During the day Lauren is known as the Client Delivery Project Manager at Toolkit Websites, but in the evenings, Lauren kicks off her work shoes, puts on some very brightly coloured shorts and trains in 'Muay Thai,' also known as Thai Boxing.
|Exile Gym Members after an intense Muay Thai Class|
|Fighters taking part in an interclub at Exile|
It's also a real honour to have the opportunity to train alongside Southampton's greatest representatives in their respective sports - and I assure you we have some real talent in the area.
Exile offers facilities for many different fitness classes and clubs but mainly specialises in martial arts and self defence. Some are known as stand up sports and include Boxing, Muay Thai and Kickboxing but there is also the opportunity to learn ground fighting styles such as Brazillian Jiu Jitsu or MMA.
I train in Muay Thai which is a stand up martial art, originating from Thailand. It is also known as "the art of eight limbs" as you can use your hands, legs, knees and elbows to punch, kick and all-round strike your opponent.
|Experienced fighters demonstrating 'The Clinch'|
Exile Gym, Southampton, is home to many great fighters and organisations which play host to some of the local big shows that competitors from all over the country will travel down to take part in. The show that I hope to be on at some point this year (hopefully) is Look Borai's 'Fast and Furious' show for which the local Oceana is the venue for.
Muay Thai is a huge part of my life and I do truly love it. It's a great way to meet people and keep fit but more than that, you feel like you're part of a family. Being quite an active person, I've always enjoyed sports and other physical activities but Muay Thai is by far my favourite. It can be creative, at times brutal and exhausting but when you feel yourself improving and getting better, your confidence really grows and it becomes a part of you."
|Lauren top left with the other female fighters|
But Lauren is not the only fitness enthusiast in the office. Toolkit Websites may be a web design company but we have some great sporting talents among us.
Tom is our digital marketing apprentice, but outside of work he is a hockey fanatic.
"Hockey is not for everyone by no means, it's fast paced, requires good fitness and fast reaction times.
Most people would have played hockey in school for the first time and because of this tend to not think much of it.
|Tom playing against Winchester|
I play for their first team and we are currently in the Hampshire/Surrey - Regional 1 league and admittedly are not doing too well after last seasons promotion but still battling on! I have tried playing other sports but nothing was as enjoyable for me as hockey is.
Hockey has taught me a lot and helped build my personality, the main thing it has taught me was the difference from my right and left. We play every Saturday throughout the winter season then change to a week day evening during the summer. I would recommend hockey to everyone, it doesn't take long to learn and it is always enjoyable. I may have scars and battle wounds all over my legs and hands but I still love it and will continue to play as long as I am able to."
And lastly, our Client Care Manager may have been away from his favourite sport for a few months with a knee injury, but nothing gets in the way of him and the beautiful game... football!
|David training with his team|
David plays football regularly, watches football regularly and manages a football team alongside the daily running of the Toolkit team...
"Football has always been my first love, from my Adidas predators (football boots) at Christmas to the 6x12ft goal nets I was gifted for my 13th Birthday, which subsequently led to the destruction of my mothers back garden, football has been a huge part of my upbringing and what was a hobby now seems to be the only thing keeping my cardiovascular fitness slightly above normal.
I think anyone working full time hours needs something away from their 9-5's to allow them to let off steam, keep fit and for me competitive sports, whether football, hockey or Muay Thai is the perfect solution.
Unlike most sports, it's very difficult to train for a game that consists of 90 minutes of running, walking, sprinting, jumping, sliding, physical contact and sudden stopping. Football requires the use of every muscle in the body so the only way to achieve your best level on a Saturday afternoon is to keep fit in the week with running, five a side where possible and weight work.
It's obviously not the Premier League but the build up to a match, camaraderie you share between players and the sheer buzz you get from a hard fought win is something very difficult to explain and incredibly hard to top.
Whether managing or playing, doing a sport with friends gives you the social and physical benefits and with so many facilities in the country, never mind just Southampton, means there's no excuse not to get involved.
I also follow Liverpool religiously however after their recent result I've not yet forgiven them..."
Are you into your fitness? Do you own a company that is within the fitness industry? Here at Toolkit Websites, Southampton, we can provide you with the perfect website for you. Whether you are a personal trainer, zumba coach, nutritionist, sports club or other, we'd love to hear from you.
You can view our Pinterest of Fitness Websites we have designed, or you can simply take a look at our portfolio which includes a variety of industries. We look forward to hearing from you.