HILLS BALFOUR X THE ATHLETE METHOD
Overcoming adversity: movement, motivation and mental health

Hills Balfour was lucky enough to enjoy a virtual session with Kerry Dixon and Ashleigh Nelson, the brains – and athletes – behind The Athlete Method, a fitness-focused platform that aims to empower, motivate and upskill its fast-growing Instagram following.

“Your body is like a car”, according to twice Olympic athlete Ashleigh Nelson, “you can’t expect it to get you anywhere if it hasn’t been properly fuelled”. The car analogy is just one of many interesting perspectives offered up by these sports-come-business women. Like the fact that fitness is a recipe (you need more than just the ingredients) and the welcome news that even professional athletes lose their breath when walking up the stairs – after a three-month stint in lockdown, this is an excuse that the nation needs!

From sharing incredible insights into the hard work and determination that goes into being an internationally recognised athlete, to recounting the story behind their co-founded business, Kerry and Ashleigh’s success stories are more than just tales of physical prowess. Kerry is able to admirably juggle a full-time career working in travel – another passion of hers – alongside a dedicated training regime, whilst Ashleigh speaks openly of the mental and physical battles that she fought hard to overcome after an injury threatened her career.

Hence the formation of The Athlete Method; an online space in which both women relay their expertise in an encouraging environment, offering a whole host of life skills including discipline and perseverance, on top of money-can’t-buy fitness tips.

 

Who are the athletes behind The Athlete Method?

Kerry has been training for the past 15 years and only gave up professional athletics last year. Her 400m hurdling talents put her in the top 10-15 of the category in the country and saw her train at a national level for the majority of her career – an achievement that is made all the more commendable by the fact that she had to dedicate her spare time to training (five-six days a week) alongside a full-time job. Now a travel specialist at Audley Travel, Kerry is able to fulfil her two passions in life, both professionally and recreationally.  

Ashleigh’s background differs slightly in that she is currently a full-time athlete. The two-time Olympian (Beijing and Rio) is a 100 and 200 metre sprinter, as well as competing in the four x 100 metre relay. Amongst the numerous accolades under her belt is the fact that she won bronze in the 2014 European Championships, making her the first British female to do so in over 40 years.

In her own words, one of Ashleigh’s greatest achievements to date involves “overcoming adversity”. When she suffered a potentially career-ending injury in 2017, she went from being amongst the top 1% of athletes in the world, to being faced with the prospect of not ever being able to compete again. But it was either give up and give in, or persevere with rehab and face up to the mental challenges before her, which she did. Two years later, having had to work tirelessly to learn even how to walk again, Ashleigh was back with her teammates winning silver in the World Athletics Championships.

 

What are the main goals of The Athlete Method platform?

When discussing the goals of the platform, both founders were keen to emphasise the transferrable skills that come with disciplined training. Their coaches always taught them to show up and be present, not only for others but for themselves – this sense of motivation, structure and essentially, self-accountability are all qualities that they want to impart to followers of The Athlete Method.

 

How does The Athlete Method work?

For anyone looking for inspiration, The Athlete Method uses Instagram to share weekly fitness tips, different exercise ideas – alongside the importance of those particular exercises – and real-time classes. Excitingly, a Training Programme is also in the works with a release date to be confirmed. Further to their digital offerings, plans for group boot camps in London are underway and dates will be released once lockdown measures have been eased.

 

Do you have to be an athlete to get involved?

The Athlete Method may have been founded by athletes, but it’s by no means exclusively for athletes. Kerry and Ashleigh don’t just come together as another voice offering up unproven fitness facts on the internet, they bring their breadth of experience and certified personal training knowledge to the table in the form of education for the masses – specifically for those who aren’t athletes. In fact, much of the idea for The Athlete Method was born from the realisation that so many of their friends were putting themselves through the trauma of fad diet and training regimes that weren’t sustainable and ultimately didn’t work. Their aim is to change that by sharing their first-hand insights into the mind-set required to reach physical goals. 

 

How have Kerry and Ashleigh adapted the platform in recent months?

Lockdown has encouraged The Athlete Method to get creative. The platform came to fruition in 2019, but in the past few months has been more relevant and necessary than ever before. By holding virtual classes both via Instagram Live and one-on-one video calls, Kerry and Ashleigh have been able to consistently inspire, motivate and engage with their clients in our changing world.

 

To find out more about The Athlete Method, please visit: www.theathletemethod.com

Or, to follow along with one of their Instagram workouts, give them a follow: www.instagram.com/theathletemethod