The Fitness Perspective – Interview with On The Fly

The fitness industry is forever changing. From DVDs and classes to YouTube videos and apps. But, what do people REALLY think about fitness now? ‘The Fitness Perspective‘ is a brand new blog post series. We interview different people and find out exactly what they think about fitness now. (They also ask me one question at the end!)

Who are you and what do you do?

Online, I’m Fizz from On The Fly, which is a travel blog I started after leaving school last year. I blog about travel and sustainable living, as well as any random thoughts I feel the need to write down. In real life I live in North Yorkshire and work as a lifeguard and also in a dental practice – a nice mix of jobs to keep things interesting!

How did you start your fitness journey?

My parents have always kept fit and my brother and I played sports as kids, so it was always there really. I started pursuing fitness as an actual hobby when I was about 15. I competed in cross country a few times with school and cadets, and realised it was something I enjoyed and might actually be half decent at if I put some effort in. I started to train with my dad, who was working with a coach to reach his goals, and to this day we train with the same group.

How has your exercise routine changed compared to a year ago?

This time last year I was mega stressed about exams and it kind of dominated my headspace. My exercise routine was sporadic at best! Any exercise I did was rushed and not particularly enjoyable, mostly consisting of half-hour bursts once or twice a week, often late in the evening after hours of revision.

Fast forward to now – I’m much happier and more relaxed and I have the time to really enjoy exercising! It’s a fairly chilled schedule – as long as I train upper body, legs and abs in a week, I’m happy. I usually try to train five days a week and look after my body properly too – long stretch sessions and decent food. Before lockdown, a Saturday morning track session was a weekly staple and one of my favourite parts of the week.

What is your top tip for staying motivated?

I think it’s really important to exercise for your own enjoyment and nothing else – not for another person, not to compete with other people, and not because of pressure from society or social media. When you enjoy something it feels like less of a daily fight.

Also, if you’re really not feeling it – give yourself a day off! Pushing through tough days is admirable but sometimes your body and mind just need to rest! Your next workout will feel twice as good for having taken some time out.

What is your perspective on the way fitness is portrayed online?

Oh gosh, I could talk about this all day! Firstly, I love the fact that it’s so accessible to anyone and there are so many different ways of keeping fit out there. There’s a wealth of information available and you can put tons of money into it or none at all – and that’s really great. The dawn of social media and fitness “celebrities” has made fitness into a certain “fashion” and I think it’s awesome how many people are out running and cycling.

However, it does frustrate me that a lot of fitness resources and influencers online seem to discount individual differences. Success doesn’t look the same for everyone; neither does one method of training work for everyone.

There’s still a definite “ideal” body type – just look at all those muscle-building workouts for men, and the booty workouts for women. There’s nothing wrong with having aesthetic goals for your body – I do! – but the reality is that some people don’t want to look like the accepted ideal, and furthermore some people simply won’t ever achieve that. I’ll never have wide hips and a tiny waist because I’m not built like that. Just look at Team GB for example, a group of individuals pushing the limits of their body every day, and take in the range of body shapes.

As I said, I could talk about this for ages! But despite the things that bug me about online fitness, at the end of the day I love that it’s becoming a way of life for so many people.

What is your all-time favourite workout?

Something dynamic – maybe some plyometric, some reps with a slamball and run-outs with a weighted sled.

What is your main fitness goal right now?

I’m trying to build up my strength and get more muscle definition!

Who/What has inspired you?

I mentioned this at the beginning – my parents! My mum’s got this “pain is temporary” mentality which gets her through ANYTHING (such as giving birth to two kids, as she often reminds us!) but not least a gruelling workout. My dad’s driven by goals and stats – he checks his times, decides what’s achievable for him and sets his mind to it, no matter how ambitious it sounds. As a result he represented GB at the European Duathlon Champs in Alcobendas in 2015 and Kalkar in 2016. If not for the pandemic, he’d have competed at the European Indoor Athletics Champs in Portugal.

My coach’s partner is awesome to train with – despite anything happening in the world or in her personal life she’s eternally positive and encouraging towards everyone. I don’t know how she does it but I try to adopt her mindset while training.

What is your proudest achievement?

In the space of about 5 years I represented North Region Air Cadets at cross country, swimming and athletics, respectively. Being on the athletics team was probably the best achievement for me as it was definitely the hardest one! I never really got onto sports teams at school and people who did used to intimidate me, so it was cool in every way – especially co-captaining the athletics team.

Do you think your relationships with fitness has impacted other aspects of your life? (e.g. your confidence, approach to challenges etc…)

100% yes! My relationship with, and perspective of, fitness had impacted my life in good and bad ways over the years. Thankfully, as I’ve grown more, those impacts have been positive. Going to the gym and lifting weights makes me feel strong. Running my first half-marathon made me feel like I could do anything. (That is also why I’ve found myself doing the London Marathon in October!) My relationship with fitness has made me the person I am today and I’m grateful for everything I have learned!

Thank you SO much Fizz for coming on and being the first person to answer my ‘Fitness Perspective’ questions! I’ve loved reading your answers and learning more about you – especially how awesome you are!?

If you are interested in coming on and sharing your fitness perspective then please leave a comment or send me a message/email.

Until next time my friends!