From a very young age, sport has been a huge part of my life. I was lucky enough to have supportive parents and teachers who encouraged me to try as many different sports as I could. Athletics was the one sport that I was desperate to get involved with, but waiting until I was 8 years old to join my local athletics club seemed like waiting an eternity.

I was lucky enough to be successful at most sports that I turned my hand to, but athletics was the one I loved the most. I enjoyed running, hurdling, jumping and throwing and ended up competing in heptathlons by the time I was 17. I loved the adrenaline rush that athletics gave me, and the hard work that had to be put in to make you outperform your opponents. My dedicated parents would drive me to training and competitions two to four times each week, and loved watching me compete.

By the time I got to Bath University I had suffered shin splints and had to really change my training approaches. I started lacrosse and rowing to try something different , and to keep me away from the impact of training on a track. Rowing was completely new to me, so a new skill to learn, different muscle groups and energy systems to test. I did keep up an element of my athletics/sprint training under the watchful eye of Rob Ellchuk, who introduced to power and olympic lifts.

By the time I had graduated, I was working at Silverstone. I knew nobody and the closest track and rowing clubs seemed miles away. The guys I worked with were all into endurance events, so I began mountain biking, road biking and running with them. Over the next three years I had great fun testing myself on new events such as duathlons, adventure races, half and full marathons. It was doing this that I met some fantastic people, including Ollie Mansbridge, who had just opened up a Crossfit box in Bath and suggested I gave it a go.

I decided to return to University in 2011-2012 to complete my PGCE, with the aim of becoming a teacher. I was desperate to try it, so during one of my school-based placements I joined Crossfit Bournemouth for a month. I loved it. Again, new skills to learn and no two workouts were the same. I loved the variety.

As soon as I had secured a teaching job, I was straight back to Crossfit Bournemouth. I had so much to work on, mobility being the biggest thing. I love being able to see my own progress, and I love the community, many of whom have since become my best friends.

I truly believe that there is a sport out there for everyone, for me, I have found ‘the sport of fitness’.

Throughout my life, sport has developed my character. It has given me reason to focus on sleeping well and eating well. It has made me strive to be better than I was yesterday. It has opened doors to develop some of the best friendships I have ever known where support and encouragement are the foundations. I may not be the best athlete in the world, I am certainly one of the most dedicated. I love how adaptable our bodies are. No matter your starting point, if you train, you will get better.

My love for sport began when I was at first school. Now I am a teacher, I see it as my job to enthuse those I teach to develop their own love for sport, and where being healthy and exercising becomes an important consideration for every day living. Live the life you love, love the life you live.

February 25, 2015 — Pippa Alford

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.