Hussain Manawer is a poet, musician, and mental health advocate from London, England. He’s an artist, a creator, a fitness novice, and now, he’s undertaking a Freeletics transformation journey.
For the next few months, we’ll be following Hussain’s progress as he takes on the most rewarding but challenging journey of his life. He’s an absolute beginner with a dogged relationship with fitness, so it won’t be easy, but he’s more than ready for the challenge.
Why did you decide to take on a Freeletics transformation?
I’m inspired by so many athletes from football, UFC, and martial arts especially. I’m inspired by how they conduct themselves and the communities they build through sport, and I want to be like this too. These are people whose journeys I’ve followed for years; there’s a reason these people are champions. When you go on these journeys yourself and you become your own athlete, you find out if you have that champion inside you. I want to find that out about myself.
What’s your current relationship with fitness?
Discipline is my main problem, especially when it comes to sport and nutrition. I’m always raiding the cupboards, ordering delivery food, and putting off training. To be honest, I don’t really know what’s good for me - I just follow the path that’s the most attractive and it’s not necessarily the healthiest.
I’ve always struggled to make the changes I need to. There was a time when I was relatively fit, but then I dislocated both of my shoulders and stopped exercising completely. I gained a lot of weight and my self-confidence really went down. I’d always make silly excuses, choosing things that are cheap, easy and comfortable versus what’s actually good for me.
I started running again a while ago, but progress was slow. It took me about 2 months until I could run 5k and even then, I was very slow. Last fall, I ran ten 10ks in a month, which was a massive achievement for me.
Why did you decide to use Freeletics? What drew you to the app and the Training Journey you’re following?
Recently, I was considering getting rid of my smartphone because I thought that there was nothing smart coming from it. Then I discovered Freeletics and thought it was something that would really help me. It’s compact, it’s easy, it’s seamless. If I can use the biggest distraction in my life to my benefit, then I’m winning.
I’ve decided to do the Hybrid Running Training Journey because, for me, running is beautiful. It overwhelms you. The more you practice, the better you get. It instills in you a discipline that extends beyond just running.
The difficulty I face is that the mind can very easily persuade the body to not look after itself - “you can always start tomorrow.” I want to alter my mindset from this and I think Freeletics will help with that. Tomorrow has already been planned for me. It’s a routine, a structure, a journey. And it's one you have to do yourself, but Freeletics can lead the way.
What are you expecting from this journey?
To be honest, before I started, I thought it would be a lot easier than it is. It’s definitely going to be a challenge. My emotions will be all over the place, and there’ll be huge changes in my whole life. But ultimately, it’s for the best. I’m nervous and worried that I’ll get bored with food. But I'm confident I can do it. And I think that my confidence will grow as I start to see results.
I think managing my sleep will be particularly difficult. At the moment, I don’t have a routine and I know that doesnt help me in terms of my health. I know I have to train in the morning - I’m a morning person. So i have to make sure I'm in a good enough condition at that time of day.
What’s keeping you motivated?
Sometimes I think, “why am I actually doing this?” when I could just watch other people change their lives instead from the comfort of my couch. But then I realized it’s not about that. I’m here to do this for me. And to be that person who inspires other people. I’ve spoken at some incredible venues for huge crowds - Glastonbury, football stadiums, and in front of royalty. And I look at this the same - it’s another way I can speak to and inspire people.
“We’re all on a road, we’re all on a journey, and mine’s just started.”