Team Tabban Athlete Profile – Lauren Hills
Well look what we found hidden on the hard drive – An athlete profile from 2014 that should have been posted many many moons ago!
The most beautiful Lauren Hill was a Team Tabban Figure Athlete who trained with Tabban as an online client in 2013 and 2014! Although this post is a little delayed (well perhaps a lot), we’d love to share Lauren’s journey with you all, just as she wished to do so when writing her story back in 2014.
We hope you enjoy and are inspired just as we are…
Growing up I was always active playing netball, running, swimming, ballet etc. I first joined the gym when I was 19yrs old, when I was at university studying to be a physiotherapist. At first I was only doing the classes such as body pump and attack, but after a few months I felt brave enough to venture into the “big scary weights room…” and I loved it!
In 2008, I injured my knee playing netball, and required three surgeries in three years… the bad news was I wasn’t allowed to run or play high impact sport again. I was devastated. By this time I had moved from New Zealand to Alice Springs. Training at the gym was the only exercise I could do that I really enjoyed! But I was lost. I didn’t have anything to work towards. I was just going to the gym to keep fit and healthy for the sake of it. In September 2012, I was reading my very first Oxygen magazine, and saw pictures of the INBA competitions. A figure comp! I could do that! I immediately started googling online trainers and “Tabban” was the first hit. I emailed them, and within a few days I was set up with my program to start preparing me for my first comp in 12 months time.
I grew up on a farm, so was a weetbix-and-milk-or-toast-for-breakfast-and-meat-potatoes-and-vege-for-dinner-kind-of-girl, so the changes to my diet took a bit to adjust to! But I learnt so much about the importance of nutrition, along with specific training and recovery, when it comes to changing your body composition. I started preparing for my first comp 12 weeks out, and it was definitely a challenge! The early morning cardio, having to be prepared for every single meal, the cans of tuna (ugh!), eating out of a Tupperware container if I was invited to friend’s houses for dinner, the tough training sessions, the crazy hormones… But it was amazing to see the way my body transformed over the next few months.
I competed in Sept 2013 at the INBA VIC Titles, and placed 1st in Ms Physique Novice and 2nd Ms Physique Intermediate. Three weeks later at the ANB VIC Titles I placed 1st in Ms Figure Intermediate, and the following day at the INBA Australian Titles placed 3rd in Ms Physique Open Class 1. What an amazing first season, I was over the moon!
I must have enjoyed it, because I decided to put myself through it all over again this year! I recently finished competing in my second season, where I placed 5th in Ms Figure International at the INBA VIC Titles, and 4th in Ms Figure Open Class 1 at the INBA Australian Titles.
My second comp prep was a lot tougher to prepare for – I knew what I was in for, and I think I was a little more impatient and wanting results faster. But you just have to trust your trainers, and trust the process. When I compare my photos from this season to 12 months ago, I am thrilled with the improvements I have made to my physique and my stage presence. At the end of the day, this is what the sport is all about – competing against yourself. And if you can step on stage knowing you did EVERYTHING you could, and focused on making past weaknesses your strengths, then you should feel proud of your accomplishments. You have already won. A medal is only the icing on the cake.
One of my biggest challenges with training is my right leg, which after so many surgeries had significant muscle wastage and poor function. I have worked really hard over the years to develop the muscle mass and strength to be symmetrical to my left side, and its slowly getting there! Some days my knee gives me grief, but it doesn’t stop me from training. I just need to modify my exercises, and cardio training does have its limitations. The area I most wanted to improve this season was my back. When I saw the photos from my first season, I was horrified how tiny and underdeveloped my back was compared to the other competitors! I have since grown to LOVE back training! And I LOVE the changes to the thickness and symmetry in 12 months.
Studio Photos by: Charlie Lowson, STS Photography, Alice Springs
What I love about this sport is that you are forever learning – about nutrition, about training, about yourself, and about others. Preparing for two comp seasons has definitely been one the biggest and best challenges I have put myself through. Training online can be tough, but it just means you have to be totally committed and dedicated to your goals. None else is going to prep your food, or make you get out of bed to do cardio, or push out that extra rep at training for you… its all you.
The online support has been sensational, and I have loved spending some time in Melbourne training before comp days and getting to know the other amazing athletes in the Tabban team.
I am not sure what is next for me in the way of competitions, but I do know that strength training and consistent, clean nutrition will always be part of my lifestyle. I love it! The more I learn, the more I want to learn – and that in itself is so empowering. To anyone out there who is thinking about competing, it is an incredible journey, and I wish you all the best!