Jenni is a personal development coach and trainer..
She specialises in career development, with a particular focus on the two ends of the spectrum; senior executives and managers in times of challenge and change and young people at the beginning of their careers.
1.Why is it important for you to include exercise in your busy schedule?
Exercise is essential to me-it goes in my diary long-term before almost everything else. The most important reason for that is that every time I go to the gym or do a class I’m celebrating the fact that I can. 16 years ago an infection in my spine left me unable to walk for months and I was told I might not walk unaided again, let alone get back in the gym. So the fact that I can run, jump, kick, dance and everything else I do is a miracle I appreciate every day of my life.
Exercise is also my mind balm-whether I’m leaping around in Body Combat or breathing into a Pilates stretch my mind is completely focused in the moment working with my body. If I find myself over-thinking something or feeling tension/stress beginning I will go and take exercise asap – a walk round the block if it’s the only possibility at the time but in the gym or Pilates studio at the earliest opportunity.
2.What does your exercise routine involve?
Monday: 1 hour Personal Training and I hour Body Combat Class
Tuesday: 1 hour Personal Training
Wednesday: 1 hour 1-2-1 Pilates Training (with machines)
Thursday: 1 hour Body Combat Class
Saturday: 1 hour Pilates Group Class (with machines) 1 hour Body Combat Class
I also walk alot and stretch every morning
3. Do you think that exercise has played a role in your success?
Definitely. In my exercise routine determination, focus, high standards and constant striving to improve combine with passion and enjoyment. I apply the same combination to my work and I often use a mental image of myself smashing it in the gym as an anchor to inspire and drive me in achieving a work goal. Exercise is also a great de-stressor and a meditative experience for me, as explained in my answer to question 1.
It helps me clear my mind, look at challenging work situations objectively and make calm clear decisions. Exercise increases my ‘Mental Toughness’ and helps me stay emotionally balanced and resilient whatever life presents me with. I believe that emotional resilience is fundamental to professional success and personal happiness.
4. When and where do you like to work out (morning/night – home/gym/outdoors)
I mostly work out in a gym and in a Pilates studio. I enjoy working out with others and being motivated and challenged by trainers Time of day varies. Monday and Thursday its evening. Tuesday its midday. Wednesday and Saturday its morning. I like variety. I also like to get fresh air and walk outdoors every day-both for getting from a to b and for pleasure in the park or countryside.
5. Has exercise/fitness always been a part of your life?
I have an eyesight issue which means I have poor spatial judgement and was useless at all kinds of ball games at school. Therefore I thought of myself as ‘not into exercise’ and I was overweight in my early teenage years. I then became near anorexic in my late teens and rode a bike frantically to work off the few calories I consumed. I was very skinny but weak! In my early twenties I discovered aerobics classes and Pilates and that changed my life.
I discovered forms of exercise I loved and could do with confidence. This shifted my body outlook towards being fit and toned rather than skinny. It probably saved me from slipping into serious anorexia. Since my early twenties exercise has been a constant in my life so I’ve been committed to fitness for 40 years! I was only stopped for a few months by a challenging pregnancy and then by two periods of serious illness- but have always got back into it as soon as possible. I credit my fitness and especially the core strength I developed through Pilates, with playing an essential part in my learning to walk after my spine infection.
6. Who is your role model?
My teachers Jacqueline Brown and Karen Padgett- amazing women who epitomise what fitness means to me and who inspire and help so many others to be the best they can be.
7. What is your favourite fitness quote?
Have never really thought about specific fitness quotes but here are two that I think apply:
‘Everything you need is already inside you’
‘Get up every morning and tell yourself I can do this’
To find out more about Jenni, please check out her website