I grew up in a time that size zero was the size we had to be to fit in, get that job or man!!! 

Since becoming a Mum I have struggled with my new identity and role as mummy and exercise is my therapy. It definitely makes me a better mum, it makes me feel that I can get through the day of mummy… Mummy… Mummy!”

Categories
Female Humans of HIIT Mental Health Workouts Classes

Faye Freeing

“I’ve struggled with my mental health since my early teen years. I lacked a lot of confidence and self belief growing up. I tried pole dance for the first time when I was sixteen, despite being told I wasn’t allowed to by a negative influence in my life. I removed them from my life and tried it, instantly falling in love.

Due to health and location issues, I couldn’t pole dance much after that until I was 20. I was in need of a huge confidence boost after a series of unfortunate events and to do something that was simply for me. Instantly it revoked a passion within myself, became my way of coping and building myself back up enough to care enough to want to keep living.

I later went on to train to become a pole dance instructor and have been teaching the sport to a range of individuals of all walks of life.

Categories
Humans of HIIT Male Mental Health School Sport

Paul Nicholson

Throughout school I was obsessed with sport, I played as much as I could, my whole life was consumed with playing some game. I was immensely competitive and still am today.

From 11 I played for 2 rugby teams, ice skated 4 to 5 times a week, If not we played roller hockey or football. After leaving school this huge void opened up, I began a career in hairdressing and it was a party lifestyle, I gained weight, drank too much, smoked too much and dabbled in recreational drugs.

I started to realise that I was struggling with drink and I couldn’t just have a few, I had to shut the lights completely out. This took its toll professionally, physically and mentally. I hit rock bottom and was around 112kg, so unhealthy and something snapped and I became suicidal.

One day my best friend decided to take me for a game of squash, I can pinpoint that session in summer 2009, as the beginning of my recovery, it awoke my physical side and my competitive nature. We played more and I found new partners, eventually I started at the gym and since 2009 it’s become an integral part of my life. I wanted to end my life and now I wake up earlier every day to be more proactive, I train to be obsessive and it keeps me on the right path. 

The knock on effects it has, my productivity stoked by endorphins and the positivity, I’m almost coming up 40 but I feel younger and more energetic now than when I was 27. Never underestimate the mental health benefits physical activity can yield, it takes time to get there but you’ll never look back.”

Categories
Active Suffolk I This Girl Can Humans of HIIT Mental Health University Workouts Classes

Sarah Ann Gray

 

“After graduating, I worked 6 days a week overseas and literally never found the time to exercise; any spare time I did have I was just exhausted & physically needed to rest. My diet was poor and to be honest, I lost my interest in boring exercise classes.

I once worked in a town where I didn’t know anyone, gained a few extra curves and hated the gym. Having heard about Zumba I finally decided to give it a whirl. As soon as the music began I loved it, a total party atmosphere and my hips started to move in ways I never knew they could! It didn’t matter to anyone, even the instructor, if I got the moves right or wrong; so long as I kept moving.

I began to make the time to fit at least two classes a week in, which really benefited not only my physical health, but also my mental health. I had become quite lonely in this new town. It made me feel good inside and out; building my body confidence. Whilst making new friends I toned up those curves & even learnt to love my chunky wobbly thighs (I OWN them!). I enjoyed shaking my jiggly bits and embraced the skin I’m in!

I worked beyond my fitness goals. Absolutely loving it, I decided to teach it myself. (It was just supposed to be a hobby!) This Girl Can Campaign encouraged me to help motivate others, girls and women just like me, into fitness. It’s important to find something that, quite simply, you enjoy doing. I now teach Zumba, Zumba Gold (modified low impact), Seated Zumba Gold, Aqua Zumba and Zumba Kids.

I also take the party to those who can’t get to it, with modified seated classes; having furthered my fitness education beyond qualifying as Level 2 Exercise to Music Fitness Instructor. I also specialise in working with older adults having trained in chair based exercise for older and frailer adults. I work with lots of students affected by dementia; music & movement are power tools.

I work with cancer patients too. It’s a real joy to bring smiles through inclusive dance fitness!

Zumba really is for everybody and every BODY! Different ages, shapes, sizes, abilities and goals; including fitness, weight loss, making new friends, socialising, even therapy for some! It’s a total judgement free zone, real people, real bodies, having a real good time losing ourselves in the music! Dancing, sweating, wiggling and giggling! Dance at your own pace, just keep MOVING & have Fun!

Since Covid-19 and lockdown, I have had to adapt my classes to teach online and now I’ve just begun classes outdoors; including my own toning class, Bumba Blast & women’s only Booty Camp!

My lifestyle is still quite hectic, but I’m healthy, positive and despite the normal highs and lows, I’m loving life!”

Categories
Active Suffolk I This Girl Can Family Female Humans of HIIT Mental Health Pregnancy School Sport

Gemma Marriage

 

“Growing up I always loved being out on my roller skates, sometimes whilst my brothers pulled me along from their BMX bikes! I basically wanted to be in Starlight Express! In school I hated PE, I wasn’t popular and didn’t enjoy any of the activities offered, so I didn’t really get involved in sport.

Fast forward to 2012, I moved to Suffolk to support my husband who unfortunately lost his life to cancer. Finding myself far away from friends and family but needing a support network I reminisced about my childhood roller skates and decided to try out for the local roller derby team.

I was instantly hooked! It’s a full contact team sport, and I love that I can take out all my stress by hitting other people on skates, but it’s also very tactical, so every training session I can lose myself thinking about strategy and gameplay, giving me a chance to switch off from real life.

Eight years on, I still skate at least once a week. We are not able to play competitively at the moment due to coronavirus, so I’m going back to my roots and taking my wheels outside. Right now I’m taking part in a virtual roller marathon, raising funds for a community skating project.

In 2019 I gave birth to my son, and now I’m finding toddler friendly ways that I can skate. Skating was great exercise physically through pregnancy and brilliant for my mental health during the post-natal period. Through derby I have many new friends for life, skating has had a massive positive boost for both my mind and body!”

Categories
Active Suffolk I This Girl Can Family Female Humans of HIIT Mental Health Personal Trainers Physical Impairment Running School Sport University

Claire Jones

 

“I have always enjoyed sport although I wasn’t the best at typical school sports like netball and hockey. I gave them a go but was never good enough to make the teams. I always wanted to do the typical boys sports.. football, cricket. I’ve always loved running and cross country and did that through my teens.

At uni I met a couple of girls who played football. I joined the women’s football team and loved it. After uni I carried on playing football and got my coaching badges. I kept running and going to the gym to keep fit.

After I had my daughter I gave up coaching as it took up too much time with a young family. I still tried to keep fit by running and going to the gym. I then started to suffer with a bowel condition..

In 2012 I was rushed to hospital and diagnosed with chronic ulcerative colitis. My only form of treatment was to have my bowel removed. I was given a permanent ileostomy which saved my life. As I recovered I wanted to get fit again.. I set myself targets.. events or distances I wanted to achieve, whether it was a distance or a strength goal. I’m now fitter and stronger then ever. My ileostomy has given me life.. I am determined to live every minute. I go to the gym, have run 2 half marathons, regularly run 5 and 10ks, I have done a duathlon and I cycle.

Keeping fit and active is a privilege, it helps me feel better and allows me to spend time with my daughter when we are out running or cycling together!”

Categories
Active Suffolk I This Girl Can Female Humans of HIIT Mental Health School Sport University

Charlotte Ditchburn

 

“I was always active and outdoorsy as a child, part of the school orienteering team, competing to a regional level with the athletics team in high jump and enjoying horse riding whenever I could fit it in. I then went to University and events here led to me being diagnosed with PTSD and I suffered with depression and anxiety.

The outdoors and being active has really helped me to recover from this and get back onto my feet again. I used hill walking in the Lake District to find some head space away from the day to day craziness. I went from couch potato to walking everyday, not always summiting mountains but making sure to make time for a short walk everyday.

As I recovered and began a new job in Suffolk I rediscovered my love of riding my bike. I have recently bought a hybrid bike allowing me to enjoy road biking as well as venturing off onto the local bridleway and byway network to give me a change of scene. As my fitness levels have increased I noticed a real difference in my mental well being, I am much happier and feel more awake and productive each day.”

Categories
Family Female Humans of HIIT Mental Health Sport

Holly Hammond

“3 years ago I hated all sports and exercise because I got really badly bullied so I had to do something about it . One day we had England women scrum half Leanne Riley come into our school with a local club to do a lunchtime session with us. I really enjoyed it so that evening I went home and told my mum and dad that I wanted to play rugby, so my mum signed me up for the 2 pre-season dates I could attend. I really enjoyed it and could be myself when I was playing. 

So I started the season we had 3 coaches ,one I really got on with Laurisa and one I really didn’t get on with but he didn’t like me either. Everyone knew when I was annoyed at him because I crossed my arm and stuck my foot out. At the end of the season I had to make a big decision, do I quit playing or find a new club. 

So I went and found a new club and I’m so happy I did. My teammates welcomed me and the coaches push you to be the best version of you. So after starting rugby the bullying didn’t stop but less people were bullying me. But the reason I carried on playing was because I made a promise to someone and I can’t break my promise. 

So overall 3 people inspired me to play rugby, Leanne, Laurisa and Chloe, and I thank all of them. Me and Laurisa became good family friends and she still gives me a confidence boost as well.”

#sport #exercise #bullies #rugby #englandrugby #scrumhalf #school #rugbyclub #confidence #coaching #family #friends

Categories
Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Mental Health Personal Trainers Running Weight Loss

Gemma Davis

Having spent the majority of my 20s overweight and unfit and I decided I didn’t want to spend my 30s the same way.

I wasn’t really sure where to start with getting fitter. Initially I started with a bit of running and a friend suggested a personal trainer – David Wells (@davidjameswellspt). Working with Dave I’m using equipment and doing exercises I never would have found on my own.

Importantly, no matter what mood I turn up to train in I always leave feeling like I can take on the world! I’ve loved seeing what my body can do and learning about what I need to best fuel it.

But the biggest change is my confidence. As someone who has always struggled with their body image the thought of running, in public, in shorts (!) would have terrified me 6 months ago.

Being fit and healthy is such a big part of my life now. I can run 5k and do push ups. Both things I never thought I’d be able to do. I can’t wait to see what is next on my fitness journey and what else my body can accomplish!

We’re looking for more stories! Link in bio to submit yours #humansofhiit 

#weightloss #unfit #fit #fitness #fitter #fitfam #running #personaltrainer #trainer #trainers #exercise #confidence #body #learning #fuel #mentalhealth #health #healthy #5k #pushups #fitnessjourney