Published: 06:00, 16 November 2019
When barrister Lucy Hyde fancied a career change she decided to put all her weight behind it.
The mum-of-three swapped her highly-paid job at the Bar in London's law courts for barbells at a gym in a converted chapel in Rochester.
Her new life as a champion powerlifter and life coach is paying off.
She has a string of powerlifting medals, both national and international, under her belt, including two England medals and a Commonwealth Championships title for squat, bench and dead lift.
Her therapy and hypnosis sessions at her Sanctuary clinic at Granite Gym - in the former St Bart's Chapel - have attracted a wide range of clients who come to her with anxiety and pain relief issues.
The former Rochester Grammar and University of Kent student specialised in family legal cases from 2004 to 2010 at chambers in Temple.
Lucy, 40, found herself focusing on therapy for her clients rather than law practice, which she enjoyed more. She decided to "take a leap into the unknown" to follow her passion and has never looked back.
She said: "I jumped in with both feet and with hindsight, I probably wouldn't recommend it, but it was the best thing I have ever done."
While Lucy - mum to two sons and a daughter - had contemplated giving up a high profile profession, it was the sudden death of her mother from cancer that prompted her to retrain and go full-time into life coaching.
It was when the self-confessed non-sporty woman took part in a charity boxing match at Priestfield Stadium in Gillingham that she was spotted and she was put in touch with martial arts specialist Chris Garnett.
She said: "I had never been in a boxing ring before and it was probably the scariest thing I have ever done. I'd never even stepped foot in a gym before and used to get out of breath walking up stairs."
Under Chris's wing, she took up the martial arts sport of Muay Thai boxing which she now teaches at the gym in Gundulph Road every Wednesday.
Lucy was put in contact with Lawrence Farncombe, former GB powerlifting coach who elevated her from novice to the champion lifter she is today.
She said: "It's all about getting a good team around you like Lawrence and my physio Liam Swain who I see every week at his clinic at Park Club Gym, Snodhurst Bottom. And pushing yourself to the limit and beyond.
"You already have what it takes. If only you knew how limitless you are. Your power is greater than you know. You haven't even come close to hitting your edge yet."
This year she became the All England deadlift champion and also brought back overall bronze at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championship in Canada. She also represented Great Britain in the World Bench Press Championship in Tokyo.
Lucy, who lives in Cliffe, said: "Somebody said to me 'you are going to be the strongest woman in the world' and I laughed. And then I thought why not, but I'll start offtrying to be the strongest woman in England."
Lucy ensures she eats high protein food, but does not believe in dieting.
She said: "I look at my eating habits scientifically, putting on and losing weight when I have to.
"I certainly don't miss the high-octane life working nine to five in London where people in their 50s have heart attacks. Personally at 40 I have never felt fitter and healthier. I feel more alive now than I did when I was a teenager."
More by this authorNicola Jordan