May 22

Equality & Mental Health in Fitness – with Lucy Hendricks


In today’s Flat White Episode 50 of the podcast, I have a fascinating and frank discussion with Lucy Hendricks.


Lucy is founder and owner of Holistic Fitness Creator, she is a PT, coach, educator, speaker and blogger.


She has a very holistic approach to health and fitness and works a lot helping people with chronic pain.


Lucy also helps coaches rehabilitate clients limited in their movements by injury or pain.


Today, we talk about mental health and equality in the fitness industry.


2:45 minutes; Lucy introduces herself and how she works.


Looking at the whole life of a client; their past, their work schedule, injuries, traumas, struggles in other areas.


She looks to support people where they are at and ‘let them train’.


We discussed how many other things going on in people’s lives have a massive impact on their ability to train.


Lucy says that we need to understand where people are coming from and then adapt the training to suit them.


6:20 minutes; We start to discuss Lucy’s history and her struggle with mental illness.


How this experience affects everything she does now, how she works and how she seeks to help people.


She was excelling in her professional life but really struggling behind the scenes and felt a fraud in many ways because no one talked about it.


10 minutes; Lucy tells me how she went away to Costa Rica, had no internet and started meditating.


From that point she found a therapist and started discovering how trauma impacts on so many areas of life.


We talk about how mental health is really not covered when looking at ways to improve your health and fitness.


Sleep, food and movement are all looked into by coaches but mental health is not.


Lucy tells me about a meditation exercise she did with her clients and how many interesting discussions were opened up.


About how everyone could identify with each other.


As a coach it can feel risky to open up, we feel that we can’t struggle because we are supposed to be helping everyone.


There is a big misunderstanding that people cannot perform at a high level when they have mental health problems.


This is not true!


The natural thing to do is to try and bury it but this makes it worse. It is for us to challenge beliefs.


18:30 minutes; this brings us neatly on to discussing other misunderstandings and prejudices.


We discuss how we need to start trying to see things from other people’s perspectives.


How the root of conflict is misunderstanding and lack of communication.


People of every race, culture, sex and sexual orientation really need to see themselves represented among people of influence within a group or industry.


If they do not, they can feel like they do not belong, that no one will understand them or welcome them.


25:30 minutes; I ask Lucy what the journey through would look like for us as an industry.


The first thing is Awareness. Realise that people have vastly different perceptions.


Then, we need to become curious about others’ perceptions.


As we learn about them we can then start to take responsibility for change.


30:00 minutes; Lucy recommends the book ‘So You Want To Talk About Race?’ by Ijeoma Oluo as a great place to start.


Look at giving people a voice, push for policies that do not discriminate, make people feel welcome.


37:44 minutes; Lucy recommends the Netflix documentary ‘Teaches All’.


This shows the negative consequences of not addressing this.


40:00 minutes; Lucy says if everyone watched this then maybe everyone would care.


42:00 minutes; we move on to talking about gender in the fitness industry and how many great women coaches there are.


We are far from having a level playing field in this industry and I found this conversation very motivating to try and do my bit for change.


You can find Lucy on the Internet at and Instagram at lucy_hendricks


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