Gemma joined HA fitness a few months ago as a Personal Trainer. She's incredibly hard working & inspirational. She'd take an early morning training session & then head off to her day job as a solicitor. We're now so excited that she has decided to leave her city career behind so that she can do extra training for HA fitness & spend more time with her family.
We thought we'd share a bit more about Gemma with you here:
1) You've just done the big career change thing. What did you do before, and what made you jack it all in for a life in fitness?
I am a qualified solicitor and have worked in banking for almost 10 years in the City and Canary Wharf. Since having my two girls I have been working part time. As anyone can guess, having kids changes your life. After returning to work the second time, I felt that working in the City wasn’t giving me the right work/life balance, and most importantly, the time with my kids I was craving. I have been studying for my fitness qualifications for almost 2 years now and a wonderful opportunity came up with HA Fitness so I decided to finally bite the bullet and follow my heart. It has been hard to leave the City but I already know it's the best decision I have made in a while.
2) What made you choose being a trainer over other professions?
If I was going to leave a good job after 10 years it had to be for love! I wanted to do something I was really passionate about. I have had the benefit of Personal Training in the past and know how motivational it can be. I want to help people realise their fitness goals, whether it be post natal, pre ski season or just getting moving again.
3) You've juggled an intense career with a family and studying to become an instructor. How did you manage to do it all? Have you got any top tips?
A list. If I didn’t write everything down I would be a mess. Regular exercise and a good night’s sleep help me feel prepared for a jam packed day – although the sleep isn’t always easy to get with young kids. I make the most of any free time to study, squeezing in 30 minutes here and there, like on my train ride to work. The fact that I am really interested in the subject makes it much easier to find some spare time. I am not a night owl so I would rather get up early to study than burn the midnight oil.
4) How did you get involved with HA fitness?
After my first daughter was born I started attending Buggyfit classes with HA fitness. It wasn’t long until I was truly hooked. I loved being outdoors and having an easy way to train whilst still being with my baby. I met a very inspirational trainer (thanks Kate!) who gave me the idea of enrolling on a fitness instructor course. I started studying and attended as many courses as I could whilst pregnant with my second. Kate put me in touch with Heather while I was on maternity leave and I started taking classes this summer.
5) Tell us about your own fitness? What do you like doing yourself? Any tips on staying focused when you've got a huge amount of other stuff going on?
I really enjoy exercise, how it makes me feel emotionally as well as the affect on my body. I love cycling (indoors and out) as well as running and aerobic classes such as Body Pump. I have just entered my first Olympic style triathlon in the summer so I had better get my swimming up to scratch!
In terms of fitting it in: sometimes you have to be creative or willing to get up before the kids. I just have to get up and do it – if I think about it too much I will always find a reason not to. Finding a buddy to exercise with helps, you rarely stand a friend up. I think sometimes you just have to say ‘yes’ then work out how to fit things in.
6) Who or what inspires you?
I don’t have a particular hero. I am inspired by normal people doing things that really challenge them. Of course I am impressed by athletes beating their PB but it is more inspiring for me to see the new mum getting out to a class despite the night of feeding behind her or the man who works long hours but still fits in training for his first marathon.
7) What do you do to relax?
My husband jokes that my hobby is hobbies: if it involves craft, I have probably tried it. My current favourites are baking, crochet, sewing and reading – not that I have much time to spare.
8) Do you have any guilty pleasures? Chocolate? Cake?
All of the above! As a keen baker, there are often naughty treats lying around. I think a treat here and there makes life worth living. I just have to remember that a treat shouldn’t be an everyday (or every meal) occurrence. This was a hard lesson to re-learn after being pregnant and breast feeding when hunger takes on a new meaning.
Gemma is available for Personal Training in Wimbledon & the surrounding SW London area. We think training with Gemma will get booked up really quickly, so contact us now to book in your sessions!