Army spouse Samantha Payne hasn’t always been fit. In fact, she admits that most of her adult life has been spent unfit and overweight, particularly after being pregnant. But with support, Samantha lost six stone – and now she helps other people achieve their fitness goals…

SAMANTHA’S journey to fitness began when, unable to motivate herself into adopting a healthy lifestyle, she signed up for a slimming group. That proved to be the catalyst for a series of   active endeavours.

“When a friend suggested that we try to complete the Race for Life being held in the garrison, I reluctantly agreed,” she said. “That was a turning point, when I discovered I could do something I never thought possible.”

Samantha’s next challenge was to do the 2015 Moonwalk – a power walking marathon – in London. A year later, she completed the 26.2-mile course in just under six hours, so she decided to push her fitness even further

“I was offered a place at the Brighton Marathon and, in a moment of madness, I accepted,” she continued.

“Training was hard; I spent hours in the gym or out running. I was lucky to have a supportive family and group of friends around to help with childcare with my husband away a lot.

“I discovered a lot about myself – a love of running and weight training, but also, and probably most importantly, I found a passion for encouraging others. I got lots of friends out running with me and helped to motivate people to use the gym on camp, knowing they found it daunting.”

New career

When No Duff Boot Camp advertised for new instructors, friends encouraged Samantha to put herself forward.

“It seemed the perfect opportunity,” she explained. “I took over classes in Sennelager and Paderborn in June of this year and have loved every session since.

“I work with a fantastic group of people from different backgrounds, all with different abilities. I get huge satisfaction from seeing my clients improving and enjoying the sessions. We have a lot of fun, whilst working hard towards goals.”

As ever with Army life, it’s sometimes a struggle for Samantha to juggle family and work, especially when her husband is away.

“Clients are welcome to bring their children to sessions and classes run both morning and evenings,” she concluded.

“Our boot camps are a valuable asset to the community, not only are they an opportunity to get fit, but also a great chance to meet people and socialise.”

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