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  "...running again and pain free..."



I started training with Natalie Skinner at her ‘Fit in the Park’ sessions in summer 2009 and her training methods have quite simply transformed my life.  I do not say this lightly as I have been physically active and have experienced many different types of sports regimes during my whole life. 

I know what I’m talking about: Competitive athletics and gymnastics in my school years, competitive rowing during my university years, horse riding (including competitive polo cross), climbing wakeboarding and snowboarding for fun being just the highlights. Furthermore I have a deep understanding of fitness and training having been a gymnastics coach as well.  Nevertheless I came to Nat’s class in2009 having slowed down in recent times, work, lifestyle choices and old injuries having left me far off my peak.  Moreover I had been suffering from persistent headaches for a number of years which hadn’t responded to conventional or alternative therapies.I know what I’m talking about: Competitive athletics and gymnastics in my school years, competitive rowing during my university years, horse riding (including competitive polo cross), climbing, wakeboarding and snowboarding for fun being just the highlights. Furthermore I have a deep understanding of fitness and training having been a gymnastics coach as well.  Nevertheless I came to Nat’s class in 2009 having slowed down in recent times, work, lifestyle choices and old injuries having left me far off my peak.  Moreover I had been suffering from persistent headaches for a number of years which hadn’t responded to conventional or alternative therapies.

Nat’s class provided at first a gentle introduction back to fitness, giving a fully rounded mix of strength, suppleness and aerobic fitness.  The variety was certainly the key and it is true to say that over the past 2 and a half years of training with Nat there have never been two classes with the same mix of exercises.  This is just one of the elements of Nat’s approach which set her apart as a trainer.

 Unlike conventional gym classes – which I have a lot of experience of –the repetition allows the body to cut corners, pace oneself until the end of the song and allow bad habits to creep in.  The variety along with the differentiated pacing means that Nat is able to work with a mixed ability group and yet push each individual to their limits.

The unique training approach accompanied by a personalized, and  yet non-preaching recommendations for dietary changes, meant that I quickly regained much of the fitness levels I enjoyed in my 20’s. I should say I’m now 37 and feel as fit and energetic as I did when in university.  I was able to take up competitive sport again and found a new group of friends and a great social life.  However most notably after a couple of months I realized I had stopped taking pain killers and the only reason for that was my improved overall strength and fitness.  It certainly wasn’t because I was drinking less, my new group of friends can attest to that.  The icing on the cake was when I realized that my improved leg strength (thanks to those lunges and wall squats) have overcome an old persistent knee injury which had prevented me running long distances for 7 years.  I was therefore delighted to be able to complete a half marathon (in a quite decent time) and raised hundreds of euros for a cancer charity last October.  Having been to a physio to no avail the previous year, the ability to be able to run again, all thanks to Nat’s great teaching approach was nothing short of another miracle.

In summary, Natalie Skinner is the most talented trainer I have ever met who combines an innovative approach to training along with an instinctual ability to work with the client’s needs, motivations and constraints.

Sarah Murray
Team Leader
East of England Brussels Office