Sophia Campana: living the Skillathletic experience with passion and energy
When it comes to sports, nothing beats sheer passion and energy. You can be as talented as you like, but even with years of hard-earned experience, someone with more passion and energy will have that extra boost that will make the difference.
That was clearly the case when we saw Sophia Campana training in our Skillathletic stand during Rimini Wellness 2019, the most important annual fitness convention in Italy. Sophia is an Italian/American elite gymnast with a flair for motivational speaking. Sophia Campana is also an all-around force of nature: she competes in international competitions, motivates young gymnasts worldwide, promotes her book and manages an extremely popular Youtube channel and Instagram account.
As soon as she and her boyfriend Christian Grillo arrived on the stand, they started to ask many questions about the design of the class, starting from the theatrical scenery with strobes, lights and the stage for the coach, to the scientific development of each class, designed to boost to the maximum extent athletic performance. We also asked some questions about her intense training, as well as a tip from her diet:
“When I train for me, I usually train 5 days a week 4 hours a day. During competitions instead, I train at least 3 times a week for 7 hours a day and 4 hours a day during the other two days. I mainly do conditioning and then gymnastics exercises. Furthermore, I go running during the day, though I am not a great fun of it. When it comes to diet, I like to kick off my day with full protein breakfast. So I usually have an egg, some fruit and a little bit of coffee.”
We continued with some questions about her dual nationality, asking her whether she felt more American or Italian. Thinking a couple of seconds about the right answer, Sophia replied: “I think I am a bit of both. I am a gabadost (slang for stubborn), that part is definitely Italian. Also, staying in Italy definitely made more appreciative of my family. I smile a lot, which is definitely an American trait.” Any opinion on Hawaiian pizza? “I hate it. I don’t understand how people can eat it. Probably that’s an Italian trait of mine”
However, questions stopped when they both saw the Skillathletic social room. That was where a mad photo shooting took place, with Sophia Campana jumping on the trampoline, doing handstands left and right, taking photos with her fans and never ceasing to smile.
Sophia Campana and the Skillathletic experience
We then took Sophia and Christian onto the Skillathletic training floor, where their real training began. During their training, which you can see on our Instagram account, Sophia really gave 110% on every exercise, squatting, jumping, and doing her shoulder presses. During the whole training, you could see her putting the same passion she has whenever she talks to young gymnasts or she competes.
Her immediate impressions?
“In three words: High-energy, motivated and motivating”, she said immediately. “The coaches were awesome because they started right off the bat to motivate us with high fives, warm up exercises and big smiles. Then the music kicked in, and that is when the real training began. I loved it. I loved the environment, which was extremely engaging and motivating for us all to give our best.”
Keep people engaged and motivated is definitely something Sophia Campana is an expert at. She’s proven it not only on the Skillathletic ground, but also on her Fireworks initiative, an initiative really close to Sophia’s heart.
“I started out with the idea of being a motivational speaker. In the US, this idea is very popular, though not so much in Italy. So I’ve thought to combine it with gymnastics lessons, since most of my followers are young gymnasts anyway. During the 4 hours class we do, my boyfriend and I coach young gymnasts. At the end of the practice, we concentrate on mental training. The reason why I do that is that as a gymnast I struggled a lot with fear. I was ready physically, but mentally I was not. When I overcame those fears, I became very grateful, because I could apply those teachings to other aspects of my life. Therefore, today I concentrate a lot on my mental stability, and I try to motivate and educate young gymnasts not to be afraid to share their fears and fight them together.”
Fire is stronger than fear
Did you feel that fire on Skillathletic?
Enthusiastically, Sophia replied: “absolutely, that’s the reason why I loved it. Positive energy was everywhere and I couldn’t recommend it enough. Like a sport, you could shape your body and choose whether your goal is to become stronger, more resilient, faster, more agile or a combination of these.”
It comes natural to conclude the chat with Sophia asking her how she manages to accomplish all these feats and still be brimming with vitality. Sophia answers: “to relax I meditate. About two years ago, I learned meditation and it changed my life. It’s hard to meditate when I am travelling around, but I learnt that I need to devote to myself and meditation, usually 20 minutes as soon as I wake up.”
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