Telstra Business Woman of the Year speaks out

October 30, 2014

Gemma Tognini runs her own PR firm GTMedia, hosts a segment on 6PR Radio and writes for The West Australian. A little while ago she took up Muay Thai at Champions Gym; here’s what she had to say…

Gemma Tognini

“I’m a business owner. A recent winner of a Telstra Business Women’s award as WA’s top female business owner. I sit on a board,and have another company in start up mode. I’m also a broadcaster (I have a weekly segment on commercial radio) and write for the West Australian. Life is busy.VERY busy. But my health and fitness are a priority.That’s because before I started my company, I worked in TV journalism and my life was not my own. Finding time in a 24/7 industry was incredibly hard.  It showed. I was often out of shape and my health was average. So when I started the company, training became a non negotiable in my diary. So fast forward to last Christmas, when I met Whitney.

Within a month or so I was padding up for my first one on one session. Put it this way. I fell over, a LOT in the first couple of months. Two left feet but lots of enthusiasm, that was me. But I fast fell in love with Muay Thai and upped my training to two sessions a week, to compliment my weight training and horse riding.

When Whit suggested I train for Girls Fight Back I said yes, probably because I didn’t know what I was in for. And isn’t it always the way, that when you say yes to something like that, everything that can go wrong does go wrong? I got sick. A lot. And couldn’t shake it. My schedule went bananas and fitting my training in became an exercise in circus juggling. I had a serious sickness in my family that was incredibly stressful which meant lots of time in and out of hospital. We moved office. I guess that’s the beauty of making a commitment — when you do, it keeps you honest in spite of the circumstances, not because of them.  Because I knew I had GFB coming up I had to make time. No such thing as quitting or backing down. That’s just not part of my DNA. And when the day came, honestly? It was (after the panic) so much fun, so empowering.

When you face fear (perceived or actual fear) something important happens. I felt an enormous sense of achievement – and not just for doing the event, but more for the fact that I committed to doing it and didn’t quit even though quite honestly, it was a sh*tfully stressful time.

I love what Whitney and Pamorn are about. Training with them at Champions Gym is a joy and I’m so grateful I get to do that.”

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