Featured Athlete: Lauradana D

So lovely Laura, to start off how did you first hear of Glevum? You had a connection with a special member of ours?

I heard about CrossFit from Margaret, who I first met many years ago at school! At first I listened in awe thinking I could never do something like that. But seeing how passionate she was about it and hearing about how amazing you all were, I had to come and visit!

In my opinion you have one of the coolest jobs ever… A wedding stylist! I can imagine it is a lot of fun but also very stressful!? …How did you get into it?

I love my job despite the weird hours and sometimes very stressful set ups it is very rewarding! I never planned on going into it as I was studying Geography at university and wanted to go into Ostracodology. I quickly learnt that looking down a microscope every day for hours on end was better left as a hobby rather than as a job! 

I didn’t make the decision to go into weddings, I started by sewing bags for Portuguese sea salt which turns out wasn’t popular (no surprises there!!). I forgot about my little Etsy shop and then 4 months later an order came in for wedding favours, followed by another and another- the rest is history! My business is 4 years old and I now design and decorate weddings all year round.

“If I’m really struggling, everyone supports you through it till the end, you don’t get that anywhere else.”

Part of the reason you got in touch with us at Glevum was to help with your job. Coming from a dance background you had all the mobility in the world but lacked a bit of strength? Yes who knew being in the wedding industry means you need to be so fit!! I average 32,000 steps per wedding often without a break and I need to have enough stamina and strength to lift crates and heavy items etc CrossFit has helped massively with this season!

….Tell us about your dancing background!? :)

I started at 2 years old with Mandy Goddings and stayed with her till I was 17, they were like my second family! I then moved onto dancing in London until unfortunately I couldn’t do it any longer (due to health issues). Dancing was my life, I loved everything about it from the dedication and practice behind the scenes to the buzz of performing in front of a packed theatre. 

Since dancing, had you done any other form of sporting activity before finding Glevum?

I did a brief period of rock climbing and snowboarding but then stopped sport altogether when I was 22 as I had some more heart issues. So before joining CrossFit I had 5 years with no exercise at all! 

Weight lifting certainly isn’t something you were accustomed to before coming to Glevum, I know you were a little out of your comfort zone at first… is there any advice you could give to others starting out who might find it a little daunting?

My struggles with weightlifting have mostly come from my dance training! I’m used to watching and copying but I’ve always been able to see my movements from every angle in a mirror filled room. Not being able to see the way my body is moving was the hardest thing for me to get used to and I now have to rely on how it feels (which is now a lot better!).

I’m now learning not to overthink each single movement and do it with a bit of aggression (even though I don’t have much of that in me!!) I was really worried at first that I’d hurt myself, but there is always somebody to help with technique and watch you. 

Some of the workouts are challenging and push you out of your comfort zone - what brings you back in each day to train?

The sense of achievement when I’ve done better than I thought I ever could is great. The people make it for me though, I love coming along to ladies class and having a bit of a giggle through out! I know that if it’s a workout that I’m really struggling with everyone will support me through it till the end, you can’t get that anywhere else. 

So most weekends you are busy working weddings? What do you do in your spare time?

I hardly have spare time during the season (April-Sept) but as soon as it’s over I like exploring new places, taking pictures, travelling and just generally enjoying an emptier inbox!!

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