Anika's Fitness Journey So Far!
I personally started on my journey in 2013 when I joined the gym to support my husband on his weight loss journey. When I first started I would go straight into the women’s only gym and stick to running on the treadmill and resistance machines the free weight area and the main gym terrified me I thought everyone would be looking at me and judging me!
Then along came Adam a newly qualified Personal Trainer and this is where I found out that free weights weren’t scary and no one was looking at me or judging what I was doing. From then on I have been on and off with lifting not having a specific goal.
Fast forward to 2019 and I quit my job as a preschool teacher not knowing what I was going to do!! A friend then suggested I should look into becoming a Personal Trainer and for the first time in years I felt excited about my career choice, so I enrolled in a PT course. With a lot of dedication 6 months later I was fully qualified. This is where my training started getting more regular again but still not having a clear goal. Then COVID hit and during the first lockdown we built a gym in the house but didn’t really use it, During the second lockdown I maintained a level of training, and then the third one I was determined to carry on throughout the lockdown so I was in there most days lifting and started looking at doing a powerlifting competition towards the end of that year, something id not even considered before now. I have since competed and won 2 powerlifting competitions and also have competed in a strong-man competition placing second. I am now focusing on Brazilian Jujitsu and am hoping to be awarded my blue belt this year.
I used to go to the gym to improve how I look as I thought that was what women did, but now I do it to be the strongest and fittest version of me I can be. I don’t want to just be able to lift heavy I want to be able to run a 10k without really thinking about it, I do still want to look good however it’s just not at the top of the list anymore. Some may say I look too manly now with the muscle I have put on and I have even been told “women shouldn’t lift that heavy” so what did I do I smiled as I put more weight on the bar and lifted that!
I am doing this for me and no one else if they don’t like it I couldn’t care less and it has taken me a long time to be able to think like that and accept not everyone will like the way I look now but I’m excited about what I can achieve in the future and where my journey will take me next.
The one key piece of advice I would give someone starting out would be, just do it for you!