“When you achieve something, like opening my own studio, re-qualifying as an adult, all these little things that, they do give you a boost, give you more confidence, it’s like you can do more. And with my fitness and ultra-events and my body-building… like as humans we have so much more potential than we actually think. It’s actually tapping into that and keep pushing yourself more, keep thriving… you can do a lot more than you think.” Kerry Ashcroft
One small conversation walking on the beach whilst on holiday in Australia lead to English born Kerry Ashcroft and her family into making a decision to immigrate to the Sunshine Coast. Kerry is now a well-established head coach, national body building champion and ultra-marathon runner who shares her story by and belief that we all have the potential to do a lot more than we think!
There were three reasons Kerry felt Australia was the right place to settle and that included the weather and social side of things, the job opportunities and the fact it has a way smaller population.
Kerry’s life began in the fashion and social worlds, working in pubs and clubs Kerry then went on to become a dental assistant for 12 years. She fell into PT work after completing a gym challenge.
Kerry believes you can learn to fall in love with weight lifting and gym training even if you have never done it before. The more you do it the better you get and the more you want to do it. The hardest part is starting.
She believes a lot of people might think they have the perfect diet or training plan but it all boils down to hard you work. You can have the best plan or trainer in the world but unless you give it 100% you will not necessarily get the results you are after.
PT training and building muscle takes years, it does not happen over night. Results come with time. Muscle building takes time. It’s a journey. If things come easy then where’s the fun in that creating a sense of achievement.
Kerry did an 8 week challenge at Jett’s and although she did not lose a lot of weight she transformed her body and became addicted to feeling stronger. She certainly did not believe she could make it to perform on stage. The first time she was on stage she got two 5th places. It was amazing for her. After that first competition she took on a new coach called Leon Stensholm who was interviewed on this podcast in show 103. She won the next competition she entered.
Kerry believes anyone can make it to stage if you are willing to do what it takes. Does everyone have the mental endurance to get to a comp. It’s not a 10 week shred down it takes a hell of a lot of discipline and training and sacrifice and commitment. To get to stage you need a second pair of eyes.
Jamie Milne is Kerry’s coach also and he was interviewed on this podcast (show 69).
We talk body obsession and social media and how to appreciate all parts of us if doing something like this. Kerry never talks diet in their house. They don’t talk weight or fat. Her daughters think she eats the way she does because she wants to build muscle. She is very aware of it with her family and thinks it is more focused on strength and muscle building.
The topic of cellulite comes up and how for women it can be a lot of hard work to get it to a minimum. Social media does not help so much either. Growing up body shape, size, weight was an issue. Magazines always talking the ideal body diet, weight and look.
Today , unlike a few decades ago where the skinny physique was sought after, today it is not as desired and now a fit lean strong athletic look is inspirational thankfully.
Kerry believes you do not have to be full on into to get moving. But she does believe joining a group, a gym, a class of some sort may inspire a more active lifestyle. She believes monkey see monkey do… so it is up to the parents to role model.
There are many free events at gyms, or things like park runs and more free information on the internet so you do not have to spend a lot of money to get fitter.
Nutrition is very important especially for your prep. Calories are divided up into your macros, fats, carbs and protein and you have to weigh every food. You have to be bang on with your food. Otherwise you could be wasting weeks. You have to be in deficit for weight loss. And you have to follow a strict regime for the best results.
Commit to it 100%.
Kerry explains her stage shows and all the comps she won which lead her to win national titles and got her pro card. And then she won a pro line her biggest achievement ever.
Then Covid hit. She was working at Anytime Fitness. Gyms were closed and she found herself in a crappy place. She lost her drive. Then she opened her own gym but still could not find her mojo. So she spoke to Jamie and started doing some Cross-Fit classes to get fit. She joined Jamie’s Run Riot group even though she didn’t feel she could run and it was the best thing she ever did. She went from running next to nothing to 50kms within 6 weeks. That was her start to ultra running. And it was amazing.
The mindset you get from running by yourself means you have to dig deep and do it all by yourself. This is what inspired Kerry to run long distance. And she completed the Blackhall 100 in 18 hours and 48 mins. She shares the story of Reesha Lewis who went from 140kms in weight to 70kgs and ended up winning that same event in 10hours and set a new course record. Such a strong mindset.
Kerry describes the mindset you need to run any amount. Nothing is ever far enough. The last bit is always the hardest no matter how long or short.
If you don’t do it you have to do it again. No matter how tired or how much it was hurting she just put one foot in front of the other. She was told to finish what you started.
Any goal that didn’t come off… reset it, change what needs. If you want to really complete it do what it takes. But if it is not what you want then reset and find a new challenge and change direction.
When you achieve something and all the little confidence boosters along the way we realise we have so much more potential than we think. Keep going. Keep thriving. During the journey Kerry has learned so much about herself and made many wonderful friends. She has built more resilience and strength and become a happier person in the process.
Self-love is something she hasn’t known for herself. But turning 40 she delt more accepting. It’s accepting who you are and you cannot be anyone else. Accepting all your flaws and being able to thriver every single day. Even if a bad day there is always another day. And push to be your best.
Her final message is find what makes your heart sing. Find a passion and something that will make you truly happy. Painting, going for a walk or run. When you are happy that makes everyone around you feel good. If its empty its hard to help others. You only have one life. You cannot waste it on ‘what if’s’. Dig deep, fill your cup and find joy.
If you are in a funk then the best thing to do is to get into action, take on a challenge. Surround yourself with good people. Sometimes the hardest part is actually walking through the gym or going to a yoga class. It is about finding and building a beautiful community.
Get into a group that inspires you. And be a better person. Aspire to be someone you look up to.
Her favourite quote is from Arnold Schwarzenegger:
The wolf on the hill is not as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill.
She says be the best version of you and do not get complacent.
Kerry Ashcroft is a Head coach and studio owner at Coach Kerry. She is an accredited Sports Nutritionist, NBA Pro bodybuilder who holds 12 State and National titles. She iks also a 100km ultra Marathon finisher. And she is a wife and Mum of two beautiful teenage girls Violet and Summer.
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