Interview with A World Champion (Eng)

(the picture above is taken directly from Caroline's website. I don't own it. I've only used it here as reference to her website. To visit her website, please click on the picture itself)

Finally, the long awaited interview with World Champion in Professional Kickboxing Caroline Ek. I have been asked to provide the original Swedish version as well as any translations I may give and since the readership of this blog is from a mixture from both sides, I have decided to inculde both but just on seperate posts.

Hello. Why don't we start by you telling us a little about yourself?
My name is Caroline Ek, I’m 25 years old and live in Västerås, but grew up in Karlskrona, Sweden.

Are you currently working / studying? Is that Full time / Part time?
I work as a fire-fighter at the Eskilstuna Rescue Service. I work full time (42 hrs / week in different shifts)

You also set aside time to practice a sport. Which sport(s)?
Kickboxing, practicing about two sessions a day, six days a week.

How long have you done that?
For nearly 10 years. (Kickboxing that is)

Do you follow any special diet? Do you use any Dietary Supplements?
Yes, especially before competitions. I think about what I eat all year round and strive to eat healthily, taking in more proteins than carbohydrates, as well as (choosing) wholemeal bread, wholemeal pasta and so on. Before the match I significantly reduce my carbohydrates in order to hit the match weight. I supplement with protein powder, omega 3, vitamins and minerals. When no competition is near (off season), I allow myself a 'free day' a week or fortnight.

How do you manage to fit your training around work, study and family time?
Before competitions, life becomes locked to a schedule with basically just work, food, exercise, sleep, work, food, exercise, sleep, etc.. Otherwise, you simply allow yourself to take it a bit easier one day and schedule in time with friends and family.

Do you compete in your sport(s)? Have you won any competitions?
Yes, I do compete and my biggest achievements are seven national championships, three World Championship golds (WKA), a World Championship bronze (Wako), a European Championship gold (Wako), and I recently became the reigning world champion in professional kickboxing with Wako PRO -68 kg.

What is the greatest thrill you have got out of practicing your sport?
Apart from above, I have had the privilege to meet a whole host of wonderful personalities over the years and I have to say that the competing element gives you a real kick. The feeling of having defeated one’s opponent is indescribably beautiful!

Give us your top 5 tips for time-management (to fit exercise around life)
  1. Effective training: When you go to the gym you are there to train and not to stand around and chat rubbish with buddies
  2. Plan a training schedule for each week so there are no uncertainties, then you’ll know what to do every day and when it is appropriate to add rest days, etc..
  3. Find a training partner so you can train together, or take your friends along and train together if you all share the interest :)
  4. I have a dog so I’ve combined training with dog activation, for example, take the dog out with you on your jogging rounds.
  5. As a fire-fighter I have been privileged to be able to train during working hours, which allows me to save a lot as I am finished for the day (training-wise) by the end of my shift.

Now let's balance that with what you consider the top time-thieves.
  1. Having a partner! It is a lot easier to train properly as a single person.
    Pets. They take enormous amounts of time and planning
  2. Courses at work
  3. The summer: It’s always harder to train when you’d ratherbe outside in the sun doing a whole lot of other things.

Do you have any regrets?
No, I do not regret anything.

Finally, why do you train? What drives you?
You become dependent on it, which makes quitting difficult. Further, training give you a great deal of joy and the spirit of togetherness at the club is enormous and I want to stay part of it. Moreover, I am very competitive, and this type of competition is the ultimate test between two people.

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Ps. Many thanks go to Caroline Ek and Ismo Huppunen from without whom’s help this interveiw wouldn’t have been possible. If you would like to read the original answers in Swedish (before my translation) please click here

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