For me, being active is twofold: it’s my career and it also plays a significant role in my personal life.
I have a childhood memory that really sticks in my mind. At school, I seemed to be only one of a small handful of pupils who wanted to take part in PE. I remember most of my class turning up with handwritten notes, all using every reason under the sun as to why they couldn’t take part in class. I couldn’t understand it as for me, PE was the only subject I truly enjoyed.
I was an independent child when it came to being active. I learnt to ride my bike at 4 years old. I took myself off to the local swimming pool and taught myself to swim. I was in the rounders and netball teams at school. In my 20s I played Rugby for Southend Ladies, but soon realised this game wasn’t for me after sustaining a heavy blow to the face.
At the young age of 11, I tried a group exercise class for the first time at my local health club and never looked back. I went into the 80s with Jane Fonda, leotards and leg warmers, and I was spending more and more time at the health club. At that time in my life, group exercise was just a hobby but I soon realised that I wanted more, so in my early 20s I became a qualified Fitness Instructor.
I graduated in the 90s with a degree in Fitness and Health. I’m now in my third decade of teaching exercise. I enjoy teaching all age groups – from children as young as 2 through to older adults in their 90s! It gives me much pleasure to see people reaping the health benefits of exercise.
Being active in my personal life is about family time. I feel very blessed to have the seafront on my doorstep. My Daughter also enjoys being active, so we take regular bike rides together along the seafront. She also enjoys scootering and I jog alongside her.
It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up on a Saturday morning with the sun shining, a high tide, and to go for a jog along the seafront. Like all busy mothers, I get very little time alone so I use this precious ‘me-time’ to reflect and practice mindfulness; being active is incredibly good for my mental wellbeing. I also play golf with my partner which, although enjoyable, can be challenging and frustrating at times…as they say, these things are sent to try us!