GYM & TONEIC

Life update of late: July

boss-lady

I’m a boss lady! Biggest news in July is that I bought and registered a business…

Brooks Fitness Ltd

Something that I’d been thinking about before I’d even started my level 3 PT course, before I had my mad midlife crisis moment and quit my job at British Cycling. Me being me, I have a tendency to get way ahead of myself, caught up and carried away with the day dreams; in my head I’d created a bestselling fitness brand and business empire before I’d even got the qualifications!

To operate as a PT I need to set up for myself… I wanted to set up a business that had the potential for growth, that a number of services could be offered under, and that my family could be involved with; so naturally I went with the surname. Not exactly original, but using my surname means a few things…

Brooks Fitness - sisters that sweat together!
Brooks Fitness – sisters that sweat together!
  1. The Brooks name will live on; we’re a family dominated by women (strong women) #girlpower! If/when my sisters and I get married the name will cease to exist within my immediate family. Also I want the business to focus solely on women’s specific training and fitness; all that girl power needs to be utilised and maximised to its full potential!
  2. Brooks Fitness will be a sister duo affair, run by myself and my sister Ruth (pictured above, on the left), who is also a qualified PT (amongst other things). This is something we discussed doing before either of us had the qualifications, with us both having very similar ideas and values about how we would want to operate as a business and as personal trainers.
  3. It’s generic enough to be used against a number of different services that both of us, with a list of qualifications as long as our arms, could/can/will offer.
Forget Carlsberg... if Lanson did life-winning Wednesday's!
Forget Carlsberg… if Lanson did winning Wednesday’s!

So on a not so summery July weekday night Brooks Fitness Ltd was established, with a glass (bottle) of fizz in hand. Now there’s lots of business planning, plotting and scheming going on behind the scenes to get Brooks Fitness off the ground – watch this space!

What else have I been up to…

  • The blog content Gantt chart has been created – lots of ideas for things I want to blog about… if you’ve got any suggestions for content you’d like to see featured let me know and post below!
  • Bridesmaid duties; planning and sorting things for my sister Ruth’s hen do next weekend… she gets married on 26 August.
  • Instructing and teaching; I’m still working at various leisure facilities on a casual basis wherever I can, loving every minute of my time in the gym!

Life update of late: June

life-update

I’ve been crap at blogging of late… I’ve got a list as long as my arm with ideas and topics I want to blog about, all noted down in a little black book (that’s red), that I carry around with me everywhere I go, also jotted down in my notes on my phone – I need to get more organised and STOP procrastinating!

I was on fire a month ago, studying and stressing over my PT exams, like my life depended on it (well it kind of did), no stopping me. I had my life mapped out, *massive LOL* that’s a total lie; I’ve ‘winged it’ every darn day! But in my head, I was quitting my full-time job to become a PT and buggering off into the sunset, to be a fitness instructor by a beach somewhere hot, sunny and exotic.

Feels like I’ve hit a wall over the last week or two, with regards to the next phase of my master life/career plans… I think it’s because I’m getting way ahead of myself, dreaming about where I want to end up, visualizing/fantasizing about my end goal, as opposed to focusing on the here and now, and the baby steps I need to take to make it happen. That or I’m too focused on what other people are doing, that are doing a similar thing that I want to do, but have 5/10/15+ years more experience than me in the fitness profession. I need to get back to focusing on me (the here and now) and get shit done!

What I have been up to since passing my PT

Lots of gym instructing, swimming instructing, shadowing PT’s, and more studying and swotting wherever I can. I’m loving being in the gym so much, devising exercise programmes for people to help them achieve their goals, being around so many supportive and encouraging PT’s and fitness professionals, that have been more than happy to share their experiences and knowledge with me, and not forgetting the awesome public, clients and customers, the Joe Bloggs gym users who I’m getting to know so well. Joe Bloggs no more… it’s amazing all the things you end up talking about, with what starts out as a complete stranger. I do have a tendency to talk for England and share waaay too much, but by opening up and sharing some of your story it creates a bond, and encourages others to do the same. You connect with people, find similarities and common ground, share experiences and offer support and advice, and this works both ways.

Shout out to some of the awesome people I’ve met so far… 

Martin; an awesome PT (ex-military) at The Gym Group in Bolton. I did two days training there whilst studying, Martin was my guinea pig. He offered to help and let me at him with callipers, showing me how to do body fat testing and so on. He offered to help me wherever he could, and since qualifying I’ve been back to shadow him PT and deliver his gruelling bootcamp sessions (military style!), the shadowing was active that day… I got a beasting, with two classes back-to-back.

Barry, Chantelle, Sophie and Zoe; the first few customers I devised exercise programmes for. Sorry again Chantelle for beasting you with squats and lunges, and making climbing stairs feel like climbing mountains! Your programme has been revised, we will regress and you will progress to be a squatting superhero!

Dave; a legend of a guy that I opened up to about all of my life plans and he gave the best advice ever, Mr Motivator! Gave loads of great tips on the best ways to apply for jobs and get yourself seen and heard, based on his own experiences. Said I should just go for it, pick a place and go, stop being so cautious and take more risks… not to wait until I have solid plans in place, make it happen along the way.

Phillipa; a new member that has recently moved to Ramsbottom, she works as a fitness instructor at Virgin Active. She’s been an instructor for many years, and as soon as I told her I was newly qualified she took me under her wing, offered me training tips and advice, and suggested we should train together. I have to admit when she told me she was an instructor my gut wrenched a little, with a feeling of intimidation, like I know nothing! But she couldn’t have been more encouraging and supportive.

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To do list…

  • One thing at a time – stop thinking about 20 things to do at once, doing little bits of everything and finishing nothing, getting way ahead of myself too soon!
  • Blog content plan – get my marketing head back on, get organised and pull together all these ideas in one place, Gantt chart stylee!
  • Draft a business plan – a loose plan at least, the what, where, when, how and who of what I want to achieve and do, to give me direction and more focus.
  • Decide on a location/s and be more focussed and specific with my quest for the sun and sea, or do what Dave said and just pack my bags and go!
  • Take more pictures to accompany blogs and use on social media – I am rubbish at this, major blogger faux pas. I need to invest in a decent camera at some point too, all recommendations welcome??

Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination is the thief of time.
Procrastination… it will sink in!

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First day on the gym floor

the gym fat is burned

Yesterday I worked my first gym shift, back where it all began. Living back in Ramsbottom it seemed only right that the first place I work should be at Ramsbottom Pool and Fitness Centre, where I started out as a lifeguard many (many) moons ago!

To be honest I don’t think I ever fully left the leisure centre… once you work in that setting you’re part of it for life. You become family, with generations, siblings and partners working together, and customers that have been regulars for decades – it’s one big happy family. Both my sisters’ work for Bury Leisure, we all started out as lifeguards after swimming for the local club. I still remember harassing the centre manager (Phil) for casual hours way before I passed my lifeguard exams…

I have to admit I was nervous before my shift, despite knowing the people, set-up, procedures and so on. I helped implement a lot of the processes and membership offerings when I looked after the marketing of all three sports centres. Regardless, the gym floor is new territory for me, and putting theory into practice is where the real learning begins… like passing your driving test. I was eased into the role with just one induction booked in, but it was great to chat to customers, giving training tips and advice, getting used to new surroundings.

Lovely to work with familiar friendly faces and catch-up with so many customers from way back when. I’ve missed working on the front line, face-to-face with customers. I’m more certain that I’ve made the right move, coming out from behind the desk, retracing steps to pave new ones.

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Yesterday was the best day!

I want to inspire people quote

I passed my practical exam! It’s official, I can now say that I am a qualified Personal Trainer… even bigger YAY!

I’m writing this post today, because as soon as I passed my exam yesterday I came home and messaged my friends to see who was around for a much needed celebratory drink – G&T was calling! I had no time to write a post, as priority went on paying myself some long overdue TLC… in the form of dying my hair, shaving my legs and a host of other girlie grooming basics that I’d neglected to do for the last few weeks, having lived like a hermit with my head stuck in the study books… the crazy cavewoman look had to go!

I’m chuffed to bits, pleased as punch; all of the hours of studying and stressing paid off. The first and hardest part of my life changing plans is complete! Next up… put the qualifications to good use and bag myself instructing hours. Lots and lots more learning to do, every day will be learning day from here on in.

I can’t wait to start helping people to achieve their health and fitness goals, and see where this new career and fitness focus leads – exciting times indeed!

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire. 

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