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Getting in the Discomfort Zone with Personal Fitness Entrepreneur Leanne Spencer

Katy Willings - Chief of Adventures at The Adventurists - Competing the Rickshaw Rally and rode in the inaugural Mongol Derby, the world's longest horse race!

Leanne Spencer was a stressed-out executive suffering from burnout and alcoholism when she decided to completely redesign her life at age 37. After finding joy in working as a personal trainer, Leanna built her business to found Bodyshot Performance. Today, she thrives as an entrepreneur, author, and speaker.

Transforming your life often begins with stepping into the discomfort zone. Leanne has made this practice part of her daily life and shows us how beneficial it can be to challenge ourselves and try something new.

Taking a Blind Leap

Leanne’s 20’s were spent in a hedonistic period juggling her interest in fitness and going out. Pairing her commitment to exercising with unhealthy drinking habits had Leanne struggling to keep her head above water when it came to her health.

The decision to finally leave her career was a blind leap taken after an high-pressure deal fell through. Leanne’s alcoholic lifestyle had gotten progressively worse. She would drink just to feel normal enough to go to work and get through the day.

Deciding to quit and redesign her life wasn’t easy, but it was a no-brainer. Leanne checked into rehab for 6 weeks and spent the time with no distractions focusing on getting better. This was a metamorphic time to detox her body and mind.

Diving into Personal Fitness

When Leanne asked herself what it was she really wanted to do, she came to the conclusion it had to do with business and health. Nothing Leanne had been doing was conducive to her health in the last decade, but she still had the desire to surround herself in this environment.

Leanne started working as a personal trainer and grew her business to where she could take other trainers on board and finally created Bodyshot Performance with the help of an accelerator.

Working in corporate hadn’t been a purposeful existence for Leanne. She appreciated that personal training was an opportunity to help people, not just to increase their fitness. “Fitness is a small component of health,” Leanne explained. Sometimes you don’t need to be blasted through a HIIT workout. With someone who’s stressed out, what they really need could be a walk around the park and a chance to offload. This was the vision of personal training Leanne created her company around.

In the last six years, Leanne’s life has transformed. She gets so much more value out of fitness now that she’s given up alcohol and changed her lifestyle. Getting out of the drinking environment, she realised how much more there is to do and has set out with a whole new perspective.

Training for a Marathon

Leanne is no stranger to prepping for a marathon as a personal trainer. Her advice for first-timers is to find a marathon with an incredible atmosphere. For Leanne, this is undoubtedly the London Marathon.

When training for a marathon, Leanne recommends a structured plan. This may look like working with a coach or finding a marathon plan online. For experienced runners, Leanne suggests focusing on HIIT training and endurance more than distance running. If you’re a beginner, Leanne advises following and tweaking a plan to fit your schedule.

Regardless of your skill level, pacing is critical. If you find yourself stressed out after a crazy day, take things easier. A coach can help you apply your training plan to what’s going on in your life.

Preparing for a New Challenge

In 2019, Leanne is set to take on the Arctic Challenge. When her partner proposed the idea, Leanne thought, “Why not?” She believes it’s important to always have something going on in your life that scares you whether it’s a presentation or sporting event.

To prepare for the challenge, you can find Leanne training on roller skis in her local park. Leanne says learning a new skill like this is brilliant for brain development and building resilience. Having a challenge makes you not give up on learning something new no matter how hard it is in the beginning.

Leanne and her partner have invested their time in lessons with a former Olympian. They’ve also put together a brochure to send to local businesses for fundraising. The duo plans to offer social media mentions, logo wearing, and company speeches in return for funding. They’ll also look for donated equipment from relevant outfitters.

Managing Emotions and Self-Limitations

Putting herself outside her comfort zone is something Leanne strives to do frequently. She rarely says no to anything in order to stretch herself this way. The entrepreneur has specifically made herself feel uncomfortable by participating in a boxing match and promising to speak in front of a big audience with brand new material.

In the same way that you want to exercise consistently, Leanne explained, constantly challenging yourself builds strong resilience. She recommends doing this with little movements in and out of the comfort zone rather than a big drastic change.

The biggest challenges come from your own head. Fear is often what causes us to sabotage ourselves and limit our progress. Leanne has created daily practices to avoid this pitfall. She believes it’s not what you do the day of an event, but what you do every day that matters.

For Leanne, meditation is the answer. She’s learned how to let emotions and thoughts come and go. She knows how to manage her breathwork and close off external noise. If you find your own daily practice to manage emotions, when fear comes up, you’ll know how to deal with it.


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