FitnessLink’s FitSpiration pieces profile everyday movers & shakers in the UAE health & fitness scene. From local trainers to those that have achieved huge fitness goal, each inspire in their own little way!
After coming to Dubai a few years ago, Emma Woodcock found herself inactive and a victim of the all too familiar ‘Dubai stone’. Today, she is the founder of a ladies-only cycling group in Dubai called Velo Vixens and was recently appointed as the brand ambassador for global cycling brand Liv. All with the help of a newfound passion for cycling!
Here’s what makes Emma a FitSpiration:
My Fitness Background:
I moved to Dubai in 2008, already a comfortable size 14. I’d never been what could be considered a sporty person. An accident aged 12 in which I severed my right quadricep had excused me from school sports for a long time and had left me with pretty poor balance. I’d never been any good at team sports and had never had a gym membership.
I fell right in to the Dubai stone and actually ended up with another couple on top of that. In 2010, I lost my lovely dad and my health spiralled further downwards. I hit 91kg as I turned 41 at the end of August that year.
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The Turning Point:
Imagine my surprise when my husband bought me a bike and an entry to the Dubai 92 Spinneys Challenge for my birthday! I couldn’t even get once around the Ranches perimeter road (10km) without stopping. How on earth was I going to ride 92km in just 14 weeks?
Therein lies the magic of cycling. With the help and support of my poor beleaguered husband, I made it. We joined group rides that built us up gradually to the event. We rode a few times a week, before work. The sound of the wheels on the tarmac is soothing and the endorphins that you get after a ride leaves you energized and happy. It’s transformative. If you could bottle the joy, you’d make a fortune.
Mark and I went on to lose 61kg between us, it really has totally changed our lives.
— Emma Woodcock (@velovixensdubai) June 14, 2015
New Fitness Beginnings:
About two years ago, I formed a women’s cycling group called the Velo Vixens. We are now almost 400 women! My passion for women’s cycling led me to be invited to be Brand Ambassador for Liv, the first women only cycling store in the region. I hope to encourage many more women to get back on a bike.
Ride with your family, friends, kids or come out and ride with the girls. It’s a fantastic way to meet new friends, network and have fun and get fit at the same time.
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