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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.”

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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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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.”

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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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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.”

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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!

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Jordan Lockyer

My appreciation for fitness probably started later than most. l was a chubby kid growing up so I didn’t really get into sport until starting senior school. That’s where I found out rugby was my calling as size was an actual advantage! I loved playing the sport and joined our local town team as well as playing for my school through my years there. I enjoyed the team camaraderie, especially on tours across Europe.

As I got older, Uni life and weekend work took over and I actually became really skinny through doing a few fitness programs like ‘Insanity’ (and probably not eating much as a broke student). Even though I was keeping my fitness in check, it felt more like a chore and I wasn’t enjoying it. I’ve maintained gym memberships over the years, however I never really had the right approach in terms of setting long term goals or following specific programs. It also didn’t help working in an office where I was served fried chicken multiple times a week! Fitness wasn’t a priority and I lacked drive which had a knock on effect on my mental health too.

Fast forward to more recently and across the past year things have really changed for me, especially since working for a group of fitness clubs. I made my fitness a priority and it became a core personal focus of mine. Being surrounded by fitness professionals and having access to their expertise & training has given me a greater understanding of what is required to improve myself. I became happy with myself and I am looking / feeling in the best shape of my life.

Now here we are in these crazy lockdown times… I wanted to keep up my fitness and resigned myself to following random online workouts. Fortunately Alex stepped in with his awesome initiative. Although I’ve missed going to the gym, I’m loving the routine and community Alex has built with his zoom workouts. I think through my experiences I’ve come to realise that fitness is a constant, it’s not a destination. As long as I can enjoy what I’m doing and keep focused on improving then I will be motivated to carry on!

 

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

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Hannah Robinson

“As a child I only really did sport to stop putting on weight, I was a tennis and swimming coach but more because kids are meant to get involved in these hobbies, not because I enjoyed it. Fitness wasn’t really my thing despite growing up in a family that walked marathons, ran half’s,  captained cricket teams and trained to become a PT.

Skip to uni and I was more interested in clubbing and cheesy chips then keeping fit and I put on an extra layer of chub. Post uni/working life I got a PT, joined a gym and due to some things that changed my life I turned to running a lot more. With an events job changing my routine daily, it is hard to keep it up when deliveries of food and wine are plentiful. Pre lockdown I was due to go to the Philippines, I was very much on the London Barry’s/1Rebel hype, running on treadmills in the pitch black until I was nearly sick.

Then came lockdown, a cancelled holiday & mums stockpiling of Easter eggs, all the effort I had put into classes was gone. I started running but got bored of my routes and when my pal mentioned these classes I thought why not. I’m isolating at my family home and asked my mum if she was up for joining. 17 workouts later and we are both tuning in where we can. We both feel fitter then ever, I just hope I can keep it up when I start working and commuting again, it keeps me motivated and it’s great to see others.”

 

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

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Emily Taper

“I’ve always been a sporty and active person, at school I used to do everything from dancing and swimming to netball and hockey, but I’ve always struggled with keeping my motivation levels up. At uni I played netball, but throughout I could feel my fitness levels dwindling – moving from WD to GK so there was less running about.

Then after uni I went to the gym here and there, but wasn’t really too focused on my fitness for a few years. Last year I picked up running again and did a 10k. But then since moving to London I’ve been up and down with my fitness efforts, joining the gym and then cancelling my membership a few months later, and running very intermittently. But then lockdown came and I was beginning to feel quite lazy.

As soon as I saw my friend ask if anybody fancied joining him for a workout on our lunch breaks I thought yay this could be my chance to get motivated again. Since then I’ve been joining regularly and have definitely noticed my passion for fitness come back, and this has inspired me to get back into running and reach my PB distance. Thanks to everyone in the community for helping me bring the motivation and passion back, and for putting a smile on mine and everyone else’s faces during these very weird times.”

 

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

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Emily Roche

For me, I’m not as active now as I used to be, but playing sport has given me so much more than health & fitness, and has shaped both my life and my personality in a really positive way.

Most of my weekends have been filled up by lacrosse, ever since I can remember.  When I started at Sheffield Uni it was pretty obvious that I’d join the club, and already knew a few of the girls playing there.  For one thing, it kept me in shape, as I don’t bother going near a gym without lacrosse to motivate me, but something that people don’t always talk about is the confidence that you can gain through playing and coaching sport.

I was a very shy person when I first went to University, and the thought of having to speak in front of more than 10 people or so would have left me feeling pretty anxious.  After my 1st year, I ended up as co-captain of the beginners team, probably mostly because nobody wanted to do it at the time, and on my first session over 100 players turned up – I was sh**ting myself.  That year was a turning point for me, and I started learning a lot about myself and gaining confidence without realising it was happening.

I went from coaching beginner sessions, to club captain & helping to coach the 1st team, to running in my Students’ Union election because I loved University sport, and then into my first ‘proper job’ as Sports Officer.  From barely being able to mumble in front of 100 strangers, four years later I was hosting the University’s Sports Awards dinner for over 600 people, and lifting our Sheffield Varsity trophy in an Ice Hockey arena that seated around 8,000.  For me, there isn’t another avenue that could have brought me to be able to do that, and although the actual sport was my motivation, it was the communities, friendships, safety net and endless number of supportive people in my life that got me there.

Sport Sheffield was a home to me for 4 years, and gave me my best memories of Uni.  I love thinking about how many people this is true for, and Humans of HIIT is another perfect example of physical activity bringing people together at an important and tough time.

 

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