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Guest Post: Di Hickman – Geek Turned Athlete

Guest Post: Di Hickman

Since I’m gone on my cruise this week, I have a few guest posters in store for you all!  First up, it’s Di from  Thanks for your guest post, Di!

Hi Everyone

Big thanks to Nicole for letting me guest post on blog! I guess I should introduce myself, my name is Diane but everyone just calls me Di, like Princess Di but I am totally NOT a princess. Really I’m a bit of a tomboy but I am getting away from the point here. I blog at and my blog is pretty much all about health & fitness (my career as I am a fitness instructor and personal trainer), my vegetarian diet and my newest passion running. I’ve been a fitness instructor since 1996 but I think my journey to finding a career I was passionate about is pretty unique and one I wanted to share with you today.

Back when I left school I really wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I spent some time in college studying various subjects that interested me and subjects that I thought were expected of me, but I wasn’t truly passionate enough about any to pursue a career in them. Needing money for driving lessons I fell into a supermarket job that I really didn’t like but it paid for my weekly lessons and some fun night out on the town at weekends, then later once I passed my driving test it paid for my car. But I still was searching, sure I was doing fine working in a supermarket but that wasn’t my ideal job I was still searching for something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This was the early 90’s and that’s when my life got turned upside down…

In 1995 I went for my regular womans check-up at the doctors, and got called back. No problem I thought, probably just a bad exam? Nope, unfortunately not. After a repeat test it was confirmed, I had early stage Cervical Cancer, at just 23 years old you can imagine this was a bit of a shock! The next few weeks passed in a blur with doctors and hospital appointments, ultimately resulting in surgery. Thankfully I was lucky and they removed all the cancerous cells without the need for Chemotherapy, but let me tell you, that is one place you definitely DO NOT want laser surgery!!! lol! Anyway things like that make you step back and think, which is exactly what happened to me during my surgery recovery. I was in a job I hated. So how to change that? What do I really enjoy? What do I truly look forward to each week? What is my passion? And that’s when it hit me, my highlight of the week, something I looked forward to, was the aerobics classes on Monday/Wednesday evening at the local gym. That would be a good career for me! Teaching aerobics!!! So I set about training and in 1996 I became a certified instructor and began teaching in my local area.

Since teaching that first class in 1996 my fitness career just took off. I was teaching at multiple fitness centers and teaching 20+ classes a week, and loving it. I truly did find my passion in fitness. Since then I certified in different class formats and became a personal trainer. I discovered I had a thirst and passion for health & fitness knowledge that never subsided. It’s a passion that has already lasted through two decades and into a third. A passion that has seen me single, engaged, and now married. It’s a passion that has lasted through my transition in a move from England to teaching in America. It’s a passion I hope I never lose!

I’m thankful everyday that I got a chance to re-evaluate my life, even if it did take cancer to wake me up and find my passion in life. When people ask what you are passionate about your life, I hope it’s something you say hand on heart you truly love to do and even better if it’s your career!

Thanks so much Nicole for letting me share my story!

What are you passionate about?

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Amy May 13, 2010, 1:23 am

    Hi Di! Great story. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m almost 34 and still trying to find what I’m passionate about. My favorite thing every week is the kid’s running club I organized. I’m just trying to figure out how to make that into a career. Thanks for passing on some inspiration! Amy

  • Tea May 13, 2010, 3:55 am

    Hi Di. Thanks for sharing your story. In 2004, I went through treatment for skin cancer. I can still remember getting that phone call. The biggest lesson I learned that day was “Don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff”.

    I don’t know if I can truly say what I’m passionate about. If I say “life”, I doubt anyone would believe me. Although, it’s true.

  • Andy M. May 14, 2010, 5:27 pm

    Hey Di! Thank you for your guest post and sharing your story! There are actually two things I am passionate about. One is triathlon, and the other is business. I just need to figure out what to do with my passions :) That’s ok! I am enjoying life right now, I will figure it out soon enough! Thanks again!


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