Where are you from?
A: I was born in Kazakhstan. I came here when I was seven years old.
Do you have a hero/ inspiration in your field?
A: I think I look up to more than just one person in different fields. So I think it’s important to look at everyone around you and pick what you admire and get inspiration from different places so that way you have more to gather.
What would be something that gives you inspiration?
A: Definitely some of my professors. They’re amazing and I’m really glad I got to meet them. There’s another coach that I got to meet from actually one of the first gyms that I joined which was the downtown YMCA. He was a really big inspiration because it’s amazing to always see him in the gym. There’s a couple of obstacles that he had to overcome and I think it was really inspiring to see him overcome it so positively and just be able to keep going.
What motivates you?
A: I think the biggest thing is to be happy. I think that’s a huge motivation because whatever I do I think my goal is to just be happy. Try my hardest and always give my best in everything I do because you only really get one chance to do something so if you’re going to do it once, you might as well do it to your best ability. Just be happy at what you’re doing, if you’re not happy doing it, it’s not fun.
Do you have any favourite exercises or routines you like to do?
A: I think I really love mobility training and using your body as a weight. A lot of people might not realize how amazing the human body is in that way. The way you can use and train it. Currently one of my biggest interests is actually rock climbing. I started that this summer and it’s amazing and I really enjoy it. It really challenges me in a whole new way.
Do you have any current training goals you’re working towards?
A: Yes, to be able to climb a 5.13. It’s tough. I’m also working towards a straddle plunge. You’re on the floor in a push up position, this one you basically have your arms extended down to your body and your feet are off the floor. You’re holding up on your own. It’s so cool. I’m training my hands to do that.
How often are you at the gym?
A: It depends. I go a couple times a week. But I think it’s not even about going to the gym. I think you can be active anywhere. You don’t have to go to the gym to work out or stay active or stay healthy. I do that outside especially while the weather is nice. I really enjoy biking too.
Do you ever find it hard to make time for the gym?
A: I’ve had those times. I definitely see the challenge in that, but I found ways to work around that. For example, when I would have so much school work that I wouldn’t have the time to work out or stay active I would do push ups or handstands during my break in class. I would get a bunch of other people to do it with me and it was awesome because they wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t do it. It made us feel really good. It’s just little things that you can do throughout your day that don’t take very much time that can keep you active and change the way you feel.
What do you like about training?
A: I love seeing people improve, seeing their reactions as they get better and how good they feel. It becomes more than why they got into it. Maybe they had one goal and they see how amazing it makes them feel, they start setting new goals and they start doing things they never thought they could and I think that’s the best part.
Do you have a really good memory that stuck with you at the gym?
A: So as you said that something came to my mind. It’s not very recent at all it was actually in elementary school I had one of the best Phys Ed teachers ever. She was amazing because she set me on this path before I even knew I was going to go down that path. She was really strict. We would have gym and shed make us do push ups and everything and lunges across the gym but it was amazing because I found her so motivational. She was very strict but at the same time if you were trying she could really see that. She would recognize that. The experience with her it is the most memorable experience of my life and I’m pretty sure it has shaped me.
Do you have any goals you’re working towards currently?
A: First of all, I am currently taking time off from a kinesiology program which I’m in that I’d like to complete. That will be in the next few years. In a very short time basically I’m going to complete that. That’s a goal. I would like to have my own company. I make things. I make leather bags for instance. I would love to start something with that and that’s just something different than fitness that I have a really big passion towards.
When did you get into doing that?
A: I actually took fashion design before fitness and health. Completely separate but I love both.
Do you have any advice for students who are trying to stay fit/ get fit?
A: Yeah, just have fun with it. It doesn’t have to be hard, if you make it a job you won’t want to do it. Pick a little goal, like even ten push ups and start working towards it. Do whatever you have to do. Try to do ten in the morning or ten before bed. Or even during break in class. It will make you feel so amazing and be the littlest thing that will change how you feel about everything.