What happens when a dream changes? Or what happens when a particular season – monumental in influencing our identity – passes by, leaving behind memories, parts of us which are longer who we are, but who we used to be. Time is a tricky thing. We can exist in the present but actually live in the past, constantly reflecting on what was, and the person who dwells in the past will inevitably cultivate that dreadful word and state of being – stagnation. However, we can make a choice, to use our former dreams, success, triumphs, or even failures, not to reinvent ourselves, but to compel us into something new. We can never change our past, but we can certainly mold it into the present, keeping our eyes on the future, on the hope that is before us.
If there’s anyone who understands this, it’s Louise Hazel. The accomplished heptathlon athlete won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 and represented Great Britain in the 2012 summer Olympics in London. However, after years of dedication, something shifted inside of her.
“I fell out of love with my sport,” she says, “I felt as though I had given track and field everything I had since the age of ten and it was now time to start giving back to myself.”
But her transition from the rigorous schedule of Olympic training into day to day life proved difficult at first. “One day I just stopped training, and I started writing…but after a few weeks of writing, I realized I needed to get my butt back in the gym, and so I reduced my training from twice daily/six days a week, to one workout Monday through Friday.” She seems rather joyous when explaining, “Weekends now belong to me again! Freedom!”
Louise has used her newly acquired freedom to find new passions, which are still impacted by her competitive athletic years but are nonetheless fresh. Her athletic fashion line, SLAY, adheres to a single purpose, to elevate, empower, and uplift women. “I’m still an Olympian at heart,” she explains, “But my mission is to bring female first gyms and training to the world via SLAY so that we can avoid wasting our time and money.”
She also has a podcast, which likewise takes on the SLAY brand name – Slay Podcast with Louise Hazel – that strives to, “…motivate, inspire, entertain and guide you through life’s struggles to help to bring you back to your everyday SLAY,” by bringing together influencers impacting entertainment, sports, music, culture, and film, featuring guests such as former All Pro running back Arian Foster, Olympian and model Kim Glass, and Grammy award-winning songwriter Sakiya Sandifer.
Her newest endeavor is The Climb, a running mixtape designed to motivate the listener through the entire workout. Louise shares that her inspiration for The Climb came when she asked a friend of hers, Decatur Dan, to join her for a cardio workout. After completing the workout Dan turned towards her and exclaimed, “I need you to record that for me to some music, so I can do it when you’re not here.” Louise says The Climb is for, “…the person who is ready for whatever life is going to throw at them. It’s not as much a fitness challenge as it is training for the real world.”
The message of The Climb seems fitting for someone like Louise Hazel, who changed her dream, and used what the world threw at her to transform what was into something new.
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