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«Moscow is about constant motion. Here, there's no chance to stand still»

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Hi, my name is Svetlana, and I have lived in Moscow for seven years

On Gorky Park and good fortune

When I first came to Moscow, Gorky Park was a special place for me, one that made me feel strong. I would go there to train, then I would meet up with my friends and train some more. I also met my future coworkers there: a friend of an athlete I knew offered me a coaching job in a health centre. In Moscow, everything is possible when these three components are in place: you have a goal and the strength to reach it, you trust people and, even more importantly, you believe in yourself.

Sometimes I think I'm just a very lucky person. But in fact, my luck is the corollary of perseverance, strong motivation and lots of hard work. When you try your best you can be sure that sooner or later things will go your way, but the key is to never give up. I still go to Gorky Park for training. It cheers me up to see more cyclists, runners, dancers and ordinary strollers there than before.

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On 'I want' and 'I can'

I help people to do better, to believe in themselves and to discover what their body is capable of. Training is not only about physical confidence, it's a lot more serious than that. When you train, your work on yourself, on your willpower, you nourish your sense of 'can do'. Making myself get out of bed for a morning run at 6 a.m. is something I can do. I can do push-ups and pull-ups. I can plank for a long time. Jumping? Okay. It's going to be hard the first day, the second, the first week. And then your morning won't be complete without it.

I know how hard it can be to go down this road. This means I understand how my clients feel. My parents were never athletes, and I did not discover sports as a child. In fact, I was a weak and sickly child until I myself put paid to that. At some point, I made the decision that from now on my life would be bound to sports. It has all been good thus far.

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On Sydney and training in the evening

Moscow is an ideal place to practice sports. Can't afford to go to a gym? Train outdoors: there are plenty of sports grounds, cycle lanes and parks.

There's nothing to fear when you go running at night, or really early in the morning when no one's around. I like how safe Moscow is, even if you go running in a park at night.

Every city has sports facilities on offer. For me, Moscow offers unsurpassed convenience in that department. I lived in Sydney, Australia once for about eight months. Even though Sydney is considered advanced and is at the top of the rankings of the world's Most Comfortable Cities to Live In, Moscow totally blows it out of the water in terms of opportunities to pursue a healthy lifestyle. For example, no one goes out to train in the evening in Sydney—most people train in the morning or around lunchtime. The parks are not illuminated at night, probably because of the animals. So no running in the parks at night. I tried to train with a flashlight at night.

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On birds and good examples

I live in Ramenki, and I love my neighbourhood. Real nature is right on my doorstep. In summer, you can get up at sunrise and run as much as you want: the air is so fresh, the birds are singing, and before you know it, you've done four kilometres.

I have lived in Moscow for years, but my love for it keeps growing stronger. I love Red Square, Vorobyovy Hills, Patriarch's Ponds. Every month you can discover a new place somewhere you thought you knew every nook and cranny. Moscow is growing so fast. As a person from the provinces (I was born in the Kirov Region), I wish other Russian cities, and not only major ones, could transform at the same pace.

«Moscow is about constant motion. Here, there's no chance to stand still»

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The special Muscovites project is dedicated to the heroes of our city: ordinary people with their own views on Moscow. You can meet them in a café, on the street, at the theatre or the supermarket. Perhaps, you sat across from their table, stood in the same queue or were on the same bus late to work just yesterday. Muscovites, let's get acquainted.

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