When Lovisa comes to GIH to be interviewed, it is neither the first nor the last time she sets foot on campus. 2004 was the year when she started studying to become a physical education teacher right here, and since then she has returned at regular intervals to immerse herself even more in the areas she is passionate about. In fact, at the time of writing, she is waiting for the admission letter for an advanced course in sports psychology, and if everything goes according to plan, she will return "home" to GIH again soon.
"Many people see themselves as done when they graduate, but if you don't continue to improve, you quickly become 'out of date'. In addition, I believe that you have an ability to assimilate knowledge better with a little more experience in your luggage, and that is why I constantly make sure to develop myself. GIH really is a good place for lifelong learning," she says.
Jealous of the athletes
Even though Lovisa breathes training and health, it was not a given that she would end up at GIH or that her career would take the direction it took. In fact, she initially intended to follow in the footsteps of several of her family members and study law.
"Every day when I took the subway to the university, I was so jealous of all the sporty people in training clothes who got off at the Stadium, and felt 'I want to be one of them!'" So I went for a semester at the law program, but then chose to drop out.
Six months later, it was clear to her that she wanted to pursue a career where she could express her interest in exercise and health. The fact that she chose the physical education teacher education was based on a desire to inspire and pass on knowledge to others.
"I couldn't pinpoint exactly what I wanted to study, but when I took a closer look at the subject teacher programme at GIH, it felt like a good, broad foundation, regardless of which path I would like to take after graduation.
Blog beacame the starting point
When Lovisa studied at GIH, the teacher training was three and a half years long, so in 2007 she graduated and started working as a physical education teacher at a high school in Nacka. When she had children, she began to share her everyday life as a new mother on her blog and in social media, especially related to exercise and health, and it wouldn't be long before people took notice of her.
"With the impact of social media and the fact that I became more and more public, I chose to leave the teaching profession and focus on my own projects. But with that said, I have always had great use of everything I learned at GIH, even though I don't work as a PE teacher today.
Passion as a profession
And, as the saying goes, "the rest is history". Since she decided to go all in on her great interest, she has become one of Sweden's most well-known health and fitness profiles. She runs three companies and is behind seven books, "Träningspodden", Sweden's largest podcast about exercise and health, and two fitness apps. In addition, she constantly figures as a training expert in various contexts, lectures, holds courses and coaches, both on a group and individual level, as well as runs her own training studio.
As if that wasn't enough, she is also volunteered as a coach in Örnsbergs Canoe Club and also the national coach of the youth national canoe team – assignments that are particularly close to her heart as it is from club life in general, and canoeing in particular, that her own interest in sports originates.
So what is the common thread in everything Lovisa undertakes?
"That I can always wear workout clothes," she says, laughing.
"No, joking aside. What binds it all together is the feeling of making a difference for people. I get to take part in so many different life stories, and to know that I have been a part of a person's positive change is amazing.
More than jumping and playing
Although her teaching career was relatively short, the knowledge gained from her education is something that Lovisa has constant use for.
"For my part, the courses in, for example, nutrition and physiology, group psychology and pedagogy have been, and are, very important in my job. Many people think that it is enough to study a ten-day PT training at a distance to become a good coach, but it takes so much more knowledge about how people work. It's so much more than just jumping and playing, and at GIH you really get the whole package," she says.
When Lovisa thinks back on her time at GIH, it is with warmth, and apart from the valuable knowledge she has gained, she highlights the community and all the relationships that were formed during her studies.
"Those of us who studied together really became a great hangout, and I'm still in contact with many of them to this day," she says and continues:
"There's a special sense of community when you do things together. I especially remember the outdoor course when we were in Norrland and among other things we went between Nikkaluokta and Abisko on touring skis. It was two weeks that really strengthened the sense of belonging and also shaped me as a person.
For many, Lovisa's job seems like a dream, and she is often asked how best to go about working with exercise and health, what education is best and what to think about.
"The subject teacher education at GIH is great, regardless of whether you choose to work in a school or not. I consider myself a PE teacher for adults as I also need to be a good educator in my current role who can reach people where they are, she says, and continues:
"I also think it's important to be patient. The theoretical courses can sometimes feel heavy, but it is also the breadth that makes the education so good and useful. Many people may think that they want to take the quickest and easiest route to their dream job, but instead think that if you are going to do it, do it properly. GIH is not a shortcut, but here you get a fantastic toolbox that you will have great use for in the future.
Lovisa's three tips for those who want to study at GIH
- Make the most of your time and get involved in all courses, even those that feel heavy. If you invest your time properly, it will pay off in the end.
- Invest in building relationships. GIH is a fantastic place to network, gain new knowledge and exchange experiences.
- Have fun! Play, laugh and enjoy your time as a student.
Photo: Lina Adamo Eidenberg