Over the last 6 months I have been taking a mental break from my business. I didn’t realise this is what I was doing…it just happened. Of course, I was physically present but my heart and soul had taken a step away.
There has been no social events, no challenges, no blog posts, no newsletters, no coffee, no awards, no celebrations, nothing new.
Looking back now in reflection I feel incredibly sad about this but I needed to give myself a break. Running a business by yourself (not forgetting the family that supports you behind the scenes) is very lonely and isolating at times and I had lost my way.
Fortunately I have built Hope Fitness on solid foundations that is able to tick over even when I am only half present. Generally I am a “glass is half full” kind of person and I feel optimistic that the lightbulb will switch back on.
I thought that it would be this year but realised I had a few more feet to fall before this could happen.
So here I am drawing a line under 2018, or more importantly right through it…
But overall…2018 was pretty great for Hope Fitness.
At the the start of the year I resolved to keep a metaphorical memory jar for all the small and insignificant things that happened during the year. Small and insignificant they were at the time, but looking back now, mostly flippin’ hilarious! My biggest regret of the year was that my memory jar stopped in March - I have no idea why - probably because I forgot to write things down! I will definitely do better next year.
Despite a slightly negative start to the year with a very public “trolling” on Facebook (and yes sadly although it is rare, it does happen) and a bad, but totally fake review, January was fun!
Outdoor fitness numbers had been a bit quiet leading up to Christmas 2017. Not wholly unexpected when everyone is so busy and the weather is crappy. But the first Tuesday class of the year was booming. The kids were still off school and many of them came to that class. My third child by another mother and protégé, Alyssa, who became a Hope Junior at just 6 weeks, asked me during class “what is yoga?”. Before I had the chance to answer she says “I hate yoga!” This pretty much sums up mine and Alyssa’s relationship but she epitomises all that I love about Hope Fitness; fun, fitness and brutal honesty!
Yoga is always busy at the start of year and this year was no exception. Three ex-clients made a return to class which thrills me more than anything. It is often hard not to be paranoid about the reasons why people don’t come along any more but more often than not it has nothing to do with me or my classes, it’s just that life gets in the way.
Then there was the infamous “fartgate” incident in yoga.
A fart is always funny no matter how old or serious you are but I’m always torn about how to handle these situations. I always opt to be the ultimate professional and remain cool and calm on the surface, when inside I’m a dribbling, shaking, giggling wreck. I’m sure internalising all that hilarity cannot be good for you! At least when Paul takes 10 attempts to decide which end of the mat to stand on I can laugh out loud at him!
February is always about the London Winter 10k and this year was my 4th year of organising a team for this event. Despite my complete lack of preparation and pure hatred for running, every year I always keep on entering! We have the weekend down to a fine art now, from parking at Stratford because the trains are never running (although we can never find the darn car park), not forgetting to pack our running clothes (well most of us - Julie No-Leggings!!) and the pre and post run meals (fab Sunday lunch at the Anchor on the Southbank). And once again in 2019 this is the first event on the Hope Fitness calendar.
Monthly coffee was resurrected at new location, the Bean House in Kesgrave. It only lasted two months because everyone is just so darn busy and apparently Tuesday is Aldi shopping day. The cheese scones are great and even Sheetal managed to find her way…it was touch and go at one point.
Then there was the “poogate” incident at outdoor fitness. One of the hazards of exercising outdoors in a public space is the dog poo, especially when it is dark. Poor Ju…I don’t think she’s yet recovered, she hasn’t been back since! Another LOL for the memory jar.
Snow, snow and more snow. The snowiest classes I’ve had in 10 years. I even had to cancel a Metafit class due to bad weather, the first class I have ever had to cancel because of the weather. In my infinite wisdom, I decided that it would be a great idea to do an outdoor class that was purely burpees. My thinking was that burpees are a whole body exercise and would keep the class warm…totally forgetting that about 50% of the time, unless you can hover, you need to put your hands down on the ground. I think they’ve all just about recovered from the frostbite!
In the spring Pippa and Freda arrived at Hope Fitness, Pippa being a new client and Freda being a basset-hound. All of my clients are good ‘uns but every now and again you find that person who adds an extra dimension to the dynamics of the class, Pippa was one of those people. One of my favourite quotes from Pippa happened one Tuesday morning when she loudly announced Freda was on a “wet willy mission”. I nearly died laughing as I had never heard of a wet willy! I am now well-informed but it was hilarious at the time. Sadly Pippa has now moved away to pursue her love and dreams and we miss her at class.
And sadly that is where my memory jar memories end.
The year ticked on by.
We had a super day out at Go Ape, some of us chickening out of the tree tops adventure and opted for a rather pleasant walk around the forest instead. We did the St Elizabeth’s Midnight Walk in May, the first time for Team Hope. Fortunately the, quite frankly, tropical rain only dampened ourselves and not our spirits. The practically, perfect weekend retreat lives on and for the second year in a row was practically perfect. An absolute highlight in the Hope Fitness calendar! We completed the list of 2018 events with the Whole Hog in October, which I spent a considerable amount of the course moaning. Having now done this 5 times I think I’m done with it. Otherwise I’m likely to come to a muddy demise for annoying my team mates!
We completed the year with a “Blow the Cobwebs Away” Winter Walk. This was a new thing for Team Hope but since there were no classes over the festive period I thought that I would organise a much needed walk. A 10-ish mile round trip from Kesgrave to Woodbridge, with a stop for coffee half way round of course. This was purely for selfish reasons - I knew I’d need to get out of the house and needed some friends to come with me. However, it was apparent others needed this too so my selfish motivations had a good side effect and everyone’s winner. We set the world to rights and I also got a much needed confidence boosting “belly rub”.
Otherwise December was exceptionally quiet at Hope Fitness, it kind of just passed by. But this allowed me to have time to reflect, recharge and rebuild and I have spent a lot of time brainstorming…there’s lots to look forward to in 2019.
I have created a new community fitness Facebook group called “Hope Fitness and Friends”. Weekly challenges, healthy recipes and fitness advice with a little bit of fun thrown in. Really looking forward to getting stuck into this.
New Metafit workout “Viking” kicks off on Thursday 3rd January.
London Winter 10k in February - always a great weekend away.
Weekend Retreat booked for 11th to 14th October - you don’t want to miss it!
More social events - the Christmas Party 2019 is booked already - and I have many other ideas!
So that’s it for 2018, looking forward to 2019.
I just want to leave you with this, my motto for the New Year…
Relax, breathe, let go and live.
Happy New Year!