October marks my seven year anniversary for teaching classes at Fitness First. Although I have been teaching classes on and off for the past twenty or so years, I have chosen to exclusively work for Fitness First for the last seven of them. I enjoy nothing more than inspiring and motivating our members to better health and fitness and being a witness to the changes in them that ensue! While I am blessed beyond measure that I love what I do, but what has also contributed to my work being so rewarding are the people that I work with and the culture of connectedness within my workplace.
My story at Fitness First, like so many group fitness instructors, started off as joining up as a member. I joined Fitness First, Indooroopilly, after the birth of my second daughter. I had suffered a nasty bout of glandular fever and in my attempts to add more energy to my life, I found myself consuming way more energy than I needed. Hence I found myself about 30 kilos or so overweight and after a stint of working out at home, decided that I needed to get back to a gym to find my lost mojo and fitness.
I had always worked at family run centres where everybody seemed to know everyone else and I had the impression that if I went to a large chain of gyms like Fitness First, then nobody would notice me – I would just be another face in the crowd. However, almost from the get go, my plan of remaining an unimportant nobody never happened. The more I went, the more all of the staff would say “hello”, much to my surprise. Being overweight and very much out of shape had made me feel invisible – but not to many of the Fitness First staff and fellow members.
Finally I worked up the courage to attend an indoor cycling class. This was the only style of class I had never taught in my previous life as a group fitness instructor. Naturally I did not want anyone to know that I was an overweight exercise physiologist, let alone one who taught group fitness. I decided to hide in the darkest corner but not before the instructor, who would eventually become my boss, helped me adjust my bike seat height and handlebars.
The class started and John started talking – “results are a matter of resistance and your hard work. In saying that, however, you need to focus on doing what is right for you.” Phew, I was being motivated to work hard, but also being encouraged to take it at my own pace! I could have a go and not feel silly for being overweight and unfit.
Another class followed, then another, and I was hooked. Not only was I loving classes, I was also loving my weight loss and all of the encouragement I was receiving from both staff and members alike. A few months later, I plucked up the courage to tell John about my group fitness history and that I wanted to teach cycle classes too. It was the beginning of a new relationship – - a teaching module and months of hard work saw me up on the stage teaching – feeling fitter and healthier than ever.
I started teaching classes for Fitness First in October 2005 and decided to make it my mission to inspire and encourage everyone I came across in my classes to become fitter and healthier. As I grew in confidence, I started using all of my exercise physiology experience to coach and educate my classes further about fitness and health. I started teaching the high performance cycling class on Saturday mornings in early 2007 and still teach it nearly six years later with many of the original members still making it a weekly occasion! I have received a wonderful gift in that these members, the ones I really work for, have become more like family to me than clients. We’ve shared marriage (two of my participants got married), births, deaths and natural disasters (Qld floods), just to name a few. Of course, I have seen many members come and go over the years, but in our culture here at Fitness First, you’re not just another number to us, whether it be in our group fitness classes, creche or even with some of our PTs who have been with the club for longer than I have in some cases. If you become a regular participant in our classes, you become ‘one of the tribe’ sooner or later - and I’m so pleased to see new members joining the ‘tribe’ because I’ve made some lifelong friends as a result of meeting them at Fitness First.
Joining my cycling and pilates family is as easy as getting in touch with Fitness First via their website and downloading a guest pass. If you’d like to connect and participate in my class, it’s as easy as emailing me (click on “@” icon on right hand side bar).
Monday: 9.30am RPM (Indooroopilly), 10.30am Studio Pilates (Indooroopilly)
Thursday: 8.30am Studio Pilates (Toowong)
Friday: 9.30am Cycle (Toowong)
Saturday: 8.10am Cycle (Indooroopilly)
To sum up, I’m so lucky that I joined Fitness First all those years ago - not only was it pivotal in me regaining my confidence and love of life back, it’s also provided me with a wonderful network of friends and fitness opportunities, for which I’ll be forever grateful.
To celebrate my journey, I have teamed with Fitness First to give away an Apple Ipod Shuffle worth $49.00!
Hundreds of songs to go.
Never leave a favorite tune behind. Along with up to 15 hours of battery life,1 iPod shuffle gives you 2GB of storage capacity, good for hundreds of songs.2 That’s plenty of room for the essential songs of your workout or commute. And for multiple playlists, Genius Mixes, podcasts, and audiobooks, too.
Conditions of Entry:
To be eligible for entry, please leave a comment telling me what song you would like to hear in a group fitness class and why?
This contest is a game of skill and the winner will be judged on the most creative and original answer.
Entries close on 12th November (5pm) and winner will be drawn on 13th November (8am)
All entries need to be accompanied by a valid email address (not published). If winner does not make contact within 48 hours of prize draw announcement, prize will be awarded to the next best entry.
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