Lauren Hannaford : FHIT
Lauren Hannaford : FHIT
Lauren Hannaford is vivacious, energetic, and a fitness inspiration. From the day I met her, I knew there was a soul sister thing happening there, and the fact that she runs her own business based on her passion just solidified what I thought of her. When I asked her to sit down with me and tell me more about herself (lured in by the promise of sweet treats, of course) she didn't hesitate.
So I took her for afternoon tea, and as we indulged in sandwiches and savouries and scones, she told me a little more about what makes Lauren be Lauren. Enjoy.
In your own words, what is it that you do?
"The easiest way for me to describe it is that I live under the fitness umbrella. I am a fitness professional, in that I have my own fitness business and fitness workouts, but I also do a lot of fitness writing for magazines and blogs, and TV/radio. I also do fitness modelling for different brands and campaigns."
Biggest pet peeve?
Would you rather be able to fly, become invisible, or walk through walls?
Favourite app on your phone?
"Deliveroo (laughs). Or the Nike running app- but Deliveroo is better, otherwise it's all just fitness!"
Name and type of your first pet?
"Tango, he was a black and white cat- all black, but with white paws and (on his chest)."
The nitty gritty.
Where did you grow up, and who does your family consist of?
"I grew up in the Inner West of Sydney, so in Concord, and there's my Mum, my Dad, and my older brother, Brian. I lived in Concord until I was twenty-four-ish, and then moved to Clovelly."
What motivates you to keep going every day?
"Ooh! The desire to achieve the tasks that I set myself, or the goals that I set myself, whether it be long, short, whether it be a small something in that day, or a longer career goal to then, I guess, the rest of life. The fact that I've said I'm going to do something, or I want to achieve something, however I get to that point, is what motivates me to get there eventually, no matter how long it takes."
As someone who works for yourself, by yourself, do you have a support circle around you? Who do you turn to for guidance and support?
"Si (her husband), basically. It's very much him and I, we support each other, and I talk to him through everything really. Otherwise, I guess on a lesser scale, close friends and family. I can be somewhat private, in that I don't like talking about myself, I'm not one to go to friends and say 'oh, I'm doing this, I'm doing that, I wanna do this', I kind of always just sit back, so that then tends to then mainly be Si and I that talk through and work through everything together. What you do (as a sole business) is so specific to you, it's kind of hard to talk about it to other people, because they don't really understand what you're doing, and what your timetable is, and how you go about doing or achieving things when you're doing it for yourself, so I think I find it hard to explain. So I don't! (laughs). I figure it out for myself."
What you do is obviously both work and personal life, but how do you either separate, or combine, your working and personal life so that you have a balance and are not all one or all the other?
"Yeah, it's hard to switch off from work- it's not like it's 9 to 5, and you get to the end of Friday at 5pm and you kind of switch off from work and go to personal with the weekend, or whatever. And it can be hard sometimes to find that balance and to separate because it is all and consuming, but I think the whole reason my business is my business is because it is very personal, it's what I've always done, it's what I'm passionate about, it's what I love, so personal separating- something that is work related to then be that personal downtime kind of is similar in the sense that what i love doing is going for a run on the weekend with Si and then getting a coffee or whatever. So that kind of is still related to my work because my work is fitness and health, but it's kind of hard for us, because we don't have as a couple time together- my personal down time is that time with Si, because our timetable is so (hectic) and he is away a lot.... maybe it's becoming clear that I don't separate them (laughs). But it's what we love, it's what I love. It's still related to what I do, but we do it because it's enjoyable, and it's fun, and it's relaxing, and I guess that's why I don't feel I clock off and separate work, because I'm passionate about it."
Based on the work that you do, what did you have to do to get here (study/training)?
Well, I think growing up an elite gymnast, training 32 hours a week, and that discipline of training and the education of that throughout the years of practice, just naturally transitioned for me. I think a lot of people, especially gymnasts, because it is so (strict), they can turn away from it around 14 years, but I kept going until I was 18, so I was kind of an adult then, and it was clearly the direction I was meant to go in, so it just continued that way. Because I just love it. So I was coaching gymnastics, which is a real form in itself, and I then found myself, because of the training I was doing- I found I'd start running to work- I was having the people I was teaching doing more fitness stuff, because I then saw how it was benefiting their skills, and their motivation and their focus. And then from there, other coaches and other colleagues wanted to do what I was doing- which was leading into just a general fitness with a gymnastics twist- so I thought I'll go and get my actual PT certificate. So I went and got my Cert 3 and Cert 4 to actually do PT. But then I ended up touring with the Wiggles for four years- which I never thought was going to happen- and then now I'm doing what I was meant to always do!"
What's next for you?
I'm very excited- around Easter time, my new website will launch with my four 15-minute workouts which will be streamed, and it's a 6-week program, for busy stay-at-home mums, corporate execs who don't have the time to go to the gym for an hour and a half, but can get up and do my workout in a 2 metre space, needing nothing but themselves. But it's more about the mindset side of it, because people in those high pressure jobs can be very stressed, and they spend a lot of time BEING very stressed, and then not allowing themselves to have any time, so giving them these 15 minutes to have a better mindset, be more productive with their time, and just be more positive. From there, there will hopefully just be a follow on effect, with more bits and posting some big workout festivals, and whatever else comes my way!"
Lauren and I had a traditional high tea at the QVB Tea Room.
Lauren's tea of choice: 'Heaven and Earth'
Follow Lauren on socials: @lozhannaford