Fight­ing fit and lov­ing it

Warwick Daily News - - WEEKEND - with Seanna Cronin

IF YOU’RE al­ready strug­gling to keep up your New Year’s res­o­lu­tion, then let Idris Elba be your in­spi­ra­tion.

Plenty of women will need no in­tro­duc­tion to the hunky Bri­tish ac­tor, best known for his roles in The Wire, Luther, Prometheus and Marvel’s Thor fran­chise.

At the age of 44, Elba spent all of last year train­ing for his first pro­fes­sional kick box­ing fight.

While he has al­ways stayed in rea­son­ably good shape for his film and tele­vi­sion work, the 12-month chal­lenge pushed him to his phys­i­cal and men­tal lim­its.

Cam­eras fol­lowed his en­tire jour­ney, which over­lapped with his work on the films The Dark Tower and Thor: Rag­narok, and that footage now forms the ba­sis of the three-part doc­u­men­tary se­ries Idris Elba: Fighter, which de­buts in the UK on Tues­day.

Sure most view­ers won’t strap on a pair of box­ing gloves and fol­low in his footsteps but, as Elba re­cently told me on a round-ta­ble in­ter­view call, ev­ery per­son has their own moun­tain to climb.

“I think peo­ple can take away that if some­one says you can’t do some­thing, that doesn’t ac­tu­ally mean you can’t do it. I think peo­ple might hope­fully take away some sort of in­spi­ra­tion of chal­leng­ing them­selves,” he said.

“Re­ally, as well as my ego be­ing mas­saged and this won­der­ful sort of jour­ney of fight­ing in dif­fer­ent coun­tries and so on and so forth, the best part, I think, is watch­ing or hear­ing other peo­ple my age say to me, ‘Look, I’ve al­ways wanted to ride bi­cy­cles and I’ve never done that and you know what, Idris, I think I might do that now’.”

While he’s un­likely to step back in the ring pro­fes­sion­ally any time soon, Elba’s only re­gret is not do­ing it ear­lier.

“Hon­estly (for) about 12 years I never trained, (I never) did any­thing like that and I do re­gret wast­ing my time like that. I do re­gret not keep­ing my­self as fit as I am now,” he said.

As well as his phys­i­cal fit­ness, the ac­tor has com­pletely trans­formed his diet.

“I kind of used to laugh at peo­ple that were very sort of con­scious about what they eat. I used to feel like, ‘Oh, well, what­ever.’ But now I’m one of those peo­ple,” he said.

“I ac­tu­ally think it’s re­ally im­por­tant. I mean, I think if peo­ple dis­cov­ered how things af­fect them when they eat, they would be a lot more con­scious.”

Idris Elba: Fighter will pre­miere in Aus­tralia on the Dis­cov­ery Chan­nel in April.


Idris Elba warms up be­fore his first fight at Lon­don’s Rep­ton Club in a scene from the TV se­ries Idris Elba: Fighter.

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