If you were always trying to avoid PE lessons during school, the thought of becoming a full-time physical instructor would surely send you running for the hills. But that’s what happened to Olivia Furner, who swapped zero athletic interest for life as a personal trainer with a focus on running.
After shaking off that initial dislike for all things PE, Olivia left school at 16 with an ambition to enter the sporting world as a national hunt jockey. She joined a British Racing School in Newmarket, then worked at some of the best National Hunt yards in the country, including in Epsom as a work rider.
But it was the world of boxing that supplied the motivation to become a personal trainer. After trying out a local boxing class with a friend, Olivia fell in love with the sport, going on to box amateur for three years. The experience ignited a flame to help others reach their fitness goals, and she hasn’t looked back since.
Just as in any career, personal challenges have seen Olivia’s coaching style evolve. After suffering injuries while running, she now spends much of her time helping runners improve their strength, mobility and technique to train more safely.
Speaking about the importance of running the right way, Olivia says: “I really believe it shouldn’t leave you in pain, and I’m incredibly passionate about helping people get back to enjoying their training outdoors and feeling better than ever.”
Spending time in nature is one of Olivia’s favourite things about Reigate, and she cites the “stunning walks and views” close to where she lives as motivation. “I work outdoors, enjoy running and walking. It’s a huge part of my life”.
That life has served her well. Olivia is now a real fitness advocate who also provides online coaching and Run Strong For Life, a 90-day video-based programme designed to get you stronger, fitter and more flexible.
And with her mission to improve the lives of the locals, the scenic sights of Reigate act as the perfect backdrop to Olivia’s fitness journey.