My life in vitality has been great fun. I am so greatful to have trained with such wonderful people and, armed with the knowledge that they gave me and the undying energy that I was born with, I have had so much fun passing on my program for fitness and vitality to others. Here are a few words about my life and how I came to be where I am today.
Even as long ago as my teenage years I knew that I had a knack for teaching. I was a Judo club coach in London at 16 years of age, after attending an amazing weekend workshop hosted by Brian Jacks. You youngsters won’t remember him, but he was an Olympic Bronze medallist. I learnt so much, I actually took the senior class that evening.
My instructor said, ‘you know more than me, you may as well take over the club. I though OK, and that was that. Regular training was held in London, wasn’t long before I received a club-coaching award for both children and adults.
Then I attended an aerobics class…really enjoyed that and thought "Oooh, I’d like to do that" …how hard can that be?! Well actually I found the physical very easy, I wasn’t so smart on the practical, but persevered with it.
I loved it and taught lots of sessions in the community where I lived in Suffolk. Community work was my strength, I absolutely loved it.
I created a ‘Body Conditioning’ class, linking both gym machines with free style exercises in between. I used to call it the 49’ers. As I was only 24yrs of age, I thought the ‘over 50’s’ were soooo old! However, teaching a mature class was fun and they had such fun and laughter, where as the younger sectors wanted everything you could throw at them. They loved it, I loved it and before I new it there were 3 Body Conditioning classes running.
In 1990 I had to move to Gainsborough as my partner took over as manager of the newly extended West Lindsey Leisure Centre. There was only ‘The Baths’& 2 Squash Courts. I never heard of a swimming pool being called the Baths!
I can remember one of the staff asking me, ‘you do this for a living? What all the time?’
42 years later I am still teaching it, and I still love it. I’m now the one who is over 50 now! In fact not far away from 60! I now have experience of what a worn back & knees are like, wrecked shoulders & bunions, plus long term condition of allergies and asthma. Having said that, understanding how to work around this an many other ailments & disease has made my experiences fairly short-term and manageable.
After specialising in Mature health in 2009 with Extend Training, it was an eye opener as I didn’t class myself as mature being in my 40’s!
Some sessions were purely seated others were 'active' seated. I soon had 4 sessions set up.
Then the NHS offered 'one to ones' within the home to encourage mature people to get out and join something within the community.
One to one tuition is fantastic to get the results you’ve been longing for, the crucial support to build confidence and have the courage to succeed.
Then the local Parkinson’s group asked me to teach them. I had just completed a CPD workshop and learnt so much. It was an amazing group to nurture, creativity was required, but tenacity takes over when you’re having fun singing and working out.
I have studied mature health ever since, both online and otherwise.
The results of people that have either attended a class, one to one, self referral course, pamper day or event gives me the drive to help others.
I love it.
I believe wholeheartedly that we should be instilling our children with the fun and satisfaction of being fit and healthy. The world has become product-based, but teach a child to run and tumble and they will always appreciate the simplicity of activity.