Whilst a good amount of research is the backbone to any strong interview, distance from your subject can also be a handy tool. I learned this when preparing my questions for singer turned fitness guru Javine Hylton, a woman who I first became aware of over a decade ago, when she appeared on our television screens on Popstars: The Rivals.
For those of you that don’t remember that particular reality television programme, the premise of Popstars: The Rivals was to manufacture two bands; one all-female, the other all-male and have them release singles as a way of competition. Despite her failure to make it into the girl group, Hylton was thrust into the public consciousness as a result of her stint on this show, earning herself five consecutive top 20 hits, a chance to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest and an appearance in the West End.
My hesitation, then, was in my compulsion to want to ask her why the former television regular would want to trade this career in, at least for a while, for an occupation in sports and fitness. Luckily for me 33-year-old Hylton was an honest and erudite conversationalist. ‘I hit a bit of a brick wall in the world of showbiz and needed to find something that gave me a great purpose and something I could really sink my teeth into,’ the London-born star continued, ‘As a single mum this seemed the best way forward.’
Hylton still continues to perform, currently in the studio laying down some dance tracks. ‘Being on stage is where I am most happy. It’s been a part of me all my life. You can never beat that feeling of capturing an audience.’ Her focus, however, is Javine Total Fitness, her personal training and sports and fitness brand. ‘I live and breathe fitness and it was already a big part of my life. This was the perfect career change for me. It is still only the beginning and I am so excited about what more it will bring.’
It is also something, she stresses, that she worked hard at, obtaining the requisite level three diploma in personal training before getting to grips with members of the public. ‘There were challenges switching my brain back on and studying very hard as well as being a full time mum and working on stage in pantomime throughout the whole process.’ Hylton also told me that she was unused to being the key co-ordinator in her life prior to her career change. ‘I just had to do the job in showbiz and everyone else dealt with the paperwork and organisation of it all so being control of it all took some getting used to.’
Asked if she could offer any advice to others who may be considering a dramatic career change or alteration, the aspiring gym owner added: ‘It is something you have to be 100 per cent passionate about and it should be something you enjoy and are good at, otherwise it will not work. You have to live and breathe your business and promote wherever possible. Sometimes you can do so much work and nothing comes of it. But its all part of becoming successful ‘
It is clear that such words have been well worn, the official Javine Total Fitness website boasts testimonials and endorsements from a number of happy clients. Hylton goes on to tell me about one such disciple, Judith, who has lost over 6st thanks to her services. ‘We have both had to work extremely hard for those results and it proves that anyone can achieve anything if they put their mind to it.’
‘My advice would be not to wake up one day and do it all at once. It’s a process that is the reconditioning of the mind more than anything.’
‘Feeling good starts with health, how you look after and what you put into your body. Being strong physically and in the best possible health promotes happiness.’
A former The Games contestant, another popular reality show in which celebrities competed in a number of different Olympic sports, Hylton told me that her best quality with regards to her new vocation was her love of people. ‘I am good with people and get a kick out of people bettering themselves.’ The singer who is currently working on new dance tracks shared her dream of having her own gym. ‘I hope they would say that I’m a positive ray of sunshine in their lives who is caring and works hard but is, at times, tough, pushing them to achieve their goals.’
To find out more about Javine Total Fitness visit: www.javinefitness.com