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Kaya Slater

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Kaya Slater
a Personal Trainer who lives in Dubai

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"A few years ago I hardly did any exercise apart from the odd half-hearted and infrequent gym class. But that was my old life in England. Something happened to me when I came to Dubai, this place triggered off some kind of fitness fanaticism and now it's my passion. So much so that I've completely swapped career paths, I've given up being a dental nurse and recently became a personal trainer. I absolutely love it, I'm doing it part-time at the moment but plan to be full-time by Christmas. There's no way I would be doing this if I'd stayed in the UK.

"I'm not sure what it was about Dubai that put me on this new path. I think the weather was part of it, I love the heat. Back in Derbyshire, it's always cold which isn't much incentive to head to the park for a run. But here, I discovered Safa Park when I first arrived and started jogging around it in the mornings. I was also initially motivated by my then-boyfriend. I originally moved to Dubai to be with him when he was transferred with work. Before deciding to make the move though, I came out on a two-week holiday and fell in love with the place. I liked the heat, the sunshine, spending my days on the beach and the fact that there were so many different nationalities.

"So we took the plunge. My boyfriend was very into sports and would always be off playing rugby or whatever and I realized I wanted to do something too. It was also about making friends, so I joined a gym and a yoga centre to meet people. It all started with just a bit of running at the gym. Before long, people were commenting on how strongly I was running and encouraging me to enter races like the Wadi Bih 72km relay from Ras al Khaimah to Dibba. Then I met a few friends who were personal trainers and they really spurred me on. With their encouragement, I started to get borderline obsessive about everything fitness and training. So I did my personal training certificate and took on my first clients.

"I now know what it is to get real job satisfaction. I love training - which is something i never said about teeth. I love the idea of taking a client who's overweight or unfit and helping them transform, watching them change physically and mentally as they gain more confidence. I know that's happened for me. I'm ten times more confident than I used to be and generally much happier. I don't get down like I used to. My body shape has completely changed as well. Plus, this is a great business to be in in Dubai, the demand for personal trainers is huge as more people try to alleviate the effects of the typical western expat lifestyle. The norm is for westerners to gain weight when they move here and some people gain a lot of weight, it's a combination of socialising, long working hours, eating meals out, the ease of having take-away food delivered to your door as well as driving everywhere. But you can also lead a really active life if you choose to and that's where I come in."

 

 

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