Hailey B. began her fitness journey at a young age as a gymnast. At the university level she competed in many different races of varying lengths but found her passion at the half ironman distance.
After procuring multiple TRX, kettlebell, barbell, and foundational training certifications she build up her background to become an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. She discovered her love for Pilates to become a certified classical Pilates instructor.
After 15 years in the fitness industry, she has found that nothing has more proven health benefits than strength training. She has made it my mission to convert women, especially those in their 40s and beyond, to the miracle of strength training.
Catch Women Fitness President Ms. Namita Nayyar in an interview with Hailey B.certified fitness trainer & Pilates Instructor.
You started off as a gymnast & went on to play nationals in high school? Share more input how sports happened to you? Does it run in the family?
My father was my biggest advocate in sports. He set a great example for me when I was young by taking me to the local gym with him to work out. I began gymnastics when I was 5 and just stuck with it throughout my teenage years. I competed at a high level with much support from my family. Once I entered high school, I began to transition out of competing at a state and national level and spent my time and passion cheerleading. I had an undeniable work ethic from my youth that helped me carry out being successful at the sports I chose. Put simply, I put in the time and showed up every single day. Unfortunately, I started having back pain that became debilitating by my senior year of high school and was forced to quit the sports I loved of Cheerleading and Gymnastics. I had surgery that year and had to find my identity outside of sport.
At University level you became passionate about running, participating in triathlons. Participation in competitions requires great commitment & hard work? Throw some light how you groomed yourself for competitions at the grassroot level?
Once at University, I began running. I did it socially for years competing in local 5k and 10k races. Slowly, I worked up to a few half marathons. I got married at 22 right after graduating from University, which happened to coincide with me running my first marathon in San Francisco on my honeymoon. My husband, Steve, was thrilled:) I had my first child at 26 and by the time I had my third and final child at 32, I began to take a huge interest in triathlon. The biggest hurdle I had at the time was that I had no idea how to swim. That didn’t stop me. I hired a great coach and began swim lessons immediately. This was by far my hardest leg of the triathlon through my competing years. I never ended up loving it, but it was a necessary evil of triathlon.
Once I had competed in many shorter distance triathlons (sprint and Olympic) I decided to shoot for the ironman 70.3 distance. I knew my training would need to be taken more seriously and again, I found myself seeking out a high ranked coach. This time I would find a pro triathlete named Liz Blatchford who took me under her wing and trained me to compete and place at the top 1 % in my age group.
To be honest, half of my drive at this time in my life with little kids and a husband who travelled all the time, was just to have something that was just mine. I needed something I could use to find myself again and create my new identity outside of just being a wife and mother (which was very fulfilling but caused much loneliness). I competed up through May 2018 in long distance triathlon. I didn’t know at the time, but this May 2018 Ironman 70.3 would end up being the last finish line I crossed.
I had major knee surgery 9 months later, after spending those 9 months with inner knee pain that was misdiagnosed. I was completely non weight bearing from this surgery for 8 weeks. How could I go from the fittest I had ever been to completely bed ridden for 2 months in the same year? I had to mourn the loss again, of moving on from a sport I loved.
Good things usually happen from one door shutting though. While I was in bed for those two months, I trained my mind. I became obsessed with strength training and decided to get certified as a personal trainer. I had been in the fitness industry for about 12 years at the time, mainly teaching TRX and Pilates. I couldn’t get enough. I spent every waking minute seeking out information to better this newfound education. I watched one movie during that 8 weeks of bedrest, just one. All my time was devoted to learning. At physical therapy, even though I couldn’t walk, I would sit on the arm ergometer for 60-70 minutes each day. I found some way to still workout. I needed that. I documented my struggles and rehab story on my Instagram to show women, that you can always work “around the joint” even with injury. You just must get creative.
5 key essentials for an athlete to succeed in a competition?
Hire a coach (most of us need accountability), believe in yourself, don’t compare yourself to anyone elsejourney time is irrelevant- just cross the finish line, plan out your week on Sunday and schedule in your workouts (they need to become non-negotiable), don’t get overwhelmed by the end goal, take each day at a time.
This interview is exclusive and taken by Namita Nayyar President womenfitness.net and should not be reproduced, copied or hosted in part or full anywhere without an express permission.
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