Building a Community!

For years I contemplated getting my fitness qualification, and teaching Fitness classes. However courses can be expensive and way back in the dark ages  before the  phenomenon we now have called the Internet , not so easily accessible . Back in 2009  In a moment of Serendipity though , I had  joined a new gym –

so there I was in Body Pump with a fantastic  instructor Stephen Smith  who every week would regale us with his hilarious weekly exploits  . His classes were so popular, you worked hard, but they were fun too , I’m still not sure if it was the class or all the laughing we did that left you with sore muscles the next day. I came to learn that Stephen also ran a training facility, where you could get your fitness instructor qualification. I decided to take the plunge and sign up.  When I started the course, I think I just assumed I would wind up working in a gym or leisure center, but as the course went on, I started to think hang on why can I not just set up classes in a local hall and bring classes out into the community ? .  You know when you walk into Gyms  and there are some  people all Reality TV esque – tanned, full face of make up , perfect hair even after their workout????   – then there was me – hardly any if no make up, hair as unruly as ever, sweat dripping , and I thought there must be people who would feel intimidated and hate going into gyms as a result or maybe like me , they preferred classes to the actual gym and wanted to feel part of something. Stephen’s classes were always such fun and everyone was welcome, I wanted to create the same kind of atmosphere in my own classes.  How lovely would it be to create a little community of classes, where everyone felt  welcome, it didn’t matter what fitness level you were, it would just be a place where the focus was on making fitness classes fun and accessible and you would have  the added bonus of making new friends :-).

I found the number for the local church and rang and asked about hiring the hall out one night a week on a Monday  for a fitness class. I started with Aerobics as  my base qualification is in Exercise to music. I rounded up family and friends and asked them all along to this first class. I was so nervous , what if no one came, what if people came and hated it! , what if no one came back again ….

So many What If’s , but hey far better to try and fail then always wonder right ,. I decided to opt for an 80’s theme – it was the decade that brought us aerobics after all  plus  80’s music  is so infectious and just makes you want to dance  – seriously  who didn’t want to be a kid from Fame!.  That first class we were in a little  room  and  I had about 12  people show up, whats more quite a few of those were  back the next week, and  6 years on some of those same people are still coming to my classes now!.  4 months after that first class , I decided to add another class – this time I found a Village Hall at Delves Lane in Consett and I added a Thursday class . A handful came along and again a couple of those ladies are still with me today and I’m still teaching in the same two venues.  Since those early days, I’ve gained a few more qualifications , you never ever stop learning as a fitness instructor.  little by little and lots and lots of hard work later  ,  Word of mouth spread and today my classes are busier than ever and those two classes have now  grown into 14 classes a week!!!.  Apart from some cover work in the early days , I never did go work in a gym or leisure center, I fell in love with teaching  community classes from that first class and I just knew that was the road for me.  I’ve watched the classes build and seen friendships formed ,   – some  people come and they go, life,  circumstances etc  but the majority stay- they are there week in, week out . As new people come ,  the feedback I recieve the most is how welcoming the classes are , how the class members go out of their way to make newbies feel welcome and included and welcomed into the tribe.  I”ve had the privilage to share in  special milestones – I’ve seen some of the girls get married and become mammies. I’ve watched them grow stronger and fitter and do things they never thought they would ever achieve – including people who have never ran before , run half marathons!!!, i’ve seen us team up and crawl through tunnels of mud for “fun” and raise money for the British Heart Foundation . in March of this year , we took part  in a 3 hour Boxercise class to raise money for Ovarian cancer.

I truly believe   “your Vibe attracts your tribe”,  what you put out to the universe, you get back  –  as I look out at my tribe of Mis-Fits and I see  so much Positivity, cheerfullness , friendship , kindness and love  radiating , I feel I must be putting those same vibes out into the Universe  to be lucky enough to have them come back to me in such abundance.

As Cindrella says “A Dream is a wish your heart makes” and I’m living mine – the Dream I had of creating a community of fun fitness classes and bringing people together  is now my reality thanks to my community o Mis-Fits.  xxxxxxxx