Meet Lucy Fry – a health and fitness writer who is no stranger to intense experiences in the name of work. From triathlons, quadrathlons, ice climbing, cryotherapy (in -90C degrees) and ‘white collar’ boxing to walking with lions…
We chat to her about how she curbed her anxiety through fitness and how life should begin outside your comfort zone…
1. Tell us how you first found an interest in exercise and sport?
I was sporty as a really young girl, but then lost interest in my early teens. In my late teens, during the stress of A-levels, I discovered the joys of zoning out at the gym, and endorphins. It helped me to manage my anxiety around exams, and to stay a bit more balance emotionally.
2. What are your preferred workouts of choice?
Now I love lifting weights and doing interval training, in particular boxing and kickboxing. I also really love walking… for pure pleasure, whilst listening to a podcast, around Tooting Common near where I live. But weightlifting remains my favourite without a doubt. I’ll be lifting until the day I die, I hope!
3. As freelance journalist, how to you manage your time between working and working out?
My training usually comes first – unless I have a major deadline looming. If I’m feeling good, which I always am after I’ve trained, then I’ll be more productive and more effective too.
Usually I train 4 times a week in the gym (maximum one hour, and it’s usually resistance based so there’s plenty of rest periods in there too), and add in a yoga session a week too, along with plenty of walking.
4. What has been your most intense fitness experience and the training required?
It’s a toss up between triathlon (which I did for my book… 5 triathlons in a year) and boxing (which I did for a couple of articles – 8 weeks to fight fit, fighting in a ring in front of 500 people having never sparred two months previously).
The training required to box, even in a white collar match, is so intense, but I was lucky to have an incredible coach Cathy – The Bitch – Brown, who took good care of me, often by punching me…
5. Your book… who is this good for?
My book is a fun frolic through the crazy world of triathlon, aimed at beginners and intermediates. It’s really for anyone with an interest in the psychology behind endurance sport; why we push ourselves in this way, what the light and dark sides of it all are – and why you (yes you) can do it if you really want.
It’s an educational guide, perhaps, but only in so far as you can learn from all my stupid mistakes. Mostly, I’d like to think it’s honest and inspirational – championing women’s sport without glorifying it, because there are definitely negative sides too. You can purchase Run, Ride, Sink or Swim here.
6. What’s next for you in fitness? Are you looking for a new challenge?
Hmmm… the next challenge on the horizon for me is definitely parenting. I’ve heard you have to be fairly fit for that one…
My wife is due to give birth to a baby boy at the end of May, so I’m hoping that all my training will stand me in good stead for crap nights’ sleep and lots of activity!
7. Other than a fitness challenge, what are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a novel for young adults, and I’m also putting together a short guide for freelancers – based on all the things I’ve learnt during nearly a decade writing professionally. The latter will be available free on my site in the next few weeks!
As always, I’m also writing articles for a variety of publications and websites about fitness and lifestyle. Oh and – I almost forgot – I’m working on my ‘skin the cat’ – a favourite move in the Calisthenics community where you use the olympic rings to pull your body upside down and back again. It’s great fun, but I look more like a bear than a cat at the moment.
8. Life mantra
Life begins outside your comfort zone.
Lucy writes features on health, fitness, travel and lifestyle for various publications and websites including Sunday Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, Guardian and Psychologies.
Visit her website to read more.