There are very few people I meet that have the inclination to partake in some friendly banter off the bat. Most of my conversations start off with a general talk about the brand and idea and we move into a meet. My next guest broke the norm and engaged in some of the most high level banter I’ve been a part of; from closet cookie addictions to flying with curtains, this girl is no ordinary soul. With her piquant personality and epizootic smile, she is the gift that keeps on giving (you might have to bribe her with desserts though), I bring to you to; Miss Yasmin Baker.
‘People Hang From These Curtain Type Things’
I guess I was always body aware’, I wasn’t too big into sports, I did P.E [but that was it]. My mom enrolled us into different activities but you know when you’re so young, you get so bored so easily that you rotate through so many different sports and that habit, I think stuck with me. I started of with ballet, horse-riding, tennis in my spare time and in school we did the generic team sports such as football, basketball and what not. I tried running for a little bit, different kinds of dance, which developed this way of moving without it feeling awkward especially from the gymnastics and ballet classes.
I was always running around, being active so I never went through an ‘overweight’ phase, it was more activity based lifestyle. I stuck with it and when I went to high school, I did the IB program which sucked the life out of me and left me with very little time to do after school activities. I still did somethings here and there but nothing consistent because of exams and assignments. I eventually moved abroad to complete my university degree and at this point I should tell you that I had never been to a real gym before. I never knew how to use the machines or weights or anything. I moved to [Washington] DC to study and while I was there, I joined a movement class thinking it was going to be a workout class but it was a very philosophical stretching class as opposed to an exercise class.
We had to do a project towards the end of the school year and the first thing that came to mind was that totally random was to do this thing where people hang from these curtain type things but I have no idea what it was called, what to google or how to research about it. So, I was telling my instructor and he was like my wife does this. OK, cool, I can go do a class and write about it. Once I took the class, I was hooked; that was the moment. I couldn’t progress because I wasn’t fit, so I hired a personal trainer and tell him this is my goal. This guy is a beast. I credit him all the time, it’s been around 7 years since we trained together and we still keep in contact today. I keep telling him you started my journey, you were the reason. I never thought I [had that itch] to get hooked onto something. He made it fun and it opened the doors to other parts of fitness.
I came back to Dubai and had a reverse culture shock but still kept active whilst trying to settle back in. I still had some friends and my family is here but didn’t get that excitement and took time to really just get back into the groove. I took a bunch of different classes; Pilates, Les Mills. I got a trainer here to keep at it again, and she too was the yin to my yang in terms of training. She suited training to my goals and how I am on that day, but never allowed me to slack off.
She also changed my training style regularly, and kept tabs on other ‘wellness’ areas of my life like stress and sleep. She is also a very good friend and we keep active together. From there, I felt the enjoyment behind training. I don’t keep a weekly schedule or fixed goal behind each session. If I feel like going for a swim one day, I’ll go, if I feel like ice skating, I’ll go try that. For me, I want to be flexible. I try and add no pressure and be laid back about the whole thing. I have a lot of other things going in my life which I don’t want to necessarily hold back on.
A lot of people would ask me why I don’t open my own place; but I know and have seen what it takes and what happens. I really like what I’m doing at work, I liked working in other jobs as well, I want to keep my training and my coaching as a way of getting away from everything else. It’s still able to be enjoyable without it being a chore or a 9 to 5. It’s a nice balance. If my work takes over then I may not workout that week but when I go back I get that feeling of enjoyment and think “YES! I missed this!”. It doesn’t feel monotonous.
For me, again I get bored very easily and I enjoy trying new things. I tend not to stick to the same thing or the same level for too long and it will probably get boring for me. I admire people who can wake up consistently, and do the same routine everyday with no room for error. I ask, what happens when you travel? When you’re jet lagged? Do you have a moment of “MY GAINNNNSS, noooo”? Lol.
It’s definitely a very personal choice and I like my way of working and I would tell people that it’s what makes you comfortable. If you’re someone that needs a trainer every day then you’re that person.
I asked her about her usual training hot-spots and she can be found prowling around these places;
I’ll be at Train SF to train Muay Thai and Gravity DXB for silks or callisthenics. I have a gym at home and do some Pilates, so really it’s in all these places. I’m doing electromagnetic stimulation regularly too. I like to have these different activities to change up my routine.
At the end of the day, it really comes down to the individual. Not being obsessed but being passionate is two different things and is more than acceptable. Yasmin is one of the few individuals who enjoy their day jobs and have the gym and training as another enjoyable escape. The whole conversation was full of laughter and enjoyment and she sounded like she loved explaining her story. I’d encourage you to follow her on social media, you won’t be left disappointed. Here we have a girl loving life, enjoying her time and being an everyday athlete. I just have one more thing to say before I close out yet another stellar name:
“This is my favourite interview, I don’t do many but this is my favourite one”
*No bribes were made during the entirety of this conversation for this testimony :^).