Meet Heidi, she’s a vibrant community member and dynamic certified personal trainer and yogi. While most know her on Skimble‘s Workout Trainer app as Desert Fox, Heidi’s energy is infection wherever we find her training. She focuses not only on the physical aspect of training but also on mental well-being. You can see her consistently creating, completing and sharing her workouts with a die-hard group of community members who often top the monthly leaderboards. We got a chance to chat with Heidi and learn about her background. Let’s jump right in.
Tell us a bit about yourself – where are you from?
Heidi: I was born and raised in Europe, but spent much of my childhood living in Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, and Greece. Then I moved back to Europe, left for the United States, and later settled in the United Arab Emirates. I still commute between the US and Middle East, and have traveled 126 countries ’til today.
What inspired you to become a trainer?
Heidi: After attaining several debilitating injuries, I was written off by the allopathic medical community as *permanently partially disabled* which led me into intense studies and certifications in homeo-naturopathic alternative healing modalities and I never looked back. My journey to self healing encouraged me to help others. Fitness has always been an integral part of my life, be it Equestrian Volting, Martial Arts (Muay Thai), Freediving, Skiing, Skydiving… anything to get my adrenaline going.
Can you talk about your path to becoming a yogi?
Heidi: About 30 years ago I began visiting family in Tamil Nadu, India and discovered yoga for the first time. It was not until decades later that I fully immersed myself with Mysore-style Ashtanga. I usually spend one month out of the year in one of India’s Yoga Hubs (Rishikesh/Iyengar/Hatha/Kundalini/Ashtanga), Goa ( Hatha/Yin), Dharmshala (Tantra/Multi), Mysore (Ashtanga) or Kerala (Hatha/Mohenjo Daro-Shakti/ Ayurveda), as well as the Maldives (Yin). As an NASM trainer and a teacher in the aforementioned types of yoga & integrated modalities, I noticed the importance of form and posture, be it static or in movement, and decided to further my studies in Postural Corrective Therapies.
The Yin and Yang concept is definitely reflected in my training methods.
We heard you’re quite the mountain athlete, too! Tell us about some of your outdoorsy adventures.
Heidi: Some of my mountaineering expeditions took me around the globe, from the unforgettable Himalaya ranges of Tibet, Nepal and Northern India, China’s Mt Huashan range, to South America’s Andes, American Rockies and European Alps. My last notable summit was Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro. A few months later I re-injured my already battered right leg on a night training climb for Mont Blanc Summit in the Italian Alps. Maybe I was just lucky but MMA (power/speed) & Yoga training (flexibility & balance) definitely helped me to avoid a free fall down the abyss.
What are some important guidelines you stick to in your training?
Heidi: I always get in about 10 minutes of dynamic stretching prior to working out, followed by static stretching post-workout. Those are a must in my book! Stretching during longer rests while strength training benefits muscle growth and efficiency and shortens recovery. I also personally aim for at least 3 hours of yoga per week in addition to my weight/cardio training. For this very reason I rarely experience DOMS, despite a very intense training schedule.
Wow! Where do you find the time and space to do all of this?
Heidi: How do I find the time people often ask. For one, I’m off of social media. I am lucky enough not to need it to promote myself. Skimble is the only social media I therefore use as it is linked to productivity. These days I choose not to watch a favorite sitcom or movie, this is leisure time I do not have. I prefer being an eternal student. My Skimble Team “Wolverine”, however, was inspired by the Marvel character, as I believe everyone can find a “Super Hero” within themselves. In my free time I continue to study Holistic Health, Nutrition, and Detox methods. My social schedule is sparse, my nickname amongst friends is “Big Foot” as they rarely get to see me. I prefer solitude and nature after decades of living in the Emirates world of glitz and glam.
What’s your favorite Workout Trainer feature?
Heidi: I appreciate Skimble’s Workout Trainer app as a valuable training tool wherever I’m at. I really love this app. I’m not just saying it, I actually use it about 5 – 6 days a week. I found Workout Trainer to be an invaluable training tool for everyone; beginner or serious athlete, client or coach, as it assists the user to stay goal-oriented and organized while having access to the newest training modalities and exercise variations. Being able to create your own workouts and add your own pictures and video are another great feature. Let’s not forget about the social aspect. You can learn tremendously from and get motivated by others on here, just by following the right people. I also love the integrated heart rate feature. After many years of logging over 22k workouts on this app, I have yet to find a better one.
Do you have any recommended training gear?
Heidi: My Go-To-Tools are Bands (TRX) and a lightweight yoga mat when traveling or when I find myself without gym access. They fit in every suitcase!
Got a secret health tip?
Heidi: What is worse than bad posture? The answer is: training with bad posture. If in doubt, choose good form and posture.
Moreover, I regularly detox and maintain optimal immunity by observing my ph levels. I also stay clear from pharmaceuticals. Mother Nature provides all I need. The result? I rarely get sick and have more vitality than when I was in my 30s.
One more thing: do you have any role models?
Heidi: Since you asked, some of my personal heroes are Nikolai Tesla, Dr. Judy Mikovits, Dr. Robert Young, Dr. Sucharit Bhakdi, Sasha Latipova, to name a few of my favorite experts in the field of medical science and research.
There you have it! Heidi is your go-to guide and all-around inspiring human! Follow her to see what she’s doing and dishing out to stay motivated on this journey towards a healthier, fitter you.
Download the free Workout Trainer app for Android & iOS to tap into our follow-along coaching and fitness community today!
Are you a fitness professional and want access to our online coaching tools? Get started for free on Skimble’s Trainer page.