Gymbox Bank VPT Joslyn Thompson Rule has been picked as a 'Gymbox Winner' by member Rahima Begum Rai. "I picked Joslyn because she's transformed the way I train, the way I eat, and even the way I think!" gushes Rahima. "She taught me to lift - something I thought was exclusive to men. She's awesome!" Meet the amazing Joslyn...
How do you feel about being being nominated as a 'winner' by member Rahima?
It feels nice but weird! There are so many trainers I respect at Gymbox in their various fields that I think also deserve recognition.
What gives you the most satisfaction working as a VPT?
Seeing people reach their goals, particularly ones that they feel are a little untouchable in the first place. There's no magic pill, but consistency is what counts and gets the best results over time.
Were you into fitness growing up?
I Irish danced for 15 years as I'm half Irish and grew up there. I guess I didn't really get into proper sport until I started rowing at university.
When was the defining moment when you wanted to turn it into a profession?
It was slightly a process of elimination. I loved training and despite reading economics at Trinity College Dublin, I didn't necessarily want to go into banking, so it sort of made sense to go down the fitness route.
How important is to to be strong as a woman, in today’s society?
I don't necessarily think it's a necessity for today's society, it's always been the case. Strength is one of the top biomarkers of health and longevity, but there's this age-old misconception that strong means bulky and masculine. It's sad because I know how good it feels to feel strong and how that positively impacts every other part of my life, mentally and physically.
Have you ever encountered any prejudices during your training and competitions over your career so far?
Not really. People are often surprised that I can lift what I can lift because I'm fairly small. Again it's generally their misconception that strong means bulky.
Do you train more women than men?
I train the same amount of women as I do men and always have done. I have no preference between the two, I am just interested in people wanting to train for the right reasons, regardless of their sex. I am sure there are plenty of guys that would prefer to be trained by men and the same for women wanting to be trained by women, which is of course, personal choice.
What have been your biggest success stories so far with clients?
Gosh! I've been a trainer for 12 years so there are many. I tend to define success by attaining even one small positive change in someone's life. Of course there've been great successes such as a client losing six stone which was incredible, as well as some huge PBs in race times. Also bringing a 50-year-old who had been in two motorcycle accidents back to better shape than he was in his 20s. But equally, a few years ago, one of my clients could tie his shoelaces again, as he was finally mobile enough to do so - they are the sort of things that really make my job enjoyable.
What does winning feel like?
Amazing and scary at the same time. You're so happy to have won something, showing that your hard work has paid off. And of course it should be celebrated, but if you take your foot off the gas and get complacent, someone is going to chase you down.
What keeps you focused, through tough times, emotionally and physically?
It's all a mental process. Injury can be a sign that you have pushed too far or something needs to change, so there's a lesson in that. Tough times just have to be managed mentally, we live in a country that has free running water and freedom of speech - millions of people worldwide don't have such luxury. If I'm going through a tough time I dust myself off and keep going. It's an attitude and I'm definitely glass half full! My key motivator is to a) continue to go on this journey to see what my body can do, and b) if I'm not doing it, my competition will be!
What have been your biggest achievements to date?
Despite all of my competing, I have always wanted to be the fittest and healthiest I could be, before having a baby, and I was back in May of this year when I fell pregnant. I've continued training throughout my pregnancy making adjustments where necessary.
Congratulations! What advice would you give women who are tentative about training while pregnant?
Ultimately you have to listen to your body, in the same way that you should before you are pregnant. I know my body very well in terms of training and know what I am able to lift. I haven't yet experienced sickness, tiredness or discomfort and so have continued training as normal, but have reduced the weight I lift - I've also reduced the intensity of my training, so less sprints, just good form. I strongly believe that it's important to stay fit and healthy through pregnancy to prepare for labour and the months ahead. If you're uncertain about anything, it's important to seek advice from a trainer who has had experience training pregnant women.
And future goals?
To compete again of course. I'm hoping to compete in August with my partner in crime, a fellow VPT, and an athlete I respect massively, Gwen Sona. We're like sisters and go through highs and lows together. We have a saying, "I push, you push, we push!" I can't wait to be back on the competition floor with her again!