#BackYourself with Lauren Hannaford
Welcome Lauren Hannaford to team #BackYourself as our ambassador! We in awe of all she has achieved, especially with The Wiggles!
Tell us about your work as a gymnast, dancer and personal trainer and how you got into those industries.
I started elite gymnastics at the age of 5 so I guess that is where it all began. The countless hours of training and competing as a gymnast has directly shaped my life and career to where it is now and i wouldn’t change any of it for a second!
I had retired from competing nationally and started coaching gymnastics from the ages of 16 months all the way up to national competing gymnasts and adults. It was while I was coaching that Anthony Field (Blue Wiggle) approached me and asked if I would like to go on the road and tour with The Wiggles as a gymnast and dancer. Caught completely by surprise I thought why not give it a go, so the next day I found myself in The Wiggles studio rehearsing for their upcoming DVD and talking about the fact that I could be touring 9-10 months of the year! It was in that moment that i thought ‘Ok, wow, this is one of those doors, and one of those moments that I just need to back myself and go for it.’ If I hadn’t been backing myself as a gymnast all these years then I wouldn’t be in this incredible position so I need to continue to back myself in this moment and say yes, count me in!
I had just finished doing my personal training certificate with the plan to start that path as a progression from gymnastics coaching, but when I found myself out on the road and touring with The Wiggles I decided to incorporate those skills in there as well and started training some of the other cast members and crew in between shows, out in the carpark, backstage or at the hotel.
Wherever we could I would take them through a session… fast forward 4 years… I always knew my life career would be in the fitness industry as I have such a passion for it.
I have now come out of the touring world and am completely focused on my fitness career and training people from beginners up to Olympic Athletes. I am about to launch my online FHIT program so I can reach people across the world. The program is great for people who are time poor, travelers or anyone who wants a quick 15 minute high intensity workout.
How did you go about achieving your goals in all of these industries?
As I mentioned previously, I think for me it was just about recognising a challenge, opportunity or opened door and backing myself, no matter how much it scared me at times.
Predominately being a gymnast, I thought when it came to dancing that I had two left feet so getting up there and dancing in front of 10,000 people scared the hell out of me to say the least… It turns out I had talked myself into believing something that wasn’t true. I got up there, backed myself and found out that I was a great dancer despite what I led myself to believe.
Now being a fitness professional I continue to strive for my goals because I live and breathe fitness everyday, I am in charge of my goals. I have a point of difference and I continue to believe everyday if I get just one person moving that day then i am closer to make the world a FHITter place.
Stay focused, determined and always believe.
How did you get into modelling?
I had always had an interest in and wanted to model. I haven’t been a part of an agency all my life, it all started with the odd gig here and there through the gymnastics world and always getting really good feedback from the director and photographer. It wasn’t until I stopped touring with The Wiggles that I wanted to focus more specifically on modelling so I braved it and sent WINK an email… and here we are 🙂
What made you want to become a model?
The art of modelling, I always loved seeing shoots that were abstract and creative, active and fashionable all in one. I have always been drawn into the artistic side of it and being able to be that person that brings the vision to life.
The satisfaction of the director and photographer after seeing their vision coming to life and being able to be apart of that has always been amazing.
Who inspires you the most?
I personally don’t have one person that inspires me the most. I draw inspiration from many different people for many different reason.
Simon my fiancé inspires me with his constant positivity, drive and encouragement.
My friend Cherie inspires me by seeing her focus, resilience and dedication to completing her PHD.
2 of my other friends inspire me with their caring tender nature and patience as mothers.
On a larger scale Shaun T (US fitness personality) inspires me with all he has achieved in the industry by having an idea and just going for it and seeing the amount of lives he has changed for the good by doing that.
Beyonce… well because she is BEYONCE… need I say more haha.
I think it is a great way to stay inspired by being able to recognise where the inspirations come from and for what different reasons they inspire you.
What words do you live by?
It’s an oldie but it’s a goodie…. “Treat people how you would like to be treated”
This resinates with me always because you see it far too often where people treat people one way and expect a different response in return.
“Your dreams are created by you, only to be accomplished….by you” – BOOM that is absolute truth right there isn’t it.
What has been the most rewarding part of your job?
It has many rewards but I think the most rewarding thing is seeing the smile and happiness on people’s faces when they achieve something they once thought they couldn’t.
What does #BackYourself mean to you?
It means believe in yourself, believe the things you want and take to step to do it. Prove to yourself you are capable to know, do and achieve anything you set your mind to.
How do you practice self confidence?
By consciously doing something every week that challenges me, something that I don’t think I can do, something that scares me!
Sometimes I will repeat that one thing the following week just to prove I did it the week before and I still can now because it’s amazing how easily we can talk ourselves out of believing we were able to do whatever it is we have already done.
If you could spread one message to women all over Australia, what would it be?
Apart from this amazing campaign to #BackYourself and believe you can do what you set your mind to….BUT also that you ARE allowed to!! We so often think we aren’t actually deserving of the things we want so we won’t back ourselves and rather sabotage ourselves so we can prove that we were right when we thought we couldn’t do something.
Let’s all band together and back each other so we can all back ourselves in the process.
Taking part in this campaign has really got me inspired!!! I am heading off right now to do something challenges me… I hope you do the same.