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Tenille finds her fitness feet with Sleekgeek

Picture 1140The road to fitness and the state of wellbeing that  you’ve always wished for is a challenging and taxing journey.  It takes dedication, determination, character and, above all, support.  I’d like to share my rather unique story of how one man and his awesome idea to promote health and wellness has changed my life.

When I discovered the Sleekgeek community group on on Facebook I was a Personal Trainer (PT) in training, having discontinued a grueling BSc degree half way through.  I did not leave because I was incapable, but because I was miserable and being a PT, helping people aspire to a better, stronger version of themselves had always been my dream.

Not only that but I wanted to build a stronger me, to transfer the fire in my heart into a physical, tangible strength and image.  I had had enough of being used, walked all over and unappreciated.  I wanted to take my life back and prove to myself that dreams can indeed come true.  I was not initially supported by my parents in my venture.

I liked Sleek Geek because it showed me that I was not alone, crazy, obsessed or weird.  Things I, as well as many of you I’m sure, have been called many a time in the last few years!  I struggled through a major eating disorder through my matric year and came close to losing a kidney, it was my coping mechanism for a very troubled home setting.

I fought it alone, put myself into a clinic and won.  I swore as I left that facility that never again would I subject my body and soul to such torture and disrespect.  Through participating in group discussions, posts, tweets and the like I eventually encountered conversations with our lovely Elan (Lohmann) , the founder of Sleekgeek 😉

Elan, you welcomed my ideas, thoughts and timid attempts at achieving my goals.  You are always so encouraging and supportive of anyone trying to make it to the bench marks they have outlined for themselves.  I cannot describe how much all of that, as well as positive feedback from other Sleekgeek group members, has inspired me or the courage it has nourished.

Already in the beginning phases of training with my amazing trainer, Andrew Whittaker, at Body Excel.  I was making headway and slowly gaining strength but with no specific goal or direction.  There was merely a wish to improve functionality, strength, fitness and, of course, aesthetics.  This was until January this year when Elan contacted me in the middle of the night urgently looking for a replacement team member for the Sleekgeek “Fittest in Cape Town” (FiCT!) tournament team.

Now, if having no knowledge AT ALL about CrossFit  and training with group of people I had never met wasn’t enough, the competition was 3 weeks away… I was so very close to declining the offer.  Heart pounding and a feeling of recklessness surging through me, I bit the bullet.  It was game on!

I think this was the best decision I have ever made.


Picture 1141


Arriving to that first training session at Evo Fitness gym where the group was going to be trained by Jarrod Firmani, a freelance trainer there, I thought I was going to faint! haha*


Big scary men with tattoos 😛 and iron everywhere.  I knew there would be skepticism because of my size but everyone was so FRIENDLY!! It was a blast.  Crossfit made training more of a sport, a cause and gave workouts real purpose!

Not only did amazing friends come out of this (Jono, Rossaan, Os, Elan and Shana you will never know how much you guys have affected my life), but I was lucky enough to train at Evo, an amazing fitness facility with a dedicated team and a fearless leader :P.

We learnt so much from Jarrod Firmani’s coaching and went in to compete a whole lot stronger than I think anyone expected.  Jarrod is largely to thank for this.


Through this experience Evo and Sleekgeek enabled me to get in touch with Kelly Dessington, an amazing training and nutrition coach who has put me on the right path to achieving my body building, strength and aesthetic goals. [Like Kelly’s Facebook page here]

I started out this time last year at 46kgs (38kg lean mass) , i.e. no real muscle to speak of, 19% body fat and absolutely minute.  Yesterday I was informed I’ve moved to just under 50kg, 44.4kg lean mass, 10.4% BF and stronger than I have ever been.  That’s one year.



Kelly-poseMy message is plain and simple Sleekgeeks, although we all come from different places, we all have a journey to pursue here.  It is not about being perfect, a star at every exercise, stronger than the next person or ‘winning’.

It’s about achieving YOUR goals, bettering YOURSELF, supporting EACH OTHER and building the best version of YOU that you possibly can.  There is a long way to go yet, I am nowhere near the end goal, but one has to keep at it every day!


As Michelangelo once said. “I saw an angel in the marble and carved until I set him free”

There is so much more to come.  More muscle, strength, SWEAT and hopefully a few more health related qualifications.  Never stop learning about or nurturing your passions.

Yes it’s tough.  No, not every day is a good day.  So many of you have believed in me, I too, believe in you.

Thank you for reading 🙂

Tenille Leigh Watkins x

Personal trainer, Cape Town

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