Introducing Hiba Hammoud: Journalism Graduate and Founder of Push Performance

Today we share with you an interview with Push Performance Founder and Omika Brand Ambassador, Hiba Hammoud.

Congratulations on graduating from university earlier this year. What did you study and what did you enjoy most about it?

Thank you so much! I studied a Bachelor of Communications, majoring in Journalism. I’ve always loved writing, not so much storytelling, but writing about real issues, being a voice for the people. Studying at Deakin University, it was a brand new course and we had new equipment, new rooms, new campus – it was great! I loved that it wasn’t just about sitting down and listening to the tutor for two hours, it was extremely hands on. Every class would vary – one class might be working with the camera and learning how to operate it, another might be going out of class for an hour and searching for a story on campus. The highlight of my degree was being able to film and produce a cooking TV show in 12 weeks, on a live studio set. It was amazing to experience working on a set that we had designed, built and created!

What was the greatest lesson you learnt at university?

It’s better to take the chance, than to doubt yourself and think ‘what if?’ As dramatic as it sounds, it’s very true, time is very limited and if you don’t leap at opportunities, you could lose some great ones!

The best example I have is when I was an intern, and was offered the opportunity to go to New York for Climate Change Week. Every world leader was gathering in New York for the week-long event to discuss the newest sustainable development goals. It was a pretty big deal for an eighteen year old. I had received the opportunity two days before I was meant to fly out, not to mention it was the last three weeks of semester and I had four assignments due when I got back – it was a seven day trip….it was a recipe for disaster.

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I took the leap of faith and told myself I would sort everything out as it went. Until this day, it was probably my greatest achievement, because I developed my skills and knowledge immensely, and I knew that sitting in a classroom was not going to give me the same experience!

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Can you tell us about the challenges you faced at university and what you did to overcome them?

Being in the creative field, it was definitely challenging when all your assignments were based around creating unique content and had minimal guidelines, because we had the freedom to choose whatever we wanted as long as it was captivating or interesting. I hit writer’s block many times, and many times just could not brainstorm anything. Over time, towards my final year of university, I learnt that sometimes overthinking your ideas takes the creativity out of it, and sometimes the best ideas are the ones that are the simplest, or the ones you came up with in the shower! I know some of my best work that I pitched to my tutor and achieved high results in were created while I was driving or walking. Sometimes you just need to stop, step away from the pen and paper and take in all your surroundings, very zen I know, but it’s something that not many students do when they’re under so much pressure. This applies to everyone who can’t finish their essay, or can’t solve their assignment, trust me when I say taking a step back is not a waste of time.  

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You have since launched your own activewear store, Push Performance. Tell us about it!

Push Performance is dedicated to women and men of all shapes and sizes who need that little motivation in their fitness journey. I know for me, new activewear pushes me more than ever to train harder. I’m not sure why, I think it’s a psychological thing, but Push Performance strongly believes that if you’re equipped with the right activewear, suited for your body and your performance, then you will do better. Push Performance is not just about selling the product, it’s about creating a community of health/fitness enthusiasts to contribute to each other’s positive energy and motivation.

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What lead you to start your own business?

I had just come back from travelling around North America and Canada for seven weeks, I felt pretty accomplished finishing my degree, but I was jobless. I quit my part-time job before I went overseas thinking I would come back and find a job in my field. That wasn’t the case, I actually ended up sitting at home for two months without a job and feeling very, very bored! After endless applications, I became demotivated.

I thought to myself “what could I possibly do to get my brain active and pass time?” I did a Google search, and in the search box I wrote, “things to do when you’re jobless”. Yup, I went that low, I read many articles, and came across one that said, start your own business. I let that sit in my head, and thought about it. I’ve always wanted to start my own business, even if it didn’t succeed, I just wanted to give it a shot. I sat there for about twenty  minutes thinking that if I could start a business right now what would it be? I thought about what I liked and what I was passionate about; the first thing that came to me was activewear. It made so much sense! I’ve loved keeping up with my fitness, more importantly before I got serious about my fitness I was always a massive fan of activewear. I’m talking about wearing activewear to the shops even though I didn’t work out that day. I always told myself that if I could have my entire wardrobe filled with activewear and wear them every day I would! That’s how I began, a newbie to the self-start business sector, I’m still trying to figure it out. It’s not something I see as a job, it’s just a personal project right now, and a form of trial and error. I’m learning so much, and to say that this business is mine and mine only feels great!

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As the owner of an active wear store, your health must be important to you. What do you do to keep fit and healthy?

It really is important to me, I love it! Other than walking and hiking, the one stable thing that keeps me on track and in routine during the week is boot camp. I’ve been doing it since January last year and it’s helped me so much in terms of building my fitness, my strength and my wellbeing! It’s a way for me to de-stress after a long day or week of work, be social and sweat everything out. I try to meal prep my own food every week to keep consistent with my eating, which really helps when I have a busy week and don’t have time to make food on the go.

At Omika, one of our goals is to inspire others. Can you tell us about something which inspires you and what impact this has had on your life?

Getting into the fitness industry has actually inspired and changed my life for the better. From a younger age, I’ve always had very low self-esteem about my body, I became obsessed at one point. I was in and out of the gym, my diet was very restricted because I was too afraid to put on any weight. I would say I started my official healthy fitness journey last year in January with my personal trainer and since then I have a completely different outlook on life. I’ve learnt to focus more on my health and wellbeing rather than the physical shape of my body. I’ve taken a different approach to fitness and that’s thanks to my trainer – I focus a lot on healthy and balanced eating, exercising because I want to, not because I have to, and listening to my body when it says I’ve been doing too much instead of pushing myself to exhaustion. I live a much healthier and positive lifestyle now thanks to my trainer who’s guided me in the last year and a half and I’ve never felt better.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Take every opportunity you get, because you never know what that could lead to. No opportunity is a “small” opportunity!

Oh and definitely travel! I can go on forever about travelling, but please, please, explore the world! Half of the life lessons I have learnt have been through travelling! I’ve learnt to understand myself and others around me a lot more. The world gives you an experience that a classroom cannot, so get out there and discover the world!

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You can check out Push Performance at https://www.pushperformance.com.au/. 

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