New Maestro at Blackheath Fitness... but the tune is still the same.
"Keep moving, stay strong, live better"... In a nutshell, that is what I believe is the strongest message I can bring to all those who join Blackheath Fitness. I want to debunk the perception that a gym is only for the young, the already fit and those bold enough to wear lycra.
Blackheath Fitness is a small, friendly space for EVERYONE to use as a tool on their mission to keep moving. As the new owner, I am extremely excited for what this space can offer to a wide variety of people in our community. You can come and do your own thing, without battling the crowds. You can join in a variety of group classes. You can experience yoga. Or you can get the expertise of our Exercise Physiologist and Personal Trainers. What a fantastic opportunity I have been given to connect with the community and change lives.
But who am I, and how did I get to here...
As children, we love to move our bodies. We are born with a natural instinct to move dynamically, with full-bodied, three-dimensional movement. It is a part of our emotional, social and mental development. As a child, I was no different, and loved gymnastics from a young age. Even as a teenager I was up at dawn walking around the bay, appreciating the start of a new day, fully aware of how much better I felt having moved my body and taken some time to myself. I have never been a runner but I have always loved to walk. Finding hills and stairs, I looked for anything to get the body working hard, and therefore keeping me feeling strong - both mentally and physically.
Later in life came yoga, which sparked a curiosity about what movements my limbs and torso were capable of. Then came my experience of climbing, with its big, powerful and unusual movements, combined with delicate balance and core strength. My journey to what movement my body enjoys today has been varied. In addition to walking, climbing and yoga, I have played with sand running, swimming, gymnastics, mountain biking, Pilates, and I even took a job once doing the good old-fashioned milk run. I thought it would be a fun way to get daily movement and earn money. Turns out that jumping off the back of a moving truck isn't so good for your knees!!
More recently I had the opportunity to work as an assistant in the Physiotherapy Department of Katoomba hospital. This experience was a turning point for me and my view of society and the health of the general population. I think being surrounded by health conscious friends and family meant I had my blinkers on to the bigger picture. It turns out the health system is completely overloaded with people who have lost the basic strength to stay functioning in their daily lives. This means that they can no longer live at home, and need to be placed in a group home or nursing home. For many of these people I met I could see that, had they chosen to look after their bodies better, they would still be living independently. Of course there are many health issues that affect our health and our ability to stay fit, but for a large part of the population, it came down to a choice. Do I give in to the aches and pains of an ageing body, or do I look for ways in which to keep moving, however small that may be? Those amazing people who I met, who had chosen movement, inspired me every day. They may be in hospital, but they were always enthusiastic to see me and carry out some basic exercises or a stroll around the wards.
So when the opportunity to take over at Blackheath Fitness presented itself, I thought YES!!! DO IT!! Here is my opportunity to attempt to reach out to those people, teetering on the brink of choosing to move or not to move... because I know now from first hand experience, which is the better path. It's definitely not always the easier path, and sometimes you have to dig deep to stay on it, but that's where myself and other health professionals are here to help.
So I'm ready if you are. If you know that it is time to take that first step, and don't know where to start, just call, email or drop on down. Fitness and movement doesn't have to be overwhelming, and it doesn't have to be expensive. It all starts with a choice.