9 people you need in your fitness crew
With F1 superstar Susie Wolff proving a significant source of inspiration for this season’s Tomboy collection, we were intrigued by the support network Susie and other athletes rely on to perform their best. What we see on the track or podium is the very tip of the iceberg, with plenty of grit, dedication, failure and lessons learned lurking beneath the surface. As raw talent is best nurtured in the company of others, we asked trainer and female empowerment spokesperson Karen Laing to outline the 9 people you need in your ‘crew’…
1. Your fitness inspiration
This might be the person who encouraged you to try sport as a child or the one who flicked the switch and illuminated your active lifestyle. They may not be part of your inner circle now, but they set you on the right trajectory for success. Keep them close to your heart and do them proud in every workout, fitness class or competition.
2. Your coach
Whether it’s a personal trainer, a like-minded gym trainer or a class instructor, this is the person who inspires you, challenges you and motivates you. Turn to them for training questions (or training woes), and trust in the depth of their knowledge to approach your personal goals with a well-informed and carefully considered plan of action.
3. Your race day cohort
You know the one. You find an event and book two places because you know they’re in. You train together, bunk together and abstain from drinking together. And they’re in every post-event selfie on your Instagram page. Success shared is success magnified.
4. Your live-in counsellor
The people you share a roof with have a huge role to play in your fitness success. Whether it’s a partner, friend or family, get the people closest to you on board with your goals and they’ll have your trainers at the ready every time you think about skipping your morning run for a lie in.
Katie Bulmer-Cooke, top personal trainer, author and former BBC Apprentice star, knows a thing or two about this: “Having positive influences around me has always been important. When someone else believes in you, you really feel you can take on the world. Whether it be in the gym and having a training partner to push you through your last few reps or in my case my mum, dad and husband saying, 'I know you can/will' when I share with them my latest business idea. Positivity breeds success!”
5. Your best friend
She knows when you need a stern talking to and when you need to skip training for a cream-smothered hot chocolate. For life or for fitness, your best friend is always on call and knows to help you find the balance of active pursuits and well-deserved rest.
Team SB makes time to laugh and share the benefits of active living
6. Your devil’s advocate
Believe it or not, you need a fitness sceptic in the corner. She secretly envies your get up and go and one day you know that your unstoppable energy will rub off on her. In fact, that’s one of the motivations keeping you going. Could you be someone else’s ‘fitspiration’? Do it for her.
7. Your injury prevention professional
Masseuse, chiropractor or physiotherapist, this person keeps you in one piece during even the most intense training regime. They care about your health and preventing injury, because they understand that not being active is not really living.
8. Your nutritionist
Like your physical therapist, you need your food scientist on speed dial or messenger at all times. No sports car has ever risen to the top without the best fuel in the tank, and your body is the same. Dietitian or informal food fanatic, make sure you have a culinary sage on hand for new recipe inspiration.
9. Your tribe
There’s security in number, and the best way to secure your next big fitness success is to have a team of active women who love to share ideas, try out new classes and occasionally meet for a post-workout cappuccino. Friends, colleagues or neighbours, having a fitness gang gives social context for your personal pursuits and helps to hold you to account. If you’re not sure where to start, try joining a local fitness club, attending a free in-store class at a nearby Sweaty Betty boutique or signing up to organisations like Women in Fitness Empowerment (WIFE), which is all about connecting active within a supportive networking environment.
Team SB meets at the barre instead of the bar
Karen Laing is a writer, presenter and co-director of fit-school.co.uk. She specialises in pre and post natal Pilates and fitness and loves to meet and write about inspiring women. Karen is also a guest speaker at the WIFE Rising Stars conference. Read more of her work on alittlefitter.com.