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None of this matters with Nina Waring

Words: Good Sport

Images: Chris Loutfy

Nina Waring is a cyclist, weightlifter/athlete and artist. Currently creating work based out of a studio in Marrickville, Sydney. 

Nina tells us it was around 15 when she started training. ‘Initially it was dumb stuff like running on a treadmill for like an hour, but eventually someone pulled me aside and asked if I wanted help with moving into more strength based training, and I went from there.’ Cycling had been around since being a kid as well, ‘mainly a mongoose BMX’, but riding longer distance became more prominent within the last four years. ‘I started getting bored at the gym at about the 5 year mark and just wanted to spend more time outside in the sun. It’s easy to rack up km’s when you’re just enjoying some fresh air’.

Nina says’ ‘strength training gave me a new love for my body and the way I was built. Plus it was fun, so why wouldn’t I want to pursue it.’ She says she liked lifting heavy stuff, liked feeling strong, and liked looking strong.’

Good Sport caught up with Nina to chat about the connections of music through training and creating art all with the sound of Nuraphones.


What is your mantra?

‘None of this matters.’ 

Overthinking and overhyping yourself can cause you to lose focus. I usually make the lifts I attempt, and if I don’t, it doesn’t matter anyway. I can always try again. I try not to put too much pressure on myself. It’s just weightlifting. You gotta really let your mental blocks go before you can properly progress, I reckon. Sometimes I listen to really chill music when I lift just to switch the mentality. If you’re always doing something in a certain mindset then you’re gonna burn out, so it’s important to lift when you’re mad and when you’re chilled out. Happy or sad, whatever – Get it done. But if it sucks, it doesn’t matter. Try again next time. Enjoy the process. 

Are you training for anything at the moment. What are your current goals?

I try not to train for competition. I’ve got a lot on at the moment with work, my art practice and cycling; and if I compete in anything, I have to start making sacrifices. I’ve started doing some gymnastics training so ideally I’d like a muscle up and a skin the cat, but I’m probably aiming for 140kg squat at the end of next year (2019). 


What does lifting/training mean to you and why?

It’s the only way I can really clear my head and work on letting off steam, but I like my training to be done by 8am. It’s an essential part of my life but when it’s over, it’s over. Cycling is different because it’s as much a transport thing as it is something I enjoy. But yeah, ultimately, I like being strong. I like feeling capable of doing things. I have a great team that I train with and my gym is a great community so I feel like no matter what I’m doing I’ll be enjoying myself. I love the community aspect of training as much as I love the actual exercise. I’m really lucky to be in a place where I’m able to have those relationships. 

What is your ultimate post training meal?

Toasted ham and cheese sandwich or an egg and bacon roll. I just love bread, honestly. I’m on the hunt for Sydney’s best bacon and egg. So far Cafe Kentaro is the lead, even though their bacon is technically thick cut ham.

Best track to lift to…

Edge – Rezz

Song that reminds you of being a kid…

She wants to move – N.E.R.D

Tune to chill too…

I have a full playlist. The first song I added was We – Mac Miller ft. Cee Lo Green. I’d have to say that I’ve had many tranquil Sunday mornings with that playing.

Best track to listen to with friends…

When I come around – Dom Kennedy. Heard it for the first time through one of my best mates in a car travelling down one of Melbourne’s highways as the sun was setting. It always reminds me of that memory.

Album to listen to when making new works…

Original Pirate Material – the Streets

You’re going for a PB lift, what song is playing…

Take Me – Korn or Bring it Back – Limp Bizkit.

Sunday ride in good weather, what is the soundtrack…

Regardless of whatever chill music I listen to on a Sunday, T Shirt Weather In the Manor – Kano is always the first song.


Can you explain a bit about your artwork?

I try to make work that I want to look at. I like seeing work that makes you feel something visceral, and makes you reference something you wouldn’t typically consider art, as art.  I do a lot of work with cars and dogs mostly because I think the work that goes into them is pure craftsmanship and I don’t think there’s enough commentary on the fine art aspect. A well groomed, well trained pit bull has the same dedicated owner as a Subaru WRX STI, and entails the same aesthetic consideration as someone covered in tattoos. It’s all art, you just have to look at it in a new context. 

What are you working on at the moment, do you have any shows coming up?

I’m moving towards organising a group show with me and two of my mates, Hugo Rose and Sam Stephenson, towards the end of the year. I’m honestly just trying to do some new things this year, explore the limits of what I can do.