We spoke to our Innermost ambassadors about what strong means to them. In this exclusive Q&A, they share their perspectives on strength, extending beyond physical strength to encompass mental resilience and self-belief.
As we step further into the New Year, take inspiration from the ambassadors' resolutions - consistency, enjoyment of the process, and self-compassion. Find what you love, start where you are, and embrace the transformative power of strength.
Before we get started, let's meet the ambassadors, Sade, Hercules, and Dina:
"My name is Chade, i discovered yoga at 15, instantly fell in love. It became a vital part of me, helping me discover aspects of myself I never knew existed. In 2018, completed 200hr teacher training with TeganBYoga to deepen my connection and share the practice. Alongside my full time job i also teach morning classes at Hot Pod Yoga, the perfect way to start my day."
"My name is Hercules Nicolaou. I am an entrepreneur, wellness coach and advocate of daily discomfort. I'm 1/3 of 'High Performers Club' where I spend my time helping people to reach their goals by helping them get comfortable being uncomfortable. In my free time you'll likely find me on a long run with a heavy backpack on somewhere in London!"
"My name is Dina and I am 26 years old and I'm an ultra runner. I love working out it has become such a big part of my life, in the last 3 years I have done 3 ultramarathons and 2 marathons and I look forward to doing so much more in the future."
Instagram: @runwithdinsDefining Strength, what does strong mean to you?
To me, strong means not only being physically strong, I think physical strength empowers you to realise your capabilities. Strong is being really connected to your mind, body and self.
I think we often undermine how capable we are. So I think when you can strengthen your mind and strengthen your self-belief, you will really see the full capabilities of what being a strong human being is. I think strength definitely goes beyond the physical and it encompasses mind, body and everything else.
I think strength isn't just the number of weight that we move in the gym or a certain time it takes to run a distance. For me, I think strength is not just about what we do on the outside, but also how we feel on the inside when we do these things.
I think being able to find strength in our struggle is a really important aspect of life as well. More often than not in our hard times and within our discomfort, whether that be exercise or something in our career, that's where we find the most growth. So trying to stay strong within the struggle.
How I see strength is that you need to be able to overcome challenges that are thrown at you. For example, I love running ultramarathons and there's a lot of moments while running that I have to push myself beyond my limits. I think you need strength in those situations in order to overcome anything in life.
It can be your mental strength, physical strength. Once you put those together, you become such a strong person. I think if you can overcome what's thrown at your mind, you can overcome anything in life. And that's one of the main attributes that I've been working on, just making my mind stronger as ever.
How Does Fitness Empower You?:
With strength training, I think you have to be consistent to start seeing the results in your physical strength and I think consistency is such an important trait to learn. I think when you can feel empowered to keep showing up, that is when you are going to reach the best version of yourself and I think that is something that everyone should try to achieve.
I think strength training has empowered me to have the confidence not just inside the gym but also outside the gym. knowing if I'm training for an event, for a run, or even just the way that I hold myself in aspects, whether it be social or in my career, getting a hard workout done and strengthening my body just leaves me feeling a little bit stronger than I was the day before. I think that makes over into every other part of our life.
Strength training has empowered me mentally and physically. Strengthening my mind and body has helped me so much when running ultras because a lot of the time I'm outside for hours, 20 hours and above, so working on my strength in the gym has allowed me to overcome a lot of things in life, not only in the gym, but also in my personal life as well.
What's Your Favourite Strength Exercise?
I think the plank because when you are holding a plank, it's up to you to stay in it. When your mind is telling you to stop you have to think, no, I'm staying in this and I think that's one of those moments when you feel your own strength.
I think my favourite exercise would have to be the squat, mainly because it is the most uncomfortable and horrible exercise. Not only are you strengthening most of your body and your legs and your core, you're also strengthening your mind and you're becoming more resilient in the exercises that you don't want to do.
For me, it's RDL's. So with RDL's, you have to really like work on your core and embrace your core during the exercise. And it took me months to get a good form whilst doing RDL's.
What's Your New Year's Resolution and What Advice Would You Give For Getting Strong?
My New Year's resolution is be consistent but at the same time stop being so hard on myself. I think we are our own worst enemies in putting pressure on ourselves. So I want to be consistent, but in a way that makes me show up to my training.
For those starting their fitness journey this year, I would say find what you love and what makes you want to get out of bed. You don't have to do anything else that you're seeing other people do just because maybe that makes them look or feel a certain way. Find what works for you and remember to do you.
My New Year's resolution is definitely to enjoy the process more. Stop being so fixated on the goal or the target or the event, but to enjoy the training building up to that.
My number one piece of advice for everyone who wants to start their fitness journey would just be to start where you are. It doesn't matter if you haven't got experience yet. Don't compare your page one to someone else's page 20. Just start exactly where you are, small steps and eventually you'll build up momentum.
My New Year's resolution is to not be so hard on myself. I've done quite a lot in my life and I feel like I need to be grateful with the journey that I've gone through.
My advice to anyone is just stop, because a lot of people are scared to just take the leap. Once you start, you'll get the hang of things and just keep going. Don't focus on anything else by yourself.