Categories
Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Mental Health Running Sport University Workouts Classes

Hannah Divall

“My school days were some of the toughest moments I have been through in my life. When I started playing sport I could escape all these negative feelings then becoming ‘good’ at sport meant people would talk to me more.

My love for sport grew from that, leading to my sports degree today. I was selected to train at a high level in badminton which was an amazing experience, competing for my school and county gave me a real sense of achievement. I then left my small village for University. To gain some friends I joined sports clubs and had never been happier, everyone was so friendly like never before. When I got membership for the University gym in 2nd year, I was very scared to go as I have never really exercised at a gym. I very nervously signed up and attended a female weights session, this started my love for the gym as the instructors were very approachable and encouraging.

My Master’s year was significantly harder than my previous university experience as most of my friends had graduated, so I decided not to compete in badminton or join the club but join a local badminton club. The people were welcoming, and the sessions were fun which was what I needed.

As lockdown hit, I left Portsmouth. I felt sad leaving a club I built connections with and will miss playing badminton with them. Now in lockdown, I am grateful for living in a quiet area and have started my running journey. I have always wanted to be ‘good’ at running but have never had the motivation until starting couch to 5k, seeing my time reduce is great progress. I am achieving something which I have never been good at and gives a nice break from attempting to finish my degree at home.”

Categories
Female Humans of HIIT Mental Health Sport

Caroline Jones

For me, sport has always been a way of bringing people together and really helped me when I moved to London 2 years ago. Whilst I had some friends, I still felt lonely and wanted to give my all to this big adventure I had started.

One day, I simply googled ‘outside sports in London’ as I love the outdoors and wanted to get to know more people. I was sceptical on what the results would be, but I was so surprised. I saw a sports company called ‘Go Mammoth’ who do a range of sports with the added social fun. I saw they did Rounders all over London and signed up to join. The games are played after work, giving people more chances to play sports. I chose Regents Park and was really nervous on the first evening. I arrived at where they told us to meet and there were around 40 people watching a game of rounders. Go Mammoth told us the name of the team I was part of so I asked people there what team they were on/if they knew where I could find my teammates.

After I found my teammates, we were all in the same boat as we all didn’t know anyone. We started playing against another team who also didn’t know anyone before that evening. There were around 8 teams in the league and we played a different team each week. After the first game, all of the teams went to the pub and we got to know each other. I became really good friends with people from my team and even though Rounders is only a Summer sport, I meet with some teammates throughout the year. I signed up as an individual again and met more people the following Summer.

When the season finished, I went back on the Go Mammoth website and decided to give Dodgeball a go. I felt the same as I did when joining Rounders, but the team was so welcoming. Dodgeball happens all year round and I have now made really good friends from it.

Each time I find out somebody is moving to London, I tell them about Go Mammoth. It has really helped me make London home, built my confidence and I have made friends for life.

Exercise really does bring people together.”

Categories
Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Running School Sport University Workouts Classes

Amol Regina

“I started participating in physical activities at a very age of 6 years. I was in the athletes team of my primary school and was a great performer, got many certificates for good performance and I remember each time I had a competition on sports day my opponents would beg me not to beat them which to me was crazy because winning was my aim. As I advanced to my higher levels of education I continued with athletics and then I also joined the school netball team as well and it was an amazing journey. It kept me fit and each time I had stress and participated in athletics I felt so much relief. As I advanced into the university, I somehow relaxed because I didn’t have enough time though I would just get time over the weekends and did some physical exercises. After university, a friend of mine introduced me to daily workouts and gyming and I have never regretted it. It’s so refreshing and keeps me fit all the time. Because a good life is a healthy life I also try to regulate what I eat. I hope to get back to athletics and netball soonest as I work on my fitness.”

Categories
Female Gym Training Humans of HIIT Running School Sport

Vusi Edeki

“I found my confidence in fitness! I wasn’t always the confident person you see today.

I had a secret love of physical activity growing up, but all schools focused on that time was team sports and athletics and never felt worthy of participating because I wasn’t slim enough and was shy.

But when I discovered circuit training, dance and boxing inspired workouts at 16, I realised I was stronger than I thought and decided that my only competition was myself! Being Active gave me a voice and a platform as a fitness trainer, as this once shy girl now continues to inspire hundreds of other people to be more physically active regardless of shape and to have fun whilst doing it.”

Categories
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.”

Categories
Female Humans of HIIT School Sport University

Gemma White

“I dreamt of playing football when I was young but I didn’t dream of being a footballer; women’s football in the early 00’s was barely a sport let alone a profession. But I still loved it… Growing up exercise always centered around football, if it wasn’t football, it was team sports – netball, basketball (never hockey). All that time my love of being part of a team was growing; working together, celebrating together and for me personally, developing my leadership skills. It’s pretty much all I did in my teenage years.

Fast forward to University and it was all about the football club, playing, drinking, organising (repeat). I think my degree was just a by-product… Football wasn’t just a hobby it was part of my identity. I’m now lucky enough to work in football so it’s not only my hobby or part of my identity it’s my job. Looking back on those early years at primary school, playing as backup goalkeeper because the boys wouldn’t quite let me on the pitch, makes me so proud I didn’t give up. Had I not fallen in love with playing football and playing sports just for the love of it, then my life could have turned out so differently.”

Categories
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.”

Categories
Gym Training Humans of HIIT Male School Sport University Weight Loss

Marc Slowey

“I may work in sport however I have a love-hate relationship with training as I have always been someone who trains because of weight gain and loss.

I only really became involved with sport at the end of secondary school due to a few amazing teachers who helped me to get involved to become fitter and healthier. I got heavily involved with rowing and even competed at national competitions (well on an indoor rowing machine haha).

This experience made me want to become a PE teacher so I studied it at University, however, I ruptured my hamstring off the bone and could not stay active. So I once again gained weight but I found my love for sport when I got a job at the University of Sussex with some inspirational people.

Since then I have jumped from sport to sport for new challenges, of which saw me recently win a regional powerlifting competition. I am now looking at getting fitter and in shape in preparation for doing a load of challenges before my 30th Birthday next year.”

Categories
Family Female Humans of HIIT Pregnancy Sport

Lynn Smaggus

“I grew up on a farm, so I was always outdoors and active at an early age. Throughout my school years I was very successful in competitive sports, with track and field being my main focus. I have a twin sister who competed alongside of me, and it really became a huge part of my identity. We were often spotlighted in local papers, and were quite well known for our athletic success around our area.

I met my husband in my mid twenties. He had 3 children from prior relationships, and I basically put my own health on the “back burner”. I lost myself further, once I realized I struggled with fertility issues. I became consumed with repetitive heartbreak and really lost myself.

A few months before I was going to turn 40, I realized I had to take back control of my life. I began working out from home, and I got my weight back under control and refound my joy. I am 43 years old, and really do feel better than I ever have. I even threw javelin competitively for the first time in over 20 years, last summer at a couple of track meets in the masters category. Now I enjoy helping others get started on their own fitness journeys, using the same online workouts that have helped me so much. I truly want as many people as possible to feel as good as I do, and realize that age really is only a number.”

Categories
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!