How I Fell In Love With Fitness & Keep The Spark Alive – Chontel Duncan

How I Fell In Love With Fitness & Keep The Spark Alive

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How I Fell In Love With Fitness & Keep The Spark Alive
How I Fell In Love With Fitness

You know the feeling when you’re dripping in sweat and your heart is thumping — you feel like you've reached your physical limit? 

But you get up and you give it one more effort. You push through and finish your reps. You finish the workout. 

Do you know that feeling of pure elation when you realise that you've just trained harder than you ever thought possible? It's because of this feeling that I fell in love with fitness and became a FIERCE trainer.

I found my FIERCE through my love of competition

Fitness wasn't always a passion of mine, but I've always been competitive. When I was 10-years old, I would compete with the boys — jumping higher, running faster. 

Now that I'm an adult, I haven't lost that competitive spirit! With one critical difference — now my main competition is the person I was yesterday. I may not be the fastest or the strongest person in the gym, but I train as hard as anyone. I’m laser-focused on training to be being the best possible version of myself that I can be.

I want to give women the tools to feel physically fierce and mentally strong. To build resilience through training that carries on into their everyday lives. To break the stereotypes, to be the unexpected, to show the world that you're a warrior. Fitness to me is about unleashing your FIERCE. 

Chontel Duncan

How I discovered the types of training I love 

Like so many of my clients, when I started exercising as an adult, I included some basic cardio, like running around the block. Honestly, while this made me feel better than not doing it, it still felt like a chore, so I kept searching for something I could really enjoy and get motivated for. 

I found some kickboxing videos on YouTube, and there was one woman who really inspired me. She didn’t care that she didn’t have the best technique or wasn’t perfect, but she smashed every workout. At the end, even though she was drenched in sweat and almost falling over, she'd look so happy. 

I wanted that. I wanted to feel what she felt. So I joined a boxing gym. 

Rather than literally running around in circles, boxing gave me a clear sense of purpose. I was no longer working out because I had to, I was training my body to move better, feel better, be better; engaging my mind and my body, building strength in both. 

I later fell in love with Muay Thai, which is such a good, high-energy sport for me, and such a fun way to keep fit. And I feel in love with this training style.

I knew I wanted to inspire and help other women on their own fitness journey, just like that kickboxing girl did for me all those years ago. 

Fitness Philosophy

My fitness philosophy 

"Visualise your highest, best self, then start showing up as her." When I started to apply that mentality to my training, it changed everything. 

I’m a busy mum and business owner, so my workouts are focused on maximising results — making the most of the time you have. Get in, work hard, get out. 

People often ask me ‘don’t you get sick of working out or eating healthy foods?’ and the answer is yes, sometimes. It takes discipline. 

Once I took the emotion out of healthy choices and just made them a part of my life, I realised that was how I wanted to live.  Being fit and healthy should be part of your everyday routine, just like brushing your teeth. 

Training to build strength, decrease body fat and increase lean muscle mass is great, but if you’re not engaged mentally, or if you’re not enjoying it, it’s not sustainable. 

That’s why fitness — for me — has to be fun, unpredictable, ever-changing and exciting. Love it, live it, and it will love you back. 

Lessons Learned

You can change your habits

Changing your habits isn't easy. It takes time, you’re going to want to quit more than once and may find yourself slipping back into old habits at times. 

But you can do it. 

Here are a few key things I’ve learned throughout my own health and fitness journey:

Progress takes time

Don’t expect to change your habits overnight. Changing your behaviour takes persistance and time, but it will be worth it.   

Don’t quit, even when you want to

When you experience a fitness setback, it can feel like you will never reach the goal you're aiming for. 

I can relate to that — but one thing I have learned is that every time you overcome a setback, the next time you face that particular hurdle it will be easier. Over time, you will build resilience and be able to tap into the warrior that's been dormant within you. 

Having support will help you towards success 

My husband is my number one fan in everything I do. He’s absolutely the rock that keeps me grounded when things get tough and keeps me on track when I feel like derailing. 

The FIERCE community are also an incredible source of inspiration and motivation.

Take the time to find your cheerleaders, and lean on them for motivation and support when you need it. Ask them to hold you accountable, or join the journey with you.

You will have setbacks — but you can overcome them

Let’s be real. When you want to make a dramatic lifestyle change, and sustain it, chances are you’re not going to nail it first go. 

You’re going to fall back into bad habits every now and then, which is why balance is key. 

I’m a big fan of the 80/20 rule, where you’re ‘good’ at least 80 per cent of the time, allowing 20 per cent for those little indulgences you don’t want to give up (like eating out or chocolate — in moderation, of course). 

Don’t starve yourself from the things you love, or you’ll likely end up binging or going too far in the wrong direction. Once you’re in the flow, healthy habits will eventually become second nature. 

Don’t look for a quick fix, make a sustained lifestyle change. And don’t beat yourself up if you slip up every now and then — it's what you do most often that triumphs over what you do sometimes, so keep working towards those healthy habits.

My Inspiration

My inspiration trifecta

My community, my friends and my husband — they’re a trio of constant inspiration! Every day I am in awe of the FIERCE community. Hearing their stories and knowing they’re showing up for themselves each and every session fuels me and keeps me wanting to push myself and work hard — because I know they’re in this with me. 

The individual transformations and personal growth I see is heartwarming and enough to keep me motivated and energised in so many facets of my life.  

My husband is always my biggest cheerleader — he continues to surprise me with his tenacity, bravery and passion for life. He’s there to hear my wild dreams and crazy ideas and encourages me to chase them.

My goal is to inspire women to be FIERCE!

It doesn’t matter where you pull your inspiration from — your loved ones, your favourite athletes or health professionals, your kids or even someone you don't know who well, who you see putting in the effort every day. 

If I can be half as inspiring as those who inspire me, then I’m doing exactly what I was put here to do. How will you keep the spark alive on your fitness journey?


* Disclaimer: This blog post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. Sweat assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.

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