As Spa Manager of a 5* Milan Hotel, Beatrice Giacalone manages to combine a high-profile career with a rich and varied life. Here she shares how she went from a shy school girl to a European Sports Champion and achieving her greatest success - knowing when to quit.
I consider myself to be an enthusiastic, energetic person and my curiosity serves me well in learning new treatments and concepts for our Spa. Beyond the Spa, my passion is art, ancient culture, traveling and food, exploring nature and I could not live without sports in my life.
A typical day for me starts with a glass of water and lemon followed by a strong Italian coffee. I arrive at the Spa around 9.00am and the day is a mix of meetings, reception appointments, management and ensuring our clients and therapists get everything they need. Depending on the day ahead, I’ll train at either 7.00am or 7.00pm and then evenings are a mix of time with friends or being alone with a good book. This is my time and it gives me the energy to cope with whatever comes.
I can still remember the moment I watched the Karate Kid on TV and my father (my greatest hero) asked if I would like to try it. I went from being a shy child to finding self-expression through Ju-Jitsu and training to the point of joining the national team and becoming a European Champion by the age of 17. Yet after winning the gold medal, I realised that as much as I loved the sport, my passion had turned to anxiety, pressure, hard dieting very high expectations of myself and this is a sad fact of competitive sports. So, I decided to step away from it all and take up kickboxing and suddenly I fell in love with sport all over again.
When I moved to Milan at the age of 20, I was unable to find a kickboxing gym as good as the one I had trained in back in Genova, but I ended up at Milanimal. Here I’ll practice Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, which sounds similar but is a very different form of fighting and it’s sparked a love for competing again but only occasionally and on my terms.
Sport is about so much more than physical fitnessness. One of the important aspects of sport is goal setting. You set your sail and you know where you are heading. Beyond that you develop a deep sense of trust, share passions, fears and vulnerability and above all, you learn to be as comfortable with winning and losing. I make a conscious effort to lie in bed and focus on what I’ve done well. For me the personal target has become to achieve a sense of serenity and I know I’m moving in the right direction.
Beyond sports, I keep my total wellbeing in check by through eating healthy food; lots of fruit and veg. I love art and for me that’s not museums but mindfully taking in the architecture in my city, the green spaces; I’ll notice the people and their smiles. Everything is no beautiful and heart opening, if only we notice.
I feel beautiful in the company of people I love and when someone is fully present for me and I for them. That’s beautiful.
The best advice I’ve been given “Every day is a gift”; was the advice my kickboxing trainer carried from his grandmother and to me and it resonated deeply and I try to appreciate and value each day.
I keep my Ayurvedic Pitta-Vata dosha in balance by having more awareness of how the imbalance effects me and then taking the necessary steps to get me back on track. So, when my Vata is out of balance, I’ll go for a long walk after work, rather than kickboxing, as much as my Pitta energy wants to take me straight into the ring!
A book that made a big impression in my life is "Hearth of Darkness", by Joseph Conrad is the first book that I read entirely in English and it was quite demanding. It gives voice to the complexity that we have inside as human being.
My parents have shown me unconditional love and given me the balance of sharing their honest feelings, but never forcing them on me. My father taught me to have passion for life and my mother just gave me love and devotion. I’ve been very lucky.
A perfect day would be traveling and sharing the pleasure of discovery with the people I love.
Love is life, its colors, its sounds, perfumes and tastes. Greater love is to share this beauty with those in your life.
Your wellbeing guides our collection: Free from synthetic fragrances, parabens, silicones, mineral oils, sulphates, phthalates, GMO, PEG’s TEA and DEA and we never test on animals. Instead we use pure roots, flowers and therapeutic grade essential oils rich in antioxidants and minerals and known for their ability to repair, rejuvenate and beautify but as importantly blended to balance and nourish within, so your true self has a chance to shine.