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)
- Effective training: When you go to the gym you are there to train and not to stand around and chat rubbish with buddies
- 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..
- Find a training partner so you can train together, or take your friends along and train together if you all share the interest :)
- I have a dog so I’ve combined training with dog activation, for example, take the dog out with you on your jogging rounds.
- 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.
- Having a partner! It is a lot easier to train properly as a single person.
Pets. They take enormous amounts of time and planning
- Courses at work
- 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 http://www.caroline-ek.com/ 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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