I can’t remember where I read this anymore, so I hope I didn’t make it up. But it did make me look back and reflect on where my love of sports came from.
As a child, Saturdays used to consist of my mum, sister and I visiting her friend and 2 daughters (or vice versa) for some play time, followed by a visit to the library and, afterwards, on to the swimming pool. My mum put a lot of value on swimming lessons, so as soon as we were old enough, we were signed up.
We were already swimming twice a week at a young age. I think the habit of doing sport on a regular basis set me up for the future. Later I did self-survival classes and then swam for the local swimming team.
The amount I trained changed over time, but I have memories of walking down the farm road in the dark to be picked up by my coach and taken to the pool before school. I never really excelled at the sport, but I enjoyed it for a long time.
🤸🏼♀️ The other sport I did was gymnastics 🤸🏼♀️
Mum enjoys watching sports, so I am sure she would have had it on the TV during the Olympics and other big competitions. And you are inspired by people who look like you. I pestered her to go to gymnastics, but there was no club, so I got to go to tap dancing and ballet classes instead.
The minute a gymnastics club was opened in my town, I was instantly out of the dance class and signed up for gymnastics. I really loved it and was committed to going every week without fail. As it was a relatively new club, I eventually hit an age where I couldn’t go to the club anymore, and we had to take a bus to the next village to continue training.
Eventually, I got to the stage where progressing further would have required travelling 50km away, so I decided to give up at around 16 years old.
My two sports took up many years.
Looking back, it is interesting how once I’d made the commitment to the sports, I just went to every week. It was very much a habit to go to training sessions, and there was never any reason not to. I think this has followed me throughout my life. Once I got to university, I didn’t really do any specific sport but often, on Wednesday afternoons, I’d join my sister for a fitness class; I had a gym membership and used the swimming pool.
Then, in my last year at uni, I had a go at the university football team, which I am quite sure was never a sport for me. As I continued through life and onto my time in Amsterdam, I was more of a gym bunny doing all the fitness, yoga and pilates classes and would go into the pool for a swim from time to time. But as you can see, the habit continued from my childhood.
The transition to Triathlon came from my first job in Amsterdam and took 10 years. Asked to do the swim leg of a triathlon relay, I was exposed to the sport. I loved the look of it and started running.
That took me on a bit of a 10-year detour while I went from 5 and 10kms races to marathons and beyond. But that nagging desire for Triathlon was always there, and eventually, I turned up for my first Triathlon.
When I realised I no longer wanted to work in the IT world, I asked myself what else I could do. I did have a friend suggest PT as I liked sports so much. I didn’t immediately see myself in that role, but it stayed in the back of my head for a long time.
However, in the end, it made sense. I was already encouraging all my friends to join in 5km, and 10km runs, and I enjoyed seeing people doing well. So I headed to England for 3 months to gain my diploma in Personal Training and Sports Massage Therapy.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Author: Lorna Wilson
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