International Women’s Day: Women Who Inspire Us!

What better way is there to celebrate International Women’s Day than by chatting to the women who inspire us the most? From running their own businesses to being at the top of their fitness game, Neat ambassadors Olivia Cooney, Nicole Harrison, Korin Nolan, Casey Anderson and Bronwen-Foster Butler are undeniably incredible women. To give you a serious dose of inspiration, we’ve got them to spill the beans on how they became the amazing girl bosses they are today.

 

Olivia Cooney

Olivia Cooney

Occupation?

Founding Director of Pop-Up Fitness.

How did you get started in health and fitness?

My journey into the health and fitness industry came from being in the opposite industry – PR and events in Central London. Having played tennis at an international level prior to helping coordinate some of the most glamorous events in my job, I knew what tip top health felt like and the late nights and events were not giving me the same satisfaction and self-confidence I once knew. I decided to take a career jump and ever since, I have trained everyone I used to party and clink champagne with into mixing green juices and hiking with them along Ibiza coastlines at my retreats.

If you weren't in this job, what would you be doing?

I would be still planning parties and events in Central London, which by no means would have been a bad thing - I love coordinating events and witnessing the power of marketing and PR! I am just a lot healthier and happier in my current career.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you were older?

I wanted to be like Anna Kornikova – a tennis star who had a very strong brand herself, with her own modelling career, clothes line and tennis racquet range… I always have admired people who juggle a few cool things all under one umbrella.

 

Nicole Harrison 

Nicole Harrison

Occupation?

Model.

How Did You Get Started in Health and Fitness?

For my job, it’s really important to be in shape and have a balanced diet - for a while I struggled with different ways of going about this. When I met my boyfriend who played sport on a professional level back home in Australia, he started teaching me a lot about fitness. From this point I started to really develop a passion for it. 

Being so busy, what do you do to relax and why is it Important to take time for yourself?

I like to do a few things to relax, it’s so important to find time for yourself when you are busy because when you are flat out, you can easily neglect your body and your mind and this can have a big negative impact that will always catch up with you. I find exercise very therapeutic - something like yoga or pilates. I travel to Colombia a fair bit for work, and they have the cheapest massages at my hotel, so I usually treat myself to one of those. Lastly I love reading! It’s so easy to do anywhere and is the best way to just relax and tune out the rest of the world.

What have you wanted to Quit but didn’t?

My job. I left home when I was 16 and at times would question if I made the right decision. I missed my family and I missed my friends and I missed stability. At one point I was 17, I was living in New York and it was lonely and hard. I remember speaking to my mum about coming home and she told me, “It’s better to regret things you have done in life, than the things you haven’t.” It made me realise that not many people are given this opportunity to live all around the world at such a young age and that if I did give up, I would always question what would have been. I look back now and realise that all those difficult moments that test you, make you stronger.

Korin Nolan

Korin Nolan 

Occupation?

Founder of Power Pilates UK and Online Fitness Plan ‘The Baby Body Bootcamp’

How did you get started in health and fitness?
Apart from growing up, owning a vast array of fitness DVD’s from Cindy Crawford to Marky Mark (yes, really) I trained as a dancer, which is where I discovered Pilates and it was a natural progression.

What’s your favourite workout?

Without a doubt, Dynamic Reformer Pilates, which is what we teach at my studio.

Why is being a Neat Ambassador important to you?

There are a lot of contradictions surrounding nutrition, but I don’t think it has to be that confusing! In particular, I don’t think women understand the importance of protein in their diets, and as I work with a lot of women looking to improve their health and fitness, this is a strong message that I try to get across regularly! Being part of a brand that I believe in and I know works, is really motivating for me.

 Casey Anderson

Casey Anderson

Occupation?

CoCreator and Coach at CrossFit Las Olas

How did you get started in health and fitness?

I’ve always been an “athletic” person but was never particularly good at anything aside from riding horses, which isn’t exactly a super accessible sport. As I outgrew that, my competitive spirit and love for the ocean funnelled me towards competitive surfing which again, haha I was terrible at. Ultimately my love for activity and challenge morphed into CrossFit when Lee (Neat Founder) guilted me into signing up for a trial.

What’s your favourite workout?
I love to Olympic Lift. I feel so confident and strong after a good lifting session.

Lastly, why is being a Neat Ambassador important to you?

I think it’s really.. for lack of a better word… Neat! What Lee and Charlie are creating. I am honored to help spread the word. I think entrepreneurship is really cool and I am super happy I can do my part to support my friend through something that I love.

 

Bronwen Foster-Butler

Bronwen Foster-Butler

Occupation?

Brand & Digital Manager at lululemon

How did you get started in health and fitness?

I’ve been active my entire life, but have worked for lululemon for 2.5 years now which has brought my love of wellness into my worklife.

What’s your favourite workout?
My workouts whilst being pregnant have definitely evolved. When I first found out I was pregnant, I reached out to a PT friend of mine and he gave me a list of moves and activities to avoid –turns out it’s a very small list which was a big relief. Like most women, I felt pretty sick for the first 12 weeks, which made getting motivated to work out really hard. However I eventually figured out that getting some exercise actually made me feel better… I’ve always been a huge fan of British Military Fitness, so I continued this until I was 25 weeks. Since getting bigger, I’ve found Barre really wonderful – or any low-impact weights class. I’ve definitely been trying to keep things varied and have found that any class where the teacher knows how to modify for pregnancy is marvellous, or where you are in control enough to be able to do so. Keeping up my cardio has been really hard (turns out more blood pumping through your body + less room for your lungs makes any cardio extra challenging!) however I’ve also been loving going for long walks. Now that I’m deep into my third trimester, I’m down to gentle, short walks, modified barre classes, yoga (with modifications as well), and some weight-based circuit sessions.

Lastly, why is being a Neat Ambassador important to you?
I believe that a well-balanced life is one where you feed your body well, keep it moving and treat it with love, respect and compassion. Neat allows me to do this, and reflects the values that I believe in.

 

This blog was written by Kathryn Armitage. Kathryn: the creator of lifestyle blog, kathrynarmitage.co.uk. Covering everything from culture and society to health and travel, check out her blog for a lot of seriously good food, opinionated rants and plans for world adventures. You can also find Kathryn on Instagram and Twitter