We are excited to sit down with new Under Armour Turf Games Ambassador Tara-Lee Howlin (@tara_leeh) and find out what makes her tick.
TL is a 6 X Turf Games athlete and has stood on the podium 3 times -
2nd Sydney Summer Festival 2019 (mixed team)
3rd London Winter Festival 2020 - Elite Mixed Team
3rd Dubai City Series 2020 (mixed team)
TL wasn't always into fitness, read below to find out about her journey.
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF IN 100 WORDS OR LESS.
“TL” or “Ta” 31, Irish, living 2.5 years in London. Born & spent most of my childhood growing up in South Africa. Talents include squatting my Fiancé & an atrocious River Dance rendition. People eating loudly and chalk spillages make my insides cry.
WHAT DID YOU DO PREVIOUSLY AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO FITNESS?
Previous office life involved “web provisioning” & communications. Being a typical twenty something year old office worker .. I was extremely unhappy in myself to the point like I felt like I had no direction in life.. “living for the weekend”, the ultimate party girl!! Something needed to change. Leading down a dangerous path of self destruction; Pushing >95KG with zero confidence, it was only following some health complications, I had a massive wake up call and found fitness.
My brother, coming from a Rugby and sporting background, had a massive part to play in this - always listen to big bro!!! He had began dabbling in CrossFit with a couple of uni mates in a small garage and gave me the push / kick to start my weight loss journey. I joined a local women’s only HIIT class (reluctantly agreed as there were no mirrors! ) which led to Olympic lifting and then CrossFit. I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined myself competing in the sport let alone standing in front of a group of people delivering a class. Fast forward 6 years... I am now stronger, healthier (physically & mentally) and hella happier!!
WHAT DO YOU DO NOW?
I manage the Box @CrossFitworldsend and I constantly pinch myself that I get to combine my passion for fitness & coaching to create a career that is unbelievably rewarding and help others who are on their own “journey”.
WHAT DOES FUNCTIONAL FITNESS MEAN TO YOU?
Fitness is very different for everyone, however, functional fitness is something that EVERYBODY can do, it’s inclusive, accessible thus bringing like minded people together which is exactly what Turf Games have done & have built one pretty amazing community along the way!
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WEEK'S TRAINING LOOK LIKE?
I love jumping in to classes with the members, there’s nothing like a class vibe and when the programming & coaching is on point, it’s a no brainer. On top of that, you can find me hijacking the other coach’s sessions in open gym (especially if there are some weights in the mix!)
Forever chasing those gymnastics skilllls .. progress is slow but we getting there (ish) I’m on no “real” strict regime - I train when I have time and try to listen to my body for rest days.
WHERE DO YOU NORMALLY TRAIN?
@CrossFitWoldsEnd / @MotusStrength (Home, Ireland @howlingheartfitness)
YOU HAVE TRAVELED TO TWO INTERNATIONAL TURF GAMES COMPETITIONS - SYDNEY + DUBAI - WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THEM?
Travelling with fitness is the ultimate dream! I mean does it get any better than this? From water parks, to beach workouts, sun downers and after parties not to mention the main event, GAME DAY.
The Turf tours just keep getting bigger and better and I’ve built friendships and memories for life.
Not sure how the recent Dubai trip can be topped but I am beyond excited for more. What a way to see the world.
YOU HAVE COMPETED IN BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND TEAM COMPETITIONS. WHICH ONE DO YOU PREFER AND WHY?
There’s nothing like hitting the dance floor with your team behind you! It pushes you beyond your boundaries and your perceived capabilities - “you won’t do it for yourself, but you will do it for your team”. From training buddies to joining forces with international athletes .. the vibe is all same - Team camaraderie & energy is just simply electric.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE COMPETITIONS IN YOUR DIARY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR TO MOTIVATE AND STRUCTURE YOUR TRAINING?
Why is it important to have competitions in your diary throughout the year to motivate and structure your training? Keeps me on my toes (and off the booze ha!) I relish in new challenges and love chasing goals, plus the social aspect - I have built some pretty special friendships through fitness and competing gives me the opportunity to meet new people, catch up with old friends or as with the Turf international series - travel & grow my circle. But more importantly it’s all about the good times and good vibes .. if you’re not having fun you’re not doing it right. After all that’s why we’re all here right?!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF GYM EQUIPMENT?
WHAT IS YOUR GO TO EXERCISE THAT YOU LOVE DOING?
Snatching (the most frustrating exercise out there but also the most rewarding) nothing like nailing that (rare) lift! But when you do = them snatch feels.
GO TO PRE/POST WORKOUT SNACK?
Fresh Fitness Food have been recently fuelling my training (those snicker ballsThough ...yum!)
Post workout - Nocco Caffeine free elderflower is the one.
Candy Kittens & Caramel Snack O Jacks .. if you know you know :)
SHOULD WE PUT A TURF GAMES IRELAND IN THE CALENDAR?
Give the people what they want!
I think there is a nice little gap in the calendar, July. (Would tie in very conveniently with my birthday *winky face)
QUICK FIRE Q&A
- Favourite alcoholic drink? Vodka soda & lime (although I am partial to some bubbles)
- Ideal holiday destination? Anywhere with the 3 S’s (Sun, sweat & sea)
- Summer or Winter? Summer
- Favourite Movie? Marvel & the Transformer movies.
- Favourite Quote? “If it were easy, everybody would do it”
- Favourite song? Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap.
Make sure you are following TL on Instagram @tara_leeh