I have worked in the fitness industry for most of my adult life, bar the odd break to have kids and chemotherapy (not at the same time!), and I can categorically say that I have hated 90% of my jobs throughout these years. The industry is very competitive, and its marketing and staffing strategies breed a target driven and money hungry workforce, which, despite what they will tell you, the majority are not focused on actually helping people, and the most important thing, RESULTS!
The times that I have felt that I have had the most success in work and with my clients has been when I have been left to my own devices, and this is why I have always aspired to own my own gym, a goal that was fulfilled 6 years ago when I opened my first strength & conditioning based facility. I ran this gym for 4 and a half years, and it was awesome, I started Powerlifting, got more people that I can count into strength training and strength sports, competed in and hosted strongman and woman competitions from small in-house comps to national level competitions like Britain’s Strongest Woman, an event that we are currently organising for the 4th year running. I have trained and coached people from children and pensioners to international level athletes, and everywhere in between. And was awarded Northampton’s Most Inspirational Woman Award in 2015 for contribution to sports, sporting achievements and motivation of others… it was a rollercoaster with many ups and downs, and working weeks longer than most people’s fortnights, but it was always awesome and definitely the first time that I’d felt happy and accomplished in my work.
It is unfortunate that, and for reasons that are not necessary to discuss here, in early 2016 I left the business, and it left a void in my life that despite still training people and still running some competitions, it was not the same, I think it takes a very particular type of person to run a warehouse style strength gym, and it is those same attributes that become vices in other areas – your drive and passion, the amount you care, your desire to do more and be better, when it is crushed and constrained it can make life very difficult.
I always said I would open another gym, when the time was right, when the opportunities were too much to ignore, and of course and most importantly with the right people by my side. And that is exactly what happened.