Livi Parkins

Gail Stubbings
14th September 2019
In May this year, Livi started her own business called Wirral Whiskers. She is a pet sitter, dog walker and small animal boarder. Livi left a stressful, responsible, full time position where she had been with the company over a decade and decided to have a complete life style change. It was a hard decision but she took the massive leap to follow her dream with the support of her husband and children.
Livi’d choice of exercise is aerial circus lessons. As a child, the circus always seemed so exciting so when she found they had lessons for adults she couldn’t wait to try it.
1) Why is it important to include exercise in your busy schedule?
Exercise is so important for me. Obviously the health benefits are the primary reason – mentally especially. It is a great stress release but also helps to keep me functioning. It has helped me build on my self confidence.Now that I am self employed, it means exercise gives me routine (which I need), time out of the house, time without the kids, but also time with the kids and time with friends.
2) What does your exercise routine involve?
My exercise routine means doing as many aerial circus sessions that I can. With aerial circus, you can see the benefits of exercise and get a sense of achievement as can do the harder moves and it make it look prettier.
I also have a Garmin watch so try as do 10k steps a day. If I don’t have enough, I’ll do zumba from YouTube videos. This is great as I can do it at home at any time.
3) Do you think that exercise has played a role in your success?
Exercise has kept me going – it gives me a reason to get up and do something other than work or family. Also it gives me hope. The only downside is with less disposable income, I’ve not been able to go to as many sessions.
In addition, I have been able to supplement my income by doing supply circus teaching. These types of jobs are very hard to come by and I am appreciative of friends who let me know if they see opportunities. This summer I taught aerial hoop to children aged 4 to 16 in a summer scheme. This was an amazing experience as the children were of different abilities, most hadn’t done it before. I was able to help them to believe in themselves which meant that they grew in confidence, strength and skills. As a non gymnast, I know how hard it can be so I find I know the ways of making it easier for them as well as helping them to achieve what they want. They kept laughing when I said I was so proud of them as I could see how determined they were to try.
I am never going to be a performer, or really good, or even have my own studio. But circus gives me motivation, friends, achievement, happiness, fun and amusement. This in turn means that I am a better person and able to function better.
4) When do you workout?
I am not a morning person. I will walk a couple of miles for a pet sitting job in the morning but I find it hard to exercise. I prefer to go to evening circus classes or go to the park after school. However, I need to get all my steps in before I sit down in the evening, otherwise I forget. I find it is best to fit the exercise in where I can and make it fun – even roller skating on the prom with my little girl. Family time is good and even though we haven’t done it recently, my husband has roller skates and comes with us too.
5) Has exercise always been a part of your life?
No exercise hasn’t always been a part of my life. I was always into reading books and not exercising as I wanted to get back to my book. I started going to exercise lessons with a friend after my first child was born. It then led to trying to find exercise that was fun and didn’t hurt my knees. I’ve tried circuit classes, boxercise, walking, running and roller derby. Circus has led to specific circus lessons, core strength exercises and yoga. Over the years I have tried various exercise and found if it is fun, it seems a lot easier.
6) Who is your role model?
I have a few role models for their ability and skills but my main ones are my teachers. Erica Murdock teaches at venues on the Wirral. She is a great teacher for adults and children as well as being supportive, encouraging both in the sessions and also when I’ve asked for advice about working in the industry. I would love to be as brave, strong and flexible as she is. Another role model is my teacher Nick, from Freefall in Liverpool. He is over 60, has overcome health problems and is still climbing and swinging. Also, he still has better splits than me! (But I have seen his journey and the hard work he has put in to get them.) I can’t thank them enough for their support and help.
7)What is your favourite quote?
My favourite circus quote is ‘life is better upside down’. Fitness quote – ‘what seems impossible today, will one day be your warm up’. I love anything that means keep on going, the only limit is your mind.

 

To find out more about Livi and Wirral Whiskers, click here