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  • Darren Placid / Q&A

    10th August 2020

    10th August 2020

    By Caitlin Bell

    Darren Placid is a man of many talents. A personal trainer, a fitness instructor at Digme, an online coach, a firefighter, a husband and a father, Darren is all about living life at its fullest and maximising his physical and mental performance in whatever he does. We recently caught up with the Innermost Insider to talk about what he's been up to lately, what motivates him, and how he's handled the past few months.

    "It’s tempting to procrastinate in the hope of finding 'the perfect time' to start your fitness journey. However, this frame of mind tends to mean that you’ll never get started. In order to truly succeed, you have to find a unique way of making it enjoyable for yourself. This enjoyment is what will make it a permanent part of your lifestyle. This path is different for everyone, so remember to find what works for you and then stick to it." - Darren

    What’s your hustle?

    I’m a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, online coach and a firefighter. Not to mention a family man too. And breathe.

    What does #liveinnermost mean to you?

    For me, when meeting the Innermost team, it was all about what's good for you and how to improve your performance. Which in my case is great as I’m all about improving my performance both physically and mentally. 

    Favourite Innermost products and why?

    For me it has to be the proteins. I train at a high intensity and recovery is vital, so the protein definitely helps with this and allows my muscles to get ready again for the next day. I love The Lean Protein in Vanilla. Staying lean is my thing.


    Why is staying fit and healthy important to you? How do you incorporate it into your daily life?

    For me fitness is a way of life, and staying fit and healthy isn’t just good for you, it's good for the people around you too. I regularly go to the gym either on my own or with my wife as she's from a sporting background. But my son is also very active and I really feel that being fit and active for him is important, especially as he looks at his parents as role models. 

    How did you find lockdown? Was it a challenging time for you, and if so how did you adapt?

    At first I thought lockdown would be a challenge. But being a firefighter I still had to go to work. My fitness instructing took a bit of a hit but Digme moved very quickly to do online classes which played a part to keep me motivated. I also had to think outside of the box by doing a lot more stuff online, hence why I launched my online coaching and nutrition plans. Overall, the best part was that I got to spend more time with my family and recharge, so I was ready to get back to normal life. 

    How have you tried to stay fit and healthy (mentally and physically) during this time?

    For me it was never a case of trying. Before lockdown, I normally went for road runs, did exercises in the park and in my house so it didn’t feel that much of a difference. I always say that training the mind is as important as training the body so I read a lot of books on positive thinking and maintaining positivity in regards to training and lifestyle.


    What have you missed most over the past few months? 

    Not being able to see close friends and family was hard. But since I had to go to work at the fire station I was able to see friends there, so it wasn’t too bad! Having to cancel my son's birthday was hard, but for a 4-year-old he seemed to handle it really well.

    Any books, films or TV shows you’re currently obsessed with?

    Ok, so this is the child in me. I love Marvel films and I used to be a massive collector of the comics and I’ve got my son into watching all the films too. But on a serious note, I like to read biographies and books about the mind and body. I’m currently reading my friend Cherno Samba’s book, Still In The Game, about how he became an international footballer and the challenges he'd faced.

    What’s the most challenging thing you’ve done in your life and how did you overcome it?

    The most challenging thing in fitness terms has definitely been just maintaining my level of fitness. I think reaching my fitness goals was fairly easy as I had a specific target to reach, but maintaining it is the hardest part. Feeling that you can always improve is something you have to be realistic with as you’ll never be happy. But now I’ve got myself into a place where if I miss a day of training it’s absolutely fine. There’s always tomorrow. 


    Who or what motivates you?

    My family definitely motivate me. If you look at my social media and my quotes, most them come from my wife. She always motivates me to do more and remain professional, and even when there are times I feel like she’s being hard on me, I always know it’s for the best. 

    My son also motivates me - he's always active and loves to play sports. He starts school in September and I know I have around eight or nine months to get ready for the parents' race at his school sports day, so there’s a little motivation for me there too!

    Where’s your happy place?

    At home with the family. Seeing them is definitely a happy place for me and the best way to relax too. 

    Best advice you’ve ever received? 

    Again from my wife, that as I get older I have to work smarter and not harder.

    Any current goals, fitness or otherwise?

    Right now, my overall goal is to remain as healthy as possible and to impart knowledge to others about a healthy lifestyle, not just physically but mentally too. And we all have to remember when we are on a journey that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    If you want to see more from Darren, don't forget to follow him @darrenplacid. And if you want to read more exclusive Q&As with Innermost Insiders, be sure to check them out here.

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My favourite platform at the moment is my YouTube channel where I actually recently spoke about Innermost and the products I’ve been loving. View this post on Instagram A post shared by B r i n 🌱 (@brindarcey) Our theme this month is peace. So, the first question I want to ask is, what does peace mean for you, in your own life? A lot of the time in the health and wellness industry, the focus is on the physical and specifically on aesthetics, but I think that it’s really important to understand our health as something that's part of a bigger whole. It’s not just physical - it’s mental too, and that’s why, personally, peace is such a big thing for me, mental-health wise. Mental health is such an important part of our overall wellbeing and I think finding peace is really central to looking after your mental health. I wouldn't say I'm naturally a peaceful person but it’s a process to find that sense of inner-peace and maintain it. What process do you undertake to cultivate your inner peace? What steps have you taken? Over the last few years, I've definitely been taking steps to improve my relationship with myself and I suppose, in a way, to relax a little. As I mentioned, I think that it's definitely a process, and how you cultivate inner peace depends a lot on the individual. For me, a lot of that is spending time in nature, taking walks and exercising outside. I also think that meditating can also be useful, but I think that something that can dissuade people from meditation a bit and definitely dissuaded me was the idea that there’s only one way to meditate. But I think that just finding something that's meditative to you can be really useful in cultivating inner peace and it doesn’t have to be sitting down with your eyes closed. It can be spending time outside with your family or your friends, or even just watching a television show that makes your mind switch off for a bit. The first step to cultivating inner peace is finding what brings you peace. How do you make peace with your mistakes or regrets? I think that I'm quite lucky because I'm naturally quite good at letting things go and I don't necessarily regret things. So unfortunately, that's not going to be helpful for everyone. But I think that, for anyone, letting yourself come to terms with your emotions and letting yourself feel those emotions, is the most important step in making peace with them. However, I also think it’s then important to not hold on to those negative thoughts and feelings for too long. Once you’ve let yourself feel those emotions, you then need to accept them. A lot of the time your ego can get in the way of this step, but you need to be humble and say “okay, I've made a mistake”, perhaps get advice from friends or family and then just take time to reflect on yourself. In the end, the most important step is letting go; it's so important to accept and then move forward, otherwise we let things that we've done in the past continue to hold us back in the future. Is there anything that disrupts your peace and how do you manage it? I’m a person who doesn't necessarily enjoy change. So any small thing that happens in my day could completely derail how I'm feeling and that's something I'm definitely working on. But as I mentioned, it's a process. It's not going to happen overnight. The way I deal with this is not over-committing, organising, scheduling and planning things, but also respecting that things change and that's okay. In addition to this, I've also been going to therapy for a few years and I think that's been really important for me as well. Therapy is typically seen as something just for people who are deeply suffering with their mental health but, I think that therapy can be for everyone. It's just a really useful tool to break down the way that you think and the way that you approach situations that can derail your inner peace. And its been really important for me in my journey to protecting my peace from those day-to-day disruptions. How do you manage conflict with other people? I think that these last few years have been particularly emotionally challenging for everyone. So I think that an increase in interpersonal conflict is something that's inevitable. I'm definitely naturally quite a combative person and I'm anxious-avoidant in my relationships, so I have felt this in my life too. Whilst I do think that it's important to stand up for yourself and for what you believe in, I also think that approaching people with respect, openness and honesty is the best way forward when you're having a conflict with someone. Of course, not all interpersonal conflict is going to be fixable but that's okay. Sometimes we need to let relationships go as well. Beautiful you’ve been open and honest with people then you can move forward knowing you don’t regret how you’ve handled the situation. View this post on Instagram A post shared by B r i n 🌱 (@brindarcey) Do you feel like your nutrition is important in being in that good headspace? Absolutely. I think that nutrition is incredibly important. There’s a massive connection between your physical and mental health so eating a balanced diet is really important. I don't believe in restricting certain food groups, because I think this can actually disrupt your peace. However, I think by listening to your body and viewing nutrition as fuel rather than something to be labelled good or bad, you can make nutrition benefit your peace. For example, for me eating protein is really important because I'm vegetarian. I find it easiest to do this by using a vegan protein, so it’s about finding ways to make nutrition work for you. I actually think that finding balance in our lives is probably the best way to cultivate inner peace, across the board. We can't always strive for perfectionism but I don't think we should be happy with mediocrity either. We need to be somewhere in the middle; striving to do the best for ourselves in the moment that we're in. That’s where you find peace. To keep up with Brin, check out her Instagram! Read more
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