Nina is a Sports Therapy Practitioner who runs two clinics in the East Midlands, she has suffered with a skin condition which led her to be addicted to steroid creams, read her interview here:
Can you tell us a bit about you and your career?
I have always loved fitness, right from being 5 years old. I used to do aerobics with my mum in the living room to Jane Fonda videos and since then, I’ve been hooked. My love for group fitness continued and in my teens, I started attending aerobics classes with my mum at a local village hall, I absolutely loved it.
In my early 20s I started teaching pole fitness, then mid twenties, Zumba fitness and HIIT in my late twenties to early thirties. Around the time I was getting busier with Zumba, sports massage kind of fell into my lap following an illness that I went through completely unexpectedly. I had always struggled with my skin and I realised that I had become addicted to steroid creams, I had to go through a long withdrawal to get better. Post illness, my skin is now amazing and I can do my job as a massage therapist without a worry. I work in my own business, The Body Project and I offer sports massage, medical acupuncture, myofascial cupping and pelvic floor health coaching. I absolutely LOVE what I do because I meet so many incredible and inspirational people on a daily basis, I learn so much all the time!
What is a typical day for you?
A typical day for me involves working from either one of my two clinics. I typically spend an hour with each one of my clients (we refer to our clients as life athletes- everyone is an athlete!) and we always address whatever is relevant to them in that session. I see a lot of people who are struggling with aches, pains and niggles and it can be people ranging from elite athletes in sport, all the way to an 80 year old life athlete who wants to walk from the house to their car without pain.
How did you get to where you are now and did you face any challenges along the way?
I got to this point with the help and guidance of an incredible mentor who also happens to be my wife and business partner! She opened the door for me to pursue absolutely anything within the world of fitness, it had literally always been my dream. One of the main problems I faced though was just as soon as I had started teaching regular fitness classes and becoming more confident, I got really ill with my skin condition.
How did you overcome those setbacks?
I used my skin setback as a springboard, and once I got better, there was no stopping me. It really helped me to appreciate my functioning body and the voice I have to help other people to reach their goals.
What is an important initiative that you feel passionate about in your role?
Helping people, no matter what they walk through the door with, my aim is to help them in some way shape or form. Sometimes, I am a person they can talk to about their life whilst I’m giving them their treatment.
What do you think gave you the drive and determination to succeed?
The passion I have always had for the industry I’m in, and the illness that stole everything from me just as I had gained it.
What’s great about being a female in your role?
I have a voice and I am trusted. People come and see me to help heal their body and that is the ultimate position of trust for me especially because I work with people from literally all walks of life.
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learnt along the way?
Communication is ALWAYS king.
Have you ever felt that your gender has brought unnecessary challenges to your career? No. In fact, it’s always funny when people look at my size and think I won’t be a strong massage therapist, they’re always wrong.
Do you have a mantra you live your life by?
When things are tough, I always remember ‘this too shall pass’ and ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’, those quotes helped me on hard days during my illness. And also ‘she believed she could, so she did’, I have this in a frame on my bedroom wall and it’s the first thing I see every day.
What three tips would you give to young females starting their careers?
- Find your voice- this will serve you SO well in the future, get confident in hearing yourself speak, record videos on your phone of you talking about something that lights you up and watch them back so you get used to hearing yourself- that thing could be ANYTHING, that thing is YOUR thing (Even if it’s someone elses too) and it needs to be heard in YOUR voice. People need and want to hear it, trust me.
- Find a mentor- Find someone who is doing what you want to do and do what they do. They will be more than willing to talk about themselves, so ask them. People love talking about themselves especially if its about their passion or life’s work.
- Stop caring what other people think. It’s said so often these days but it’s the truth. Your people will find you no matter what.
What is the best bit of advice that you have ever been given?
Before I started teaching fitness classes, one of my wife’s business coaches told me: Always say hello to the new faces in the room, make them feel welcome and they will always come back. He was right.
Can you talk about one woman who has impacted your life?
My wife, Kelly. She opened the door for me to live my dreams, she inspires me every single day and I will be forever grateful to her for that.
What are your key motivators?
I want to know that I am giving each one of my clients the best version of myself.
Anything else that you would like to add about your career or story?
Just a quick shout out to my parents who have always supported me in whatever I have decided to do. They're epic!
If you enjoyed reading Nina's blog then click here to get some more inspiration!