She’s one of the coolest chicks around. She breakdances, walks on her hands, climbs ropes and burpees like a badass. And she does it all on one leg.
I met Roya when she was interning at CrossFit-U, and was taken by her big, generous smile and bubbly personality. I soon discovered that she is a determined, passionate woman who lets nothing get in her way – plus, she LOVES doing handstands, just like me! I had a feeling we would become friends!
We caught up a few weeks before I left for New York, and I discovered how her ‘no holding back’ attitude prompted an exciting world adventure, and has now led her to start her own personal training company, Destroya Training.
“The world just looks better upside down!“
It seems that Roya has had the performing bug since a young age. She was heavily involved in gymnastics at school and cheerleading at uni, which led to circus training. Coming from a gymnastics background myself, I gotta say that circus training is something I’d love to try!
Whilst in the circus community, she was told by friends she HAD to go to Montreal, Canada to train with a world-renowned (yet elusive) Russian circus coach. After finishing her engineering degree in 2012, she decided it was “now or never”, and booked a flight to Montreal. But here’s the thing: this coach had no contact phone or email.
So Roya was flying to the other side of the world with no guarantee she’d even find the guy. Risky? Perhaps. Adventurous? You bet!
But she got to Montreal and, with only an address, managed to track him down and communicate to him that she wanted handstand training. Not an easy task, considering he only spoke Russian.
But he agreed, so Roya stayed in Montreal for 6 months, training with him 1-3 times a week for 4 months. How did he coach you if he didn’t speak English? I ask. She explains that he used mostly body language, and sometimes had other people interpret. There was, of course, some occasional miscommunication – “He was telling me ‘épaule, épaule!’ and I thought he was telling me to be ‘a pole’. Turns out ‘épaule’ means ‘shoulders’!”
Was he scary? “No! He looked like he was in the mafia, but really, he was a teddy bear.” Does he still keep in touch? “He finally got Facebook, so every now and again I get a ‘like’ from him!”
Very cool. The lesson learned? You really can get anything if you want it bad enough!
Taking it to the next level…
Upon her return from Montreal, Roya was approached by the owner of her gym, who recognised she had something unique to offer. He suggested she become a guest trainer at the gym, which got her considering personal training as a potential career path.
Since then, she’s received her PT certification with the Australian Institute of Fitness, and has taken off with her business, Destroya Training.
Now, she’s loving her role as trainer and motivator, and incorporates her knowledge of gymnastics, circus and handstands into her own style of training. Plus she runs specialist handstand classes! Pretty cool huh? I love that she is doing what she loves, and is not afraid to go out and seek adventure. Truly inspiring!
Roya, I know one day we’re gonna see you on stage in Cirque du Soleil. Keep on rocking it, girl!
And now for a quick demo!
I was lucky enough to get a mini handstand coaching session from Roya. We made a little video for you, which I’ve lovingly dubbed “Kips & Kale TV: Episode 1”. I hope you enjoy!