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  • Nik Naidoo / Q&A

    2nd November 2017

    2nd November 2017

    By Shivraj Bassi

    Nik graduated with a degree in Philosophy and went straight into the 9-5 pursuing a career in Sports Marketing. However, it didn’t take him too long to realise his true calling. After a rollercoaster few years, he's now a Trainer at Ministry Does Fitness and coaches at two CrossFit Boxes. While relatively new to the game,  Nik is an example of someone who's come through adversity and turned his biggest hobby into a career. We sat down with him to find out more. Over to you Nik.

    “I first got into health and fitness properly after university when I needed direction to keep me going as a young professional. I had a lot of focus and drive from playing competitive sports when I was younger and needed something more than just an hour of going to the gym to keep me aligned. I see health and fitness as a complete lifestyle and it’s benefitted me in that it pretty much shapes everything I do and what kind of person I am today. I believe there is such a big parallel between health, fitness, mind, body, and life. It’s all about the long game, consistency, and finding what works for you on your own personal journey. It's such an empowering tool to shape us into becoming better people." - Nik

    Favourite Innermost products, and why?

    The Fit Protein is great for the type of training I do. It has a good serving of protein but also quality ingredients to support rehydration and fatigue. The Energy Booster is perfect for when I need that boost before a session. But I also take it throughout the day at times to help with my energy levels and alertness. 

    What's your hustle?

    I'm currently a Trainer at Ministry Does Fitness and a CrossFit Coach. CrossFit is my bread and butter and is something I'm constantly learning from. But I also love the emotional elements of what boutique fitness offers today – it’s a complete experience, music, lights, and you on the mic. The two allow me to get the best out of my career, allowing me to (hopefully) become an expert in a major discipline of fitness, whilst being able to put on a show…!

    What does #liveinnermost mean to you?

    It’s not just what you do but why you do it. I think that is so important today. We need to be accountable, which can be achieved by taking the time to understand ourselves, being aware of our surroundings and personal philosophies, to help us grow.

    What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

    For me it’s much more than exercise but also a complete lifestyle choice. Good food, sleep and supplementation but also keeping stress down and surrounding myself with the right people. Health is not just for the body, but the mind too!

    Usual breakfast?

    Three eggs, bacon and avocado, a green shake with a scoop of Innermost protein and then a cup of coffee, of course. I’m following a nutrition plan at the moment so meals are pretty much set in stone.

    Biggest health vice?

    I have the biggest sweet tooth so anything chocolate and I am sold!

    Your last workout?

    A big weightlifting session involving snatches and squats. I love anything cardio/engine based but have to keep the balance with strength training, otherwise I’ll be left behind, especially in CrossFit!

    What’s on your bucket list?

    My mum is a yoga teacher and I would also love to do my teacher training one day. I love practising whenever I can, and watching her grow as a person from it is all the inspiration I need to do it.

    Where do you see yourself in three years? Be bold!

    Being a major face of the fitness industry. 

    Favourite healthy meal?

    Depends on what you classify as 'healthy’. Right now I’m loving tuna pasta. It’s so quick to make and has all the nutrition I need from my type of training – a good balance of carbs and protein, which are key post workout. I often make a side of veggies too to fill me up a little more.

    Favourite place to eat?

    I love Lebanese food having lived in Dubai during my childhood. So you can’t beat Maroush! 

    Most physically challenging thing you’ve done?

    A 24-hour CrossFit challenge. A workout every hour on the hour for 24 hours. It got dark!

    What or who motivates you?

    My girlfriend Izy is also a trainer and we have kickstarted our careers at the exact same time. She is my biggest motivation and has been so important for my development

    Best advice you’ve ever received?

    Say yes until you need to say no (from Izy!)

    Message to the world?

    You’ve got to own it, believe it and do it. If you can’t back yourself, no one else will!

    See Nik kicking it on Instagram (@niknaidoo) and his very own blog (www.niknaidoo.com).

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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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