24 Jun The Fitness Shed Interview – Felicity Clark A Foreverfit Ambassador
Earlier this year I got to met the incredible Felicity Clark, she is one of my fabulous online gym members and she wanted to catch up for a coffee and share with me what she was doing in her home town. As she told me her story of the fitness shed and I had tears in my eyes of joy, because I grew up on a farm and I was constantly looking in old sheds and dreaming of ways to convert them. She showed me some pictures of what she was up to and I was just grinning from ear to ear! Felicity wanted to ask me if she could use the Online Gym in some way to help her lovely ladies in Waimana, I felt absolutely stoked that she had asked me, so we came up with the idea that she would be our very first Foreverfit Ambassador. So now Felicity is using the online gym to help take some of the load of herself personally and she has just done the Foreverfit online gym bootcamp with her fabulous members.
Today I wanted to share with you Felicity’s story and show you how an idea can come to life if you just put your mind to it!
If you are in Waimana, make sure you check in and say hi to Felicity.
How did you begin your passion for helping others?
In 1999 I did my first instructor and personal trainer certificate through Network and continued further education by correspondence. The same year I converted an old woolshed into a gym called “The Woolshed Fitness Club” as a positive project to focus on after my two year old daughter passed away from leukaemia. The doors then closed in 2004 due to family and farming commitments.
In 2010 I was approached by the Opotiki District Council to help another lady run a bootcamp class. Opening night saw 50+ ladies turn out in force which was amazing. Due to the success of this, various articles turned up in the local paper and I soon received a phone call from a lady who didn’t realize Waimana had a personal trainer. She had major weight and health issues, so this is how I got back into personal training. I bought a water rower, exercycle, made weights from sand bags and used resistance bands with cow inflations as handles. Word got out in the community about how well she was doing, and I was approached about doing classes here instead of travelling to Opotiki.
This is how The Fitness Shed was invented in 2010. It started off with just a storage shed, and then the following year I converted another old shed by covering ends with corrugated iron and doing some DIY! There was a shearing platform that was used years ago that has now been transformed into my stage and now all my classes are held in this shed. In the summer we exercise outside in the cowshed yard; I managed to buy some off cuts of artificial turf and spent two days trying to cut and stick it all together. This now gives the ladies a nice soft area to work out on rather than the concrete!
How does ‘The Fitness Shed’ work?
I run The Fitness Shed as a hobby. The ladies pay a minimum fee which goes back into buying equipment as we don’t make much money overall. I have bought a lot of the equipment myself over the years and am very fortunate to have a lovely husband who has helped me financially to convert the buildings and buy a generator to cover the extra power. All the storage racks have been made from pipe from the cowshed yards. We do a range of classes from pump, step, box attack, tabata, boxing, circuits, drums alive and summer time is boot camp around the farm.
What made you make the transition to real health and follow a foreverfit way of life?
In December 2013 I suffered a break down, adrenal fatigue and depression. I told myself that it was all in my head and how could it possibly happen to me when I’m here to help other people, but I finally had to admit it. My life was full on 24/7: I was one instructor learning all the classes, I did machinery maintenance, I was cleaner, gardener and office lady for the gym as well as wanting to help people be happy from their physical to mental issues. At this point in my life I had put on weight, lost motivation, and I was eating and drinking all the wrong things. So I ended up closing the gym for a few months and headed over to our holiday home at Lake Rotoma to try and get my life back on track. While spending time at the lakes I came across Nicola’s site and made an appointment to go and see her. I believe this was my turning point to recovery. I spent many hours reading Nicola’s blogs on adrenal fatigue, nutrition…you name it. So I did the foreverfit bootcamp challenge, followed the bootcamp nutrition plan gospel for 5 weeks and started seeing major changes in my physical appearance and fitness levels. I hated missing any sessions so on days I couldn’t do I doubled them up (not a good tactic). I thoroughly enjoyed the mediation and relaxation classes, who would have thought I could sit still for 5 minutes! After doing the bootcamp myself I realized that I could use Nicola’s programs to get me back on track with my gym, as it would save me hours trying to learn new programs. I can now use these programs for both myself and the ladies, and love getting the planning schedules on Sunday to start planning my week!
What’s your main advice you give to people when they are wanting to find real health?
The main thing is to believe in yourself. It won’t happen overnight but it will happen if you put your mind to it. If you have had a bad day of eating or have missed a training, don’t beat yourself up! Don’t say “I’ve stuffed up I’ll start again next week”. Forget about that day and start again the day after.
Also try to find a group or someone else to exercise with. It not only makes it more motivating but I have found with my ladies we have lots of laughs which makes exercise more enjoyable, and not a chore.
What does living foreverfit mean to you?
To me, living foreverfit is all about a lifestyle change. Doing a 5 week challenge and then stopping for the rest of the year will not be beneficial in the long run, it has to be a continuous improvement in both fitness and health in order to affect your life positively.
What’s your “go to” meal for you and your family?
My daughters love Mango Coconut Chicken Curry, which is easy to whip up in a short amount of time. I also like to make healthy beef and vege stirfrys to use up bits in the fridge, which is both convenient and nutritious.