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  • Olga Naumova / Q&A

    31st October 2018

    31st October 2018

    By Shivraj Bassi

    Olga aka Umka is an ASICS Frontrunner and professional skydiver based in Dubai. When she's not jumping out of planes, Umka enjoys Canopy Piloting and inspiring women to be curious, courageous and brave enough to get involved in extreme sports through her lifestyle blog. We recently caught up with this adrenaline junkie to see how she is working towards turning her passions into reality.

    ‘From the moment I made my first jump over 11 years ago, I’ve considered myself a skydiver. The passion that very first jump inspired in me has led me down a path that now has me working as a full time skydiving instructor. Growing up, I played every sport I could get my hands on. I tried everything and eventually discovered CrossFit and got my Level 1 CF Coach certificate. I have now built a life for myself which involves all three of my passions: skydiving, HIIT and running.’- Olga 

    What’s your hustle?

    Making a full-time living as an extreme sports athlete at prestigious skydiving operation drop zones around the world. I am driven with a philosophy of representing the world of human flying and to draw attention to the incredibly beautiful air discipline of Canopy Piloting. Apart from this, I am currently working on a lifestyle blog for the modern day adventures of women. My aim for this blog is to inspire women to embrace who they are and live their lives to the fullest.

    What does #liveinnermost mean to you?

    To me Living Innermost means finding balance between my fast-paced lifestyle and my health and wellbeing. It’s so easy to get caught up in the madness that is life. Taking care of our physical and inner selves breeds positivity and happiness, inside and out.  

    Favourite Innermost products, and why?

    The Lean Protein is amazing because it helps me build lean muscle and stay toned. It tastes so good and I love adding it to my smoothie bowls for some extra antioxidants. The Energy Booster because I just love this extra kick of energy before my workouts.

    What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

    Running is my go to work out, but I mix my training up with a variety of different cardio activities, weight lifting and more fun forms of exercise like boxing, aerial silks or pole dancing. Whatever floats my boat and makes me happy really. It’s all about making exercise part of your daily routine so that you don’t have to think twice about it.

    What’s on your bucket list?

    If I ever find time to have a vacation that doesn’t include skydiving, I’d definitely go to the Soi Ta-iad Fitness Village in Thailand for a week of intense fitness training. That, or snow camping up a mountain on a hardcore expedition.

    Favourite inspirational quote/words?

    “You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true.”  Richard Bach, Illusions.

    Most physically challenging thing you’ve done?

    I think it would be my first CrossFit Open Games in 2015. I have never pushed myself as hard and lifted that heavy ever. That’s when I realised that in order for me to win, no one has to loose. It’s my own inner competition against myself. Great experience!

    Best travelling tip you’ve picked up?

    Be a sponge. Get out there and soak it all in. Be open to everything that life throws at you. Because if you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might as well stay home.

    Best advice you’ve ever received?

    Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t assume that you have tomorrow. Keep moving forward!

    Book currently on your bedside table?

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.  I was sceptical about the book because of the title but once I started to read, I loved it. 

    Latest obsession?

    It definitely would be Swoop Freestyle! Its a cutting-edge Canopy Piloting discipline that involves competitors flying at high speeds across a body of water in order to score points based on style and execution of highly technical freestyle moves, prior to landing on the floating platform. To master it  – is my biggest challenge nowadays. 

    Number one reason for taking care of your body?

    Everyone is ageing. I have yet to see anyone win this game. But to have a good and long ride, you’ve got to take proper care of the only vehicle you’ve been given.

    To see and hear more from Olga, head to her Instagram page (@sky_umka).

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    Finding Balance and Inner Peace with Brin McKinnon
    This month, we sat down with Innermost Insider Brin McKinnon to discuss inner peace, managing conflict and maintaining balance. Representing us in Australia, Brin is a true Innermost Insider, having loved our products since she was a London native. Funny, thoughtful and eloquent, even with the 11 hour time difference making the interview 1am for her; this one's definitely worth the read. Hey Brin! Tell us about yourself! Hi, my name is Brin, and I am currently studying a Bachelor of International Relations at the Australian National University, whilst also working as a management consultant and freelancing. I've been using Innermost products since 2018 when I used to live in London, and since then they’ve been my favourite products, specifically in terms of vegan products. I then became an ambassador this year, because I wanted to share my love of Innermost products with other people. 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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