For many who adopted her story because the trailblazing jockey, she’s going to all the time be remembered for her memorable wins on the Cheltenham Competition and her success in serving to to interrupt the glass ceiling for feminine jockeys in a male-dominated world.
But Nina admits she is recognised simply as a lot now for her initially stumbling and ultimately flowing steps as she received RTÉ’s Dancing with the Stars again in March, as she stormed to victory in a way that ensured she generated a complete new viewers of admirers.
As she sat down with the Sunday World for an unique interview to advertise her assist for Vhi’s Extra Than Working marketing campaign that’s encouraging households to enroll park runs to get energetic, Nina admitted her world was turned the other way up as she grew to become the darling of a nation gripped by her Cha-cha-chas, Viennese Waltzes and Paso Dobles.
“When the supply got here in to do the present, I simply thought I’d have a go,” begins Nina.
“I knew I wasn’t an incredible dancer, however I needed to get on the market and problem myself. Madly, I made a decision to take this on.
“Firstly of it, I used to be questioning what I used to be doing, but it surely labored out effectively in the long run. I didn’t anticipate to be there till the top, but it surely was a curler coaster of a trip and it was an unimaginable present to be part of.
“The present will get the nation watching. That Sunday night slot when persons are not doing an excessive amount of, it’s good to sit down down with the household and watch TV and if I put a smile on folks’s faces, probably as a result of my dancing was horrible to begin with, then that’s nice.
“I needed to admit, I used to be scared occurring each evening and the quantity of instances I needed to cease I can’t let you know. My husband stored telling me there have been all these individuals who needed me to win and I used to be considering, ‘Oh My God, how am I going to maintain going?’”
We could have lapped up performances that noticed Nina win the present alongside her skilled dance associate Pasquale La Rocca, however she has revealed she was riddled with self-doubt for a lot of her journey on the present. She admits she had a number of moments throughout her run on the present the place she hoped the general public would finish her story, however the will to win and a quiet phrase from her husband Ted stored her going.
“There have been so many weekends after I thought I might be out on this spherical and immediately I used to be via once more,” she displays.
“Clearly somebody on the market loved my dancing and I simply stored my head down and in some way received to the top and received sufficient assist from the general public to win. I’m very grateful for that.
“Now I’m discovering lots of people don’t know we as a jockey anymore and are available as much as me because the dancer off the TV!
“That takes time to get your head round as a result of it was a four-month present and it has modified my life in so some ways. I’m very grateful for what it did for me and I really like my time on it, so I’m not complaining in any respect.”
After a ground-breaking profession as a jockey, Nina admits retirement was laborious to simply accept when he rode her final race within the last day of the Punchestown Competition in 2018.
Like so many elite sports activities stars, the void of their life when their sporting heroics finish is difficult to fill and Nina admits she fell into that lure.
“The joys of using and successful was gone and that was laborious to take care of to begin with,” she displays.
“It’s one thing that’s laborious to get your head round. Even two or three years later, you’re beginning to really feel it. One thing is lacking in your life.
“That’s when the dancing present got here alongside and it did give me a few of that adrenaline rush that I missed from racing.
“Strolling on that dance flooring was simply unimaginable and that can to win got here again for me. It gave me some fireplace in my stomach as soon as once more and I beloved that facet of it.”
After her dancing success, presents to look on extra actuality TV exhibits presents are certain to circulate for Nina, who insists she received’t be showing on I’m A Superstar… Get Me Out Of Right here! as she has no intention of consuming bugs for our viewing pleasure.
As an alternative, she has set her sights on utilizing her celeb standing in a constructive method, as she encourages households to get energetic with the Vhi’s Extra Than Working marketing campaign.
“This undertaking matches very well with me,” added the 37-year-old who can be showing on RTÉ’s hit leisure Eire’s Fittest Household.
“We need to encourage folks of all ages to get out and about, get motivated and get shifting. .
“Assembly new folks is enjoyable and if you may get some health on the similar time, that must be a superb factor.
“The identical is true with Eire’s Fittest Household, so if I can use my affect in a constructive method shifting ahead and nonetheless have an enormous curiosity within the racing world, then it’ll hold me out of hassle.”
The Vhi ambassadors are calling on folks to attend a parkruns this summer time. To register for a parkrun close to you go to parkrun.ie.