22/01/2018 10:14 GMT

Former Footballer Takara Hawthorne-Smith Turned Injury Into A Positive And Became An Inspirational Powerlifter

'I want to inspire other women to break records.' 💪💪💪

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Two years ago, 26-year-old powerlifter, Takara Hawthorne-Smith, dreamed of a career as a professional footballer

However, the athlete suffered two serious knee injuries that ended her promising career with the Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Her two surgeries meant she had to hang up her boots,aged just 24, to protect herself from further knee damage. Her confidence hit rock bottom. 

Knowing she wanted to remain in the fitness industry, Takara turned to her local gym. She gained a Level 2 gym instructor course, followed by a Level 3 personal training qualification. And then she fell in love with lifting weights.

Takara is now second in the British women’s power lifting team, with a goal of reaching first place and being part of team GB. 

“I feel I’ve turned a disappointment into something positive,” she said, i the latest interview for our ‘Fit Fix’ series. “I want to inspire other women to break records.”


My Motivation 🙌

How do you stay motivated?

“I have a motivational mantra and it has kept me focused throughout my sporting career and training. It goes as follows: ‘I wasn’t lucky, I worked hard to achieve the goals I set for myself’. It’s by Li Ka-Shing.”

Do you always have fitness goals you are aiming for this year?

“As long as I am happy with the way I look, I will continue to try and increase my weights, to get stronger and to increase my body definition.”

What’s your ultimate workout track and why?

“I haven’t got a particular track. I listen to a variety of genres. I also listen to a lot of motivational audio recordings too, because they keep me focused while I’m working out.” 

My Journey 🌎

What do you credit to your success in your fitness journey?

“During my powerlifting, I have been privileged to work with some top professional athletes and coaches. They’ve given me great advice and helped with my technique and workout routines. I continue to benefit from their guidance and support. I’ve also learned a lot from watching world champion powerlifter Kimberley Walford and listening to motivational speakers such as Camilita Nuttall.”

What’s one of the most memorable moments in your career and why?

“It was amazing when I achieved second place in the last British Powerlifting Championship, having been placed seventh the year before. This was such a huge move up.”

Was there ever a low point in your career and how did you get past it?

“I was devastated when, following two serious knee injuries which both required surgery, I was fearful about getting more injuries and decided to give up football which I loved. The advice I received to go to the gym to strengthen my knee proved to be the best piece of advice however. It was a real turning point, as it not only improved my confidence at a time when I felt I would not be able to participate in any form of sport, it also led to my potential being noticed and the start of my powerlifting career.”


My Training 💪

Talk us through your week in fitness.

“I train four times a week: Monday is a chest and triceps heavy session, Tuesday is legs and deadlifts, Thursday is chest, triceps and shoulders and Friday is legs, back and biceps. 

“My sessions vary between an hour and an hour and 45 minutes.”

What’s your favourite type of workout and why?

“I would say shoulders and back are the two areas I enjoy training most, because they are the strongest part of my body.”

What’s your favourite way to spend your  rest day?

“Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday are my rest days. I watch motivational videos and read books by Les Brown, Gary Vee and Anthony Robbins. One of my favourite books is The Secret by Rhonda Bryne. I also enjoy spending time with my family.”


My Food 🍳

What do you eat throughout the week to complement your training schedule?

“On the days which I train, I eat more carbohydrates to help give me energy. When I don’t train, I eat more protein and fats.”

What are your pre and post-workout snacks?

“Pre-workout meal: bagels with either peanut butter or jam or tuna and brown pasta. Post-workout meal: rice cakes with jam, a banana then a meal such as salmon, sweet potato and vegetables.”

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about food?

“I take greater care of what I eat and ensure the food I eat complement my training and also I reduce my portion size when I’m not training.”

Fit Fix’ is a weekly dose of fitspiration from leading athletes and fitness fanatics. Each week we chat to stars about their weekly workouts, the food they eat and what keeps them going. 

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