Q: Uju how did you get into the fitness industry? Has this been a lifelong passion?
A: I grew up in Nigeria, so it was all very wild, I was outdoors all the time and was sporty right from when I was a baby. Although movement was always in my life, I originally trained as a textile designer as I have an arty side but eventually found that it didn’t fulfill me completely. Everyone around me said I should do something in the movement industry instead so I started the conventional way, doing my fitness instructor course and massage therapy, working in a gym and building things from the ground up. Eventually I found Wildfitness and that was the real turning point.
Q: Have you developed any specialist skills along the way?
A: Anything to do with free running I am very comfortable with but I can also teach most types of movement. There are periods when i’m really into a particular thing, so I do a lot of those classes and focus on that for a while. I always want to feel like i’m learning. I’ve been really into Muay Thai in the past for example, fully immersing myself in it but eventually I always float on to something else, I find it keeps me stimulated.
Q: Who have been the main influences on your fitness career so far?
A: Definitely Tara Wood of Wildfitness, she changed my life. I don't meet a lot of women in the industry who do that, with the same inspirational personality. Tara was just thinking way outside of the box back then. Nowadays I work a lot with Paul Ranson who keeps me on my toes, then further afield there are guys like Frank Forencich, Erwan Le Corre and Ido Portal who have all played a big role in helping me develop my own thinking around movement and generally communicating what we do to a more mainstream audience.
Q: What does your typical working day look like?
A: I am a generalist, so in any one day I may be doing two or three client sessions outside, then delivering massages, taking extra courses to expand my knowledge and doing my own movement training too. It could be Muay Thai kickboxing, dance or simply moving outside on Hampstead Heath. All my clients train outdoors with me now too, I just don’t feel like going back to an indoor environment. I then mix all that in with my family commitments - I'm still a mum who needs to be home to prepare dinner every evening so it’s a juggling act, one I aim to be skillful at!
Q. What is your diet like? Do you subscribe to any particular philosophy?
A: I have been very strict on that in the past, experimenting on myself by only eating fats or following the paleo diet… nowadays my approach is simply eating real food as much as I can. Do I step outside of that sometimes? Yes, of course I do but I generally keep it clean and practice what I preach. You are a product of what you put into your body; for me anything raw, fresh and sourced from a good place feels like a pretty good fit.