Not many people can claim their personal trainer is a silver medallist and marathon winner.
But clients of St Annes wheelchair athlete Shelly Woods can.
The mum-of-one has recently qualified in level 3 personal training, having already achieved the level 2 gym instructor qualification.
She has also begun training again after time off for maternity, and is looking forward to getting back into racing.
Shelly – who won silver medals in the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Paralympics and has raced to victory in the London Marathon and Great North Run – says she is excited about passing her passion for fitness on to others and hopes she can make a difference by helping people. She already has some personal training clients and is looking forward to taking on more – including working with the team at T12 Body Transformations, in Marton.
The 31-year-old said: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always been so into fitness, it’s something I really love and enjoy doing. It’s always been a big part of my life and it always makes me feel good.
“I know I can’t be an athlete forever, no one can, and this is something which can work alongside me racing, training and being a mum. I really enjoy helping people with their fitness-related goals.”
Shelly would be happy to work with other athletes, but feels her experience and expertise will mean she can help anyone – no matter what their goals.
“I think you do have that mindset and attitude as an athlete. But I really want to help anybody, to help people who just want to get a bit fitter and be healthier, not necessarily athletes. Just because I know what exercise has given me in my life and I want other people to experience that too.”
Shelly has also recently got back into racing, after the birth of her son Leo, in late March last year – becoming a mum, she says, is her greatest achievement.
“Leo is nearly a year old now. I initially kept training at the start of my pregnancy, but when I got to 30 weeks, I just felt I was done.
“It wasn’t practical with a bump, I couldn’t get into my racing chair, so I decided to take a step back.
“I wasn’t sure if I would miss it, or want to go back, as I’ve done it for such a long time – but I did.
“I’ve been back training in the gym for a while and now back into racing. I put on 2st during pregnancy and being a mum has mean adjusting my lifestyle.
“But I’m loving it and really looking forward to getting back to racing, along with this next chapter.”
Shelly said: “My racing chair doesn’t leave room for any cake, yet alone having a baby and it’s taken me a while to get back into shape.
“Your body changes so much during pregnancy and you have to give yourself time.”
For her own training, Shelly does a combination of upper body strength and endurance work, as well as getting out on the road in her racing chair, doing intervals and endurance work.
She said: “I love weight training. And I do a lot of body-weight stuff for upper body, like dips and chin-ups.
“I do a lot of conditioning work for my arms and shoulders, chest and back and of course, my core. I like the progression you can see in weight training and the sense of achievement.
“I’m really excited about this new avenue and to start hopefully building a client base.
“I also work part-time for Blackpool Council, as a sporting champion, going into schools and talking to the kids, hopefully inspiring the next generation to get into fitness.”
* Follow @shellywoods86 on Instagram.