There were a few moments that made me realise I needed to start exercising. My stressful job as a teacher was consuming my life. Exercise was always recommended because it provides an outlet and releases endorphins, but I found it hard to fit in around work.

On top of this, in the past two years I have had operations on both of my feet. After each one I was inactive for three to four months. I felt so unfit and knew I had to do something.

I wanted – and needed – time for myself. To me, that meant time to focus on my wellbeing without distractions, so no marking, no phones and no deadlines.

I tried a couple of commercial gyms first, but I didn’t have any knowledge of how to use the equipment and so I didn’t push myself. I’d go to the gym for an hour, sit on a bike on my phone (usually catching up on emails) or only do exercises that I found easy. Even using a PT there didn’t work for me. I struggled to keep up with the fast paced burpees and cardio and felt very self-conscious.

By the time I found Perform I felt unfit and was probably the most unhealthy I have ever been. To be honest I was terrified about joining. I even made a few appointments and cancelled, as I was worried that I would be the most unfit person there and wouldn’t be able to do any of the exercises so I’d look stupid.

I thought everyone else would know what they were doing and would judge me and with the focus on personal training I assumed there would be lots of cardio that aimed to make you throw up!

However, I finally built up the courage to come in and I am so glad that I did. Everyone was so welcoming and well-informed and it put me at ease right away. I told them that my goal was to lose weight, tone up and improve my mental wellbeing and Peter and Aaron were supportive of that, helping to tailor my program.

That’s the great thing about Perform. Even though you are training in a small group session, you are going at your own pace. Peter and Aaron will push you and help you to understand each exercise and its benefits, as well as teaching you the right technique. It’s not a about fast results for social media either, they genuinely want to help improve our fitness through training and nutrition for the long term.

There are no egos at Perform, the gym has a family atmosphere, where everyone helps and supports each other and everyone is still learning. It’s such a nice environment to train in.

I’m now stronger. I’ve toned up and I’ve some changes in my weight. My confidence has improved and I feel much healthier.

I put off joining for so long because I lacked confidence. Now I wish I’d done it sooner. It is a friendly, encouraging environment that will help anyone achieve their goals. Taking the plunge is scary, but you definitely won’t regret it.

I never thought I’d say it, but I actually look forward to training now. I’m seeing results  and enjoying my progression. Attending the gym has gone from being a chore to being my ‘me time’.

Laura F, part of the Perform Fitness Family since June 2018

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