Our client Carina Faller is the only female to make this year’s Perth Firefighter Calendar and we are damn proud! Last month she got up on stage at The Camfield in front of thousands for the launch. She absolutely owned it, nailing the choreography and flashing those abs, with Team LA Fit cheering her on!
Carina shares her inspiring story that proves with the right mindset you can do anything! Grab your green juice and take 10 out of your day to read about her journey... being a Firefighter, overcoming challenges and setting goals.
Don't forget to purchase a Perth Firefighters Calendar and support this awesome cause. Buy it here.
We'd love for you to share a little about yourself and the challenges you faced in becoming a Firefighter
I fell in love with Perth after travelling around Australia for two years and moved here from Germany in 2010 to study. After four years as an Event Manager, I decided to chase my dream of becoming a firefighter. I wanted a fulfilling, rewarding and challenging career which combined my passion of keeping fit with the possibility of helping people.
After a long and taxing application process and being accepted into the trainee firefighter school 77, I faced the probably biggest challenge of my life so far when I fractured two vertebrae during a training drill half way through the training program. For several months I was stuck in a brace from chin to hips 24/7 and the doctors couldn't give me a prognosis of whether my neck would heal well enough to ever be able to continue the training to meet the physically demanding requirements of the job as a firefighter.
The physical pain and discomfort was bearable about a month from the accident, however the mental challenge of not being able to do anything (even day to day tasks such as showering or preparing a meal), having lost all my independence all of a sudden and not knowing what my future held was hard to take.
Giving up however was never an option after having gone through so much to get to where I wanted to be in life. Luckily my neck was healing well and after 4 months I was able to slowly start my rehabilitation process. The progress was very slow and frustrating with my doctors and physiotherapists having to continuously remind me of taking it easy as the bone density in my neck wasn't the same and all the (stabiliser) muscles in my body had to slowly be rebuilt and patience has never been my strength :)
A strong (some call it stubborn) mindset kept me going! A full year after the accident, I started my training again as part of firefighter school 79 which I graduated from in 2016.
Two years into your new career, what is your fitness routine?
Keeping fit has always been an important part in my life and I change my fitness routine up regularly to keep my workouts enjoyable. I try to get a workout in every day with a mix of cardio, core strength and weights training.
I enjoy boxing, Muay Thai, boot camp style training and of course Megaformer and Ride classes at LA Fit Studio. I mix that up with the occasional stair climbs of Jacob's ladder, weight sessions (usually at work) and runs along the beach.
What do you love about LA Fit's workouts?
Since starting Lagree Fitness I can definitely see why core strength is so important and see the benefits of regularly doing these exercises. We have to lift and handle heavy equipment in our job and despite being taught the right techniques and following OH&S procedures, sometimes we find ourselves in very uncomfortable positions as the incident demands. To have good core strength is the more important in order to support and protect your back and other parts of your body. The Megaformer has certainly helped me build a core strength I never had before which improved my back and my overall mobility and flexibility.
I love MegaRide and RideMega as these classes provide you with a good core workout and great cardio session in one workout.
I’m now making time for 2-3 classes a week at LA Fit as part of a balanced training regimen.
With your job being so taxing physically how do you fuel your body and make time for YOU?
A healthy diet and good nutrition containing lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and protein is important to fuel my body and to have the energy to fulfill the physical demands of my job. I have cut down on commitments outside of my full time job as a firefighter as I realised that I was simply doing too much.
Now I take the time on my days off to just sit at the beach to reflect, take in the beautiful sunshine and to let my mind wander. It's very important to have that time to yourself, especially when sometimes dealing with very confronting incidents at work. Enjoying a coffee with friends to catch up and being out in nature help me keep a healthy mindset and to clear my head.
Knowing that you had to get up on stage at the launch, how did you prepare your mind and body?
To get up on that stage not wearing much more than my underwear was definitely very nerve wrecking for me. My big goal was to not only look athletic and toned but to show some abs. I focused on doing 3 Megaformer classes a week which really helped build those abdominal and oblique muscles. The rest does come down to a very strict nutrition plan.
I have always been very ambitious so when I set myself a goal, I'll work as hard as necessary in order to achieve it. The profits of the Perth Firefighters Calendar sales support the burns unit of the Perth Children's Hospital which is a cause very close to my heart and worth putting the effort in for. In addition to that I saw this as a good personal challenge to prove to myself how far I have come working on my body confidence and with this I'd love to inspire other women too.
Check out Carina on stage in this vid! Absolutely smokin' at 2.08.
What would you like to share about setting goals and finding body confidence?
You can achieve anything you dream of if you're willing to put in the work for it. Coming from a different country, English being my second language and never having professionally worked with tools, I never thought I'd now be working in a very male-dominated, hands on job in a country I didn’t grow up in. But I dreamed of being a firefighter, I worked hard for it and now have the best job in the world!
I'm making a constant effort to remind myself of what my body is able to endure and get me through. We have to remember that we all have ups and downs in life and our weight/body shape can fluctuate a little bit accordingly and that's okay. We all have an individual shape and what is a natural weight to one person isn't the same for another, even if they follow that same diet.
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