Hi Jenny, It’s a pleasure to chat to you,
Many people might remember you for your role in Fair City where you played Cleo Collins, can you tell us about what you are currently doing out in the South of France ?
Thank you, finally, we get to do this! It’s been so hectic this year I can’t describe. So currently I’m sat in my apartment overlooking the bay of Cannes… how lucky do I feel saying that? But I am living down here working in marketing and still building a personal training and lifestyle business
How did you get started as a personal trainer ?
I was always “into” fitness for my body and mind. In 2010 I climbed Mount Everest with some fellow personalities let’s say for a charity called the HOPE foundation.
After that I moved to London and my boyfriend then was really into his fitness so I gained more knowledge and understanding, it was a goal of mine to understand for me, but a couple of years later I was studying personal training and nutrition with a goal to help people in a world of fads and fake messages sustain healthy balanced lifestyles.
What is it like to work in France and how did you find it trying to set up a business in France, was the language an issue ?
Setting up a business anywhere is tough and it will have its highs and lows.
I moved here and got onto the expat scene fast because that was where I could meet friends and clients, identify, learn and grow. So no, the language wasn’t an issue from that side.
But I live in France, I want to speak better french than I do, I take a lot of lessons and it continues to improve but I try! C’est difficile.
Would you like to set up a business back home in Ireland in the near future ?
I have no idea. I think Ireland will always be home and where my heart feels most full. But I’m an adventurous person. I would love to come back to work, maybe I will come back and do some workshops… if I get enough call for it I would be honored. That would be amazing!
What sort of people come to you looking for nutritional advice or personal training ?
Everyone. Who doesn’t need guidance? Even I need guidance from another trainer.
We live in a world where it is very easy to fall down and a good trainers role in your life is to take your hand and pull you up… teach you ways to break down your own blocks and live a life that you want! It’s individual, and it’s about health and wellness.
Everyone needs this knowledge- it is power, and so my goal has always been to make it accessible.
Did you enjoy being on “Irish In Wonderland last year ?
It was a fantastic experience. Random, I hadn’t played in a casino down here before, and of course it was lovely to be on irish tv again.
In the future, would you like to go back to acting if the right role came along ?
Of course, acting is in your DNA. It’s my make up. It’s a tough industry and so to endure it, it has to be part of you. My journey has never once involved a retirement or a door shut on acting- I have gone where my gut and my heart needed to be and so if I was offered a role that felt right, absolutely. I do miss it.
What sort of training regime do you follow to stay fit ?
I go to the gym, there I do weights and a little cardio. I do like high intensity so it is short and not so sweet but it’s done and I feel the endorphins, and go. I live on a hill so I use that a lot and I have weights and TRX straps here that I do core exercises with.
Do you have anyone working with you ?
I collaborate a lot. My newest venture will be with a PT friend of mine in the UK- Matt Purnell, we met in college and became the best of friends. He’s like a brother. So he is a very talented trainer and has competed in body building competitions. He has a different training technique to me and has a different skill set and knowledge to me. So we are combining forces to create online training.
I have also collaborated with @goevoapp and I do the workouts and some recipes on that. A fantastic app for weightloss and guidance on a lifestyle change through a mindset.
And finally, one of the creators of the @goevoapp and I will be running a podcast series on all things healthy mind/body, lifestyle and motivation and empowerment. Again, the belief here is that fitness is so much more than lifting a weight and weight loss is so much more than being hungry. Finding a way to understand how it all works and how it can work for an individuals lifestyle is what we want to do.
Do you work with anyone overseas, in Europe or America ?
Yes, all over, and hopefully continuing to grow once the training program is available online
Have you any advice for people who may want to make some changes in their lives ?
Yep- add me on Instagram @jennylukavanagh or the Facebook page Jenset training… I offer all kinds of tips and tricks and recipes.
My motto is always a little change daily accumulates into big changes. So make a positive achievable change and daily and keep going.
Lastly Jenny, what plans have you got for the future ?
Lots, and going with the flow. I make plans but then I see what happens. I think what I’ve told you is lots of them and hopefully they will go well but who knows, I just keep trying new things. You’ve got me thinking I would love to do workshops at home, so maybe that a plan I will visit.
Thank you Jenny for taking time out to speak with me…
My pleasure, see you soon I hope!