Fitness has always been a big part of my life: since I was 11 years old I have been involved in boxing fitness which led me to join a boxing gym at 19, I was training 5-6 times a week and thrived off the buzz and immense sense of satisfaction from pushing myself to my physical limits and challenging my mental endurance. Boxing has always been a huge passion of mine, giving me a great sense of drive, discipline and achievement.
My social life got a massive shot in the arm when I started dancing at 23 and never looked back! Learning a skill I always wanted to achieve, taking part in award winning cabarets, winning my fair share of dance trophies and perhaps best of all, meeting great like-minded people and some who I believe will be friends for life.
So as you can see, I had a pretty busy social life! When you add in my job in Arboriculture; a physically demanding and very challenging job you can imagine how much of an impact the sudden lockdown had on me!
Going from travelling long distances every day of the week to standing stock still being stuck at home during Covid-19 lockdown was a bit of shock, but I didn’t let it demoralise me and my training. Instead I used it as an opportunity to dedicate myself more to improving my fitness and health without any demands on my time and without any serious distractions.
During lockdown I have been training in a converted gym (I have a barn on my folks farm) with minimal equipment but more than enough for me to get the work in. I train twice a day every day; it has kept my mind active and stimulated, the hashtags on Instagram such as #stayingactive and #staypositive really have applied to my exercise routine.
This has brought me onto my use of social media rather handily. I have made an effort to keep my use of social media to a minimum and when I do I use it to look at material that will help me with my training and motivation. I have been following personal trainers and boxers who make a lot out of minimal space and equipment, it gives me new exercise ideas and training tips, this in turn keeps me motivated.
My dance friends have been great. My good friend Angela, who is also very keen on her exercise and keeping fit came up with the idea of hosting exercise sessions every day on Zoom. This has quickly snowballed into large groups of us getting involved and doing a wide range of circuit training, HIIT sessions, aerobic step classes…. Even BUTI Yoga! What surprised me most of all is that I enjoyed the last one!!
I have used the lockdown opportunity to try and improve my flexibility and suppleness for both dancing and boxing, which is where the yoga has come in. It has been easy to get involved and enjoy with my Zoom friends, plus they love laughing at me when I cry out in pain at these torturous yoga poses; Lizard pose and downward dog are particularly horrendous poses I have found!
And if that wasn’t enough I’ve even decided to push my flexibility to the limit and learn how to do the splits! I’m confident you’re probably thinking I’m mad at this point… and you’re probably right!
Overall I’d like to think I’ve made the best of my time in lockdown; it has made me appreciate all the facilities I have at home even more and has taught me how to be more self-reliant. Thankfully in this era of technology we have great ways to remain in touch with friends and family, I’m very fortunate to have a very loving and supportive family as well as such a wide community of positive and like-minded people from very different and diverse backgrounds in both the sports I have pursued, and, whilst I do miss my Arboriculture work and the social aspects involved in dance (and the sparring/fighting part of boxing!) ultimately I’m grateful for the lessons this recent outbreak has taught me and the time off that has been awarded to me.