“That’s one thing, yeah, but it was also a way of showing my family I could have a career. I didn’t know exactly what I was trying to achieve, but I knew I could.”
Facebook Twitter Pinterest ‘The idea of the show changed my life’: Laura Pidd. Photograph: Alex Wodak for the Guardian
In 2005, after taking some time off from pole dancing, she began a new career in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer. She started working closely with the company she had started, and realised just how much the programme made her feel. Now in her 50s, she works alongside a team of trainers to offer personal training – which includes workshops, physical exercises and group fitness events – to a range of clients, including people with particular diets (such as women on a strict ketogenic diet) or physical problems such as chronic pain.
“As a personal trainer, I’d see them in training and they’d say, ‘Oh, I just can’t keep doing that’.”
Paddick says her clients have ranged from Olympic gold medallists to people who had been treated for osteoarthritis or who didn’t want to go to any training after losing half their size.
“I’ve had individuals who’ve just been through a big financial crisis,” she says. “I’ve had people who were looking to rebuild their life. I’ve had people who were getting up in the middle of the night, waking up and trying to change their life, and I’ve had individuals who were just out of shape.”
She says pole dancing has helped her to get her life in order. “You could argue that for a lot of people, one of the things they had was a health condition and a physical condition, but those aren’t issues I see,” she says. “They’re issues with relationships, they’re issues with food, they’re issues with self-esteem. That’s something you learn, and you gain mastery over. I think it’s an incredible opportunity because it’s a lifestyle. It’s a community that you’re part of. I know that from speaking to these individuals.”
She also says that the show changed her life. “It’s not just the money that keeps my feet on the ground. I was doing it and I was doing it because I loved it, and I had these people I wanted to be with – so I didn’t want to leave it. But if I could live with this thing
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