Jane Wake interview: the Nike athlete gets us fired up…

Nike athlete and celeb trainer Jane Wake is an all round action-woman. We grab her between training sessions to get some top tips on how to follow her super-sporty example… Jane Wake

Age: 39

From: London

Have you always been sporty?
I grew up in the shadow of my two skinny, sporty sisters – I was a little tubbier, introverted and into doing arty things, then, at the age of 11 I suddenly grew legs and an ability to run the pants off of any of my class mates (and my sisters).

What were you in to when you were younger?
I wasn’t a skillful player, so I used running as my tactic. I would out-run the other players on the hockey field and aim to knacker out my opponents playing netball, running cross country or doing athletics

When did you start to take fitness more seriously?
When I was 15 I got picked to run for my county at 400m. I’d never been that serious – I had to borrow a pair of second-hand spikes that were one size too small and I was shi**ing myself! All the other girls had their own trainer and were really serious. I got through to the final and came 6th; I was just so pleased I didn’t come last. I realised then that I hated the track, I just loved to run and wanted to be able to run free. That is why the Nike ‘Here I Am’ campaign is so important to me. It embodies exactly how I felt at that time and now being involved in a campaign that inspires women to play sport and freely share their sporting passions and experiences is great. If I’d tried to conform to what I was told to do I don’t think I would have ever stuck at it. So I would encourage all female athletes to get involved in the Nike ‘Here I Am’ campaign as it provides a great social networking platform for all sportswomen, no matter whether you are just getting started or are already a sports fanatic.

Jane Wake

Was it easy to turn a passion into a career?
I started to run 10k races when I was 17 and trained with a woman who was a fitness trainer; she inspired me to go on and train as an instructor when I was 18. I then just used it as a part time job to help with funds for university. I studied business studies but wasn’t that into my degree – I wanted to do more sport. I used my vocational qualifications and interest in sport to get onto a post grad sports management course. I did so well in my exams that they placed me on the sports science masters degree.

Can you give us a run down of your average day?
I don’t have an average day! The most normal would be to train a client and teach a class then get on with writing fitness programmes at my computer. But often I am flying to other countries to discuss or implement training plans or fitness programmes; at photo or video shoots (either in them or directing them); teaching trainers through workshops and seminars; or at public or press events communicating the importance of sport in everyday life and encouraging young women to take part in sporting activities.

And if you could have the perfect day, what would it include?
A day out on the beach with my 3-year-old son and hubby, and the chance to learn kite surfing – I have never done it but I’m dying to give it a go!

Who or what are your motivations?
I am my own motivator. Women who do sport are stronger in body and mind and this is important to me. If I don’t find that balance, I’m simply not myself.

What kind of clients do you have?
I train a number of clients, a few celebs who train with me because I am not a loud-mouth who will talk to the press about it. So, sorry, no names! I’m now also focusing on women who are pregnant for the first time. Since having my little boy I have met so many women who are athletic and want to stay that way. I treat them like an athlete and they like that.

What would be your top tips for women wanting to get into exercise?
Don’t exercise for the sake of it, do it for the love of the game. Whether it be football or pole dancing, you’ve got to find something that makes you feel that buzz.

Jane Wake

What is your favourite sport?
Now that’s a hard one! I tend to get into different things… I love martial arts and trained for a number of years in a form of Karate called Wad-a-Ryu. I love the complete focus, athleticism, yet also stillness that it gives you. I’m currently into bouldering and scrambling which is climbing without ropes. It requires a lot of focus and can be quite challenging but being on a mountain is just something else. I started the year off climbing a mountain in St Lucia that people warned us was ‘not climbable’ – that made us want to do it even more!

Do you have to watch what you eat?.
I don’t get to train as much as I would like sometimes which means I can put on a few pounds, but I’d rather be able to enjoy my food and put on a few pounds than be fanatical about being a certain body shape. I do eat very healthily – if you want to train hard you’ve got to eat the right foods and there are too many women out there at the moment who are restricting their food intake so much that they are damaging their health. I just allow myself to live a little as well!

What do you think is the best sport for an all-round workout?
Well there are many – any sport that requires you to run or use stamina and also use strength and flexibility are great. I think martial artists often have the best of all of this but games like rugby or football can be just as good. To be honest it’s all about what you put into it – it’s no good doing anything if it’s half hearted.

What is the health & wellbeing programme, ‘BodyAware’ all about?
Body Aware was a programme I devised for a spa in St Lucia – one of the many programmes that I have devised over the years. That one was particularly good as I got to work in the Caribbean and still get to go there now.

Jane Wake

What does your new Eco-Workout involve?
It’s about being fit but also being free and using your environment. Whether it be the streets, court, field, park or beach, I encourage people to use the environment around them to be as strong in mind and body as they can be. No equipment, no fuss, just using natural things around you to challenge your body and mind.

What affect does your career have on your personal life?
You should ask my long-suffering husband that question!

How do you relax when you get the chance?
With friends and family – I love gatherings, impromptu parties where you get the chance to have quality time with people you care about.

What’s up next for you?
I never quite know exactly what’s around the corner. I have just set up a new business for sporty mums-to-be which is currently taking up a lot of my time but there are rumours about a trip to the Far East and later this year I hope to go the Isle of Sky – it’s supposed to have some of the best climbing in the world. Doing sport, no matter whether it is going for a brisk walk or climbing the tallest peak, has a very positive impact on your life. Oh, and one day I will get to try kite surfing!

For more info on Jane, visit her Body-A-Wake website.


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