This series is about everyday people making every day count. We met up with personal trainer Stephanie Cuvelier, tracking her every day hustle while on the move during her active lifestyle, and also delve in on how she keeps her day on track with us.
What do you do?
I'm an Exercise Physiologist & personal trainer at Calibrate Studio, specializing in lifestyle change and exercise rehabilitation.
What's your daily routine?
Wake up - meditate, morning CARs, coffee & walk to work if I have enough time
Morning exercise - yoga / gym-based strength
Work - 1v1 clients & classes
Post-client training - rugby / netball
Unwind - 20min stretch & read my book
Bed time (zzz)
As a trainer, how do you balance work and play?
I'm a firm believer in practicing what you preach, so I am definitely a morning person who enjoys early evenings as well. Work and play revolve around my close circle of friends, but that doesn't mean I veer too far away from my regular routine. When it comes to socials, I do have my late nights here and there, but these tend to be once in a blue moon / on occasion only. Apart from that, my playtime comes in the form of the team sport that I still partake it, and in all honesty... going to work for me is already part work, part play, as I am constantly surrounded by such a fun team and environment.
What's a good way to keep your clients motivated in keeping a healthy lifestyle?
1. Accountability: The power is always in their hands. Educate them on choices that they make, rather than tell them what to do. No matter how many tools I might provide to my client, it is up to them to choose what to do with it.
2. Support: Create or join a community and finding likeminded individuals who can support your journey to better health. There is no point continually going to late-night socials that are filled with booze and junk food, just because your friends do so. Suggest alternative social events if the late nights don't support your morning gym routines. Suggest healthier dining establishments for socials based around eating and drinking. Remember, just because they want to drink, doesn't mean you have to! Having the willpower to say no to friends may seem hard at the start, but real friends will ultimately support your goals regardless of what they are :)
3. Routine: Make an effort to understand what their everyday routine is like, and try to add onto that, rather than trying to get them to change everything and go from 0 to 100. It's about taking baby steps to walk in the right direction, rather than going from extreme to extreme. At the end of the day, we are looking for sustainability, so what better way to approach this than working in incremental steps?
What are 3 things you must carry every day?
1. A change of gym clothes
2. My notebook / daily planner
3. Water bottle
What are your go-to secret spots in town?
Kim & Co. Cafe on Hollywood road. Just close enough to the studio and far enough from Central to be able to clear my head or get admin work done, in a cozy environment with great coffee!
Upper happy valley ... but I won't disclose where, as it won't be a secret anymore!!
What's your idea of a day well spent?
Waking up with a solid night's sleep, getting my morning exercise & yoga fix, ideally getting my daily dosage of sunshine and spending it outdoors in great company!
What keeps you motivated?
Setting mini goals and keeping an eye on my long term vision board. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and continue trucking along, falling into the trap of thinking there isn't ever enough time to get X done. Setting small goals and ticking boxes on my to-do list always helps to keep me in check. But most importantly, reminding myself of what makes me happy. And quite frankly, it is as simple as being balanced, carefree & healthy.
This series is about everyday people making every day count. We met up with our resident wanderer Niro (@niroshan_a) on one of his many trips out here, and dig into how he gets by with just two bags...
What do you do?
I work as a freelance product and brand designer, helping early stage startups and companies create digital experiences and brands. Though I consider myself a generalist digital designer and tread the line on a few different mediums.
Where have you been?
I left San Francisco in early 2018 with the purpose of full time travel financed by remote freelancing. A little over a year later and I've lived in a couple countries (HK/UK) and along the way ventured through a total of 24 countries over 4 continents.
Pack with a camping mentality.
I grew up in small town in New England and camping, backpacking or anything in the outdoors was core to my upbringing. One thing that's stuck with me throughout life is the idea that you should never carry more gear than you absolutely need. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be prepared!
Just ask yourself some questions before you pack:
- What are my essentials to living or working productively on this trip?
- Can I bring an item that has dual-use and save space?
- Do I really need to bring those extra shoes or that neck pillow I'll use once?
- Can you cut your amount of clothes by half and just wash them while on the go?
It comes down to a factor of the volume/weight (whichever is greater) and the amount of time/happiness you expect to get out of that item during your trip.
Cutting down on the amount of gear you bring on a trip can be extremely gratifying and only get better at it with time!
Embrace the layover.
As a freelancer I try to take full advantage of owning every minute of my time. I often book long connecting layovers to/from destinations to tack on an extra trip. It often saves you money from expensive direct flights and allows you to explore a new city while you're at it!
A great site I've been using t find stopover cities is airwander.com
Find anchors in your life.
When traveling so frequently it can be hard to feel sane when your setting is constantly changing. Routine is everything. Whether that's creating a daily workout, morning regimen or scheduling time to connect with friends and family; small moments of curated time can have a huge effect on your sanity over the course of long travel.
What's your idea of a day well spent?
If it's purely a day of travel and no work
This is a cop out, but it's far too difficult to pick just one. Here are my top five.
Top of the list is, of course, Hong Kong for its organized chaos between the city skyscrapers and lush mountainous jungles.
In no particular order:
Colombo, Sri Lanka for family and its insane growth over the last decade.
Melbourne, Australia for the coffee, bars and West Coast vibes.
Copenhagen, Denmark for bike-ability, friendliness and design.
Yangon, Myanmar for cheap food, gritiness and low tourism
What's in your Daily?
Phone, drone and clothes.
I keep it fairly simple, what you see in that photo my gear is usually what I carry on a one to two week trip give or take some clothes and electronics. I've paired it down to my three essential categories: living, entertainment and productivity.
What's your favorite spot in HK?
I have a fascination with skyscrapers and Hong Kong being the city with the most of them but also being juxtaposed with jungle makes this place and its views unforgettable.
Pack your bag in the night or morning?
I'm a last minute packer, but out of choice.
I usually need only an hour before I leave on a trip depending on the length of being away. A little bit of time pressure goes a long way when it comes to packing, allowing you to focus on picking only the true essentials.
Follow Niro's adventures: