Interview with UK Fitness Champion Linn Hansen by the WBA world heavyweight boxer champion David "The Hayemaker" Haye

My friends say I should be a comedian because I’m constantly making them laugh!

They laugh at my Mancunian/Norwegian accent ..our kid!

They laugh when they see me power walking through Hyde Park with the look of a demented chicken!

They laugh when I tell them I’m entering my first ever fitness competition which I plan to win in 6 months time! Oh, how they laughed and laughed and laughed…

… until I won!

I grew up in Norway and started going to the gym when I was 16 years old in order to improve my overall fitness, power and speed for my handball training. Being on the smaller side the training really helped me deal with the physicality and the six foot tall Amazon’s on the opposing team. My initial flirtation with the gym has now blossomed into a full blown love affair minus the flowers!

Waking up one dark morning in the depths of winter 2008 as I trudged to the tube I decided it was time for a change. I had one or two friends who banged the drum about making radical changes to their lives, especially after a few drinks but that’s what it remained, just talk. Despite having a successful career in finance I wanted to challenge myself so I thought it was time to follow Richard Branson’s motto…’screw it, let’s do it!’

After taking a course I joined a top London gym as a personal trainer and threw myself into the job meeting some amazing people who helped shape where I am today. My passion for training was now my job and I felt like a kid in a sweet shop. Except in my case it was more like an athlete in a supplement store and the sweets became Vitamin B Complex and Ginseng.

As a trainer I tried to inspire my clients by leading from the front and the satisfaction of going on a successful journey with them was immeasurable. My philosophy was to practice what I preach. I kept a training log and stuck to an eating plan just like my clients. When I included Quark in their diet some of them thought I’d just returned from a Star Trek convention. The fact of the matter is that they were stepping out of their comfort zone, even though they thought I was speaking Klingon.

The lead up to the 2010 Fame Fitness Model competition, I would describe as “an inner and outer journey!” Some people will encourage you but equally some people will discourage you because of their own agenda but through the whole process I think I’ve found who my true friends were. The saying ‘..with friends like these who needs enemies’ could not be more true…yes Aneal, Erik, Aina, Karine, Kia, Sara from Kensington, I’m talking about you!!

People couldn't quite compute my reasoning when I told them I’d wake at 4.45 am for my hour long power walk around Hyde Park with my Rocky sound track on repeat. But hey, if you’re going to do it then do it properly. I was ready to go 12 rounds with Ivan Drago and then some.

Of course it tests you, and I do admit to feeling lonely at times. But the way I look at it is that I’m training for a fitness contest, I’m not fighting on the front line so there are far more worse things that could be happening to me. For want of a better phrase I decided ‘the juice was worth the squeeze.’

As my friends were enjoying the delights of London in the spring time sipping on cocktails and sharing each others company I was tucked up in bed. I contemplated the madness of my world and realised my journey required as much mental strength as the physical side, if not more. My head was like a twisted episode of Frasier except I was ringing up the radio show talking to myself!

I trained in the gym on my own most of the time because it meant I was in control of my destiny. My dead lift got to 80kg and I could manage 40 hanging leg raises. Not bad for a chick 5 foot 3 inches tall, weighing 50kg with a ropy accent.

The weeks before competition were the real test. I took some time off work and focussed on staying disciplined. The break helped and I really appreciated the benefit of sleep and rest. I was doing leg presses in my sleep at first but then the sheep came to the rescue in slumber land.

By competition time I was in the zone. I had the eye of the tiger. I was Maximus in Gladiator. And all the hard work paid off. I was elated. The judges gave me the winning card for my six pack, overall symmetry and definition. And the Robin Hood themed costume went down a treat!

You'd be also surprised how many people you will inspire and they will be amazed how you actually DID IT in the end. And yes… I had the last laugh!

And now Alice is about to land in Wonderland. I’m off to Las Vegas to compete in Miss Fitness Universe. Since winning the UK title I took a little time off then took up the challenge with renewed vim and vigour, working on my V-taper and back. Again, my friends questioned my sanity, as did I. But I didn’t want to end it on the dreaded “What if!”

Somehow, Las Vegas seems the like the perfect location for this madness and I can’t wait.

Wish me luck!