I was honoured to be a guest on Suzie Cox’s IGTV live. Suzie is also known as Vogue from the Gladiators, the popular fitness gameshow from the 80s. Suzie hosts a series called Wonder Woman Wednesday which features some inspirational guests, we spoke about everything from living in Lycra to physical and mental changes to your body after giving birth and also how important it is to differ your training after having children.
If you missed it you can catch up here
Suzie had her own physical and mental challenges after having children, so we wanted to get to know her better and dive into how she has adapted her fitness routine to help her stay in shape now that she is on that uphill travellator of busy motherhood and family life.
Suzie, tell us what it was like being a gladiator? and how did you get into doing it?
Being a Gladiator was amazing I got to travel and film for tv and to do lots of photoshoots. As Vogue, I performed in 5 pantos, 3 as principle boy so it opened up other experiences to sing, present, create my own series of fitness DVD’s and to meet my husband on the show as he was a contender! There were 7000 people in the audience live at each show we filmed, with a further 15 million plus watching at home each week, plus all the amazing crew and production team, I used to call it Planet Gladiator, I am still in touch with quite a lot of them now.
I have a competitive sports background, as a child in swimming, ballet, gymnastics mainly and then later I had been competing Internationally in Competitive aerobics, now Sports Aerobics. So when the show first started in the UK, I had just qualified for my first World Championships so couldn’t do both. Fast forward a couple of years, the sponsorship from Reebok ended and I was working with a photographer for an Ultra Fit magazine cover, who mentioned LWT were looking for new girls for the show. So my audition took place a few weeks after that and then got the call, I was in!
What do you do as a family to keep fit and healthy?
We are all very active and sporty in our house, even the dogs so family dog walks, surfing skiing, downhill Mountain biking (we’re lucky to have a place in the alps for most of this) and bike rides, games in the garden or on the beach. Both of our children play high level sport at school too, my daughter takes after me with power and strength on her side, she is a great hockey GK and throws a mean discus and punch when boxing. My son is a speed demon, so rugby, football and sprint track. During lockdown, my husband and I have been training together doing some strength and conditioning work or a road bike out and about so in 23 years we’ve never really trained together! I do Pilates a lot now for self-preservation, having had back issues for a long time, this really helps, alongside a variety of other stuff.
What you love about being a woman?
Being a woman has its challenges always, but we are so resilient and can do much more than we think we can when it comes to putting ourselves forward but we must not be afraid to say No to more things but what I am most enjoying is finding likeminded women, who I can connect with who want to do the same or similar things as me but also ones who I connect with on a different level and am inspired by as they push me out of my comfort zone and into other areas I may not have discovered.
Women supporting women is a cliche expression now, but it really is important, and especially the middle age group, as we’re often overlooked in many areas.
Do you have a life mantra, or any philosophies/sayings you live by if so what are they?
Ooh that’s a good one…With my BRAVE PANTS podcast, the mantra is to have a light hearted chat about important stuff, and if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, just go and try it, have a go, you never know it might the best thing you’ve ever done and what if you never tried.
I think, I’ve learnt as I’ve got older, that we can do more than we think, we shouldn’t put ourselves into categories and boxes. We should be able to do what we want, wear what we want and be our true selves not try and fit in, be unapologetically you.
Exude confidence is my mantra even if you don’t feel it be as confident as the Top Dog in any scenario (without the arrogance and bum sniffing).
But ultimately be kind as someone always has a different view, different style, different tastes so be open to others and listen to what they have to say. You don’t have to agree but listen anyway and find that 10% that is good in what they’re saying.
What is your favourite way to unwind and relax? Physically and/or Mentally?
Dancing and music is always my happy place whether it’s up tempo or more relaxing style exercising generally is normally a good reset button for me and (like a dog) I love fresh air on my face so the first thing I do in the morning is open a window or door just blows away any tension.
I am also a very sociable person but I do enjoy peace and quiet too. Time to stare at a view of nature and listen to music calms me that or a warm bath.
Tell us more about your motivation for working out and do you have any up-and-coming challenges or goals you can tell us about?
My motivation for working out now is all about my mental health as well as my physical health mostly though self-preservation ensuring I can do any activity (within reason) without restriction from my mind or body.
How has your attitude towards working out and exercise changed as you have got older?
I do much less impact activity and much more conditioning. For me exercise is more for my mental health than it is for aesthetics these days. It’s not adrenaline fuelled it’s about mind, body connection and overall control.
How do you juggle work, life, friends, fashion and fitness, particularly whilst being a busy mum?
Being able to train at home and while kids are at school helps any excuse to get away from the laptop and move is key for me. I cannot sit on a chair for very long our whole household is sporty and active, even the dogs so we’re all out and active as a family anyway.
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
I was weirdly quite “mature” as an 18 year old, think I was surrounded a lot by older people I was training and competing with, so am now probably more immature and reckless but that comes with not giving a poop and having as much fun as possible. I would say make the most of doing stuff physically before you lose your nerve or ability as you get older!
Which women inspire you?
Anyone who is having a go, tries their best whatever their circumstances and especially women who make major change to their lifestyles, at whatever age.
Tell us a bit more about Wonder Woman Wednesday, where we can find it and why it started?
Wonder Woman Wednesdays was a bit of fun and a way to connect and showcase some amazing women I know and some I don’t know. I’m currently creating and presenting some online workshops to help build presenting and confidence skills too. These skills are key to enjoyment of the new online meeting process that COVID-19 has bought about. Confidence and self-belief are also a good life skill to have and one we as women don’t use enough!!
I’m also really excited about my Top Dogs and `their Humans podcast. I will be chatting to some great guests, talking all about their lives and dogs stories and anecdotes.
You can find out more about these podcasts over on my Instagram.
Let us know below if you have any life mantras. We love Suzie BRAVE PANTS MANTRA here at niix.