Meet Nicola, CrossFit Volentia’s Head Coach and founding partner. We asked Nicola to tell us a bit about her own CrossFit journey and why she thinks it important for women of all ages to ‘train for life’.
“I came to CrossFit relatively late in life...and it wasn’t until my early 40’s that I found myself walking into a CrossFit box which had opened its doors not far from where my husband and I live.
I can honestly say I was totally terrified by my first class! It was a vertical jump skill session followed by the WOD Fran (21, 15, 9 thrusters and pull-ups). I was pretty hopeless (my view at the time!) but even through my exhaustion I was none the less hooked on this amazing method of training and signed up to do my Induction immediately!
I loved the team atmosphere, the careful coaching and the exhilaration of the WOD! I loved the variety, the way I was cheered on by the other members and coaches and I loved the way it made my body feel so strong and fit!
As a personal trainer myself I thought I was pretty strong and fit anyway but when I started CrossFit my body jumped up a gear: I leaned up, my shape changed - I developed more of a ‘V’ shape to my torso, I just looked and felt stronger! I started to realise that my body could do an awful lot more than I realised. It became obvious as well that for so long it had been about what my body looked like rather than what my body could do! This realisation was LIBERATING!
CrossFit gave me a whole range of new and exciting ways to train, from bodyweight exercises to weightlifting, from running to rowing! All of these things were there to challenge me and my body LOVED the variety it was being exposed to. I decided that I wanted to share this training method with my own clients and I wanted them to experience all that CrossFit had to offer them first hand in my own gym.
6 years ago I opened CrossFit Volentia in Rugby. Standing alongside me were a small group of my fellow PTs who over the years of working together in a globo gym had become good and trusted friends. One of these amazing individuals, Nick Smith became my co-owner and the others our coaches. We supported each other through the ups and downs of our early business days and together we grew CrossFit Volentia from 40 members to 130 members just before Lockdown hit the world!
On a personal level my own training has adapted around my changing body.
I truly believe that staying fit and strong has seen me through a very uneventful menopause. Sure, I’ve had the usual inconvenience of hot flushes and earlier on in the process I had uncomfortable joint pain and some tiredness too but I have sailed through to the other side with very few symptoms and without the need for HRT. I adapted my training to accommodate my needs on any particular day and I now feel pretty much like my old self again. I truly believe that my fitness has kept me resilient against the worst of the menopause symptoms and that my mental and physical health is robust because of the fitness routine I have followed.
My continuing aim is to bring this way of life to as many people as possible; I want ALL women to experience the freedom that health and fitness brings! To feel in control of your body and to accept it for what it can do rather than just what it looks like is liberating!
Our bodies are incredible; they can do so much more than we can ever imagine!
Being fit and strong through your 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s and beyond is the way to a full happy and healthy life!
We’ve got just one chance at this life thing...I intend to make mine the best I possibly can and through my work at CrossFit Volentia, to help others do the same too”.
You can follow Nicola @crossfit.volentia and @coach_nicolatunstall