The Dark Truth. Why I Had To Semi Retire From Fitness.

me2Adventures In Fitness And Life On A Bus.

So many years ago back in the dim recesses of my past I used to work as a sales advisor for a local plumbers merchants.

To cut a long story short I hated the job and everything about it. Every day was like Groundhog day, you know that film with Bill Murray when every day just keeps on repeating and repeating. So off I went in search of something. At the time I wasn’t really sure of the something, but knew I was happy as Larry (who is Larry anyway), in a dance fitness class.

So my adventures begin. I shall train as a group fitness instructor.

Once qualified I became addicted to the buzz of being up at the front, the sweat, the smiles, the tears, the wrong turns, the laughter.

So I decided to escape from Groundhog day and take this up fulltime. Now don’t get me wrong this was a big leap of faith to quit a pretty well paid job and enter the unknown.

But that’s me, jump and think later…….

Now a typical day for me would be as thus:

8.00am Alarm goes off

8.01am Snooze Button

8.11am Snooze Button

8.21am Shit better get a shower (why when I was gonna sweat my face off I have no idea


Okay so far so good.

9.00am Leave house to walk to gym

9.05am Stop off for an energy drink (What! Your a fitness professional why are you drinking that shit)

9.10am Arrive at gym and beg for coffee before classes begin

9.30am Spin Class

10.15am 15 min Break

10.30am Zumba

11.15am 15 min break, great time for a coffee

11.30am Aqua class

12.15pm Finish at this gym

Okay I have 45 minutes to get to my next booking other side of town, i’ll get the bus and grab some food enroute.

1-3pm A private counselling session for homeless people,drug addicts and alcoholics on healthy eating and fitness (Oddly one of the best things I have ever done to be fair).

Okay best pack up and head home. This involved a 20 minute walk back to my house, usually for a shower,nap and something to eat.

Set alarm for 4.30pm (seriously), only a fitpro will understand the horror of almost sleeping in for a 5.30pm class.

5.00pm Walk to gym, yup you got it grab an energy drink (Please don’t judge me).

5.30pm Abs class

5.45pm Zumba Class

6.30pm Okay I have an hour to get to last class, i’ve missed the bus. Taxi please

7.30pm Zumba class (Weirdly my most energetic class of the day).


And so the cycle begins again the next day. Some days easier, some days busier. Numerous times I’ve almost fallen asleep on buses, forgot cd’s, lost ipod cables, sound systems breaking down I once had to teach spin SANS music and a bike as the class was overbooked, longest 45 mins of my life!!

Now don’t get me wrong I’ve loved every bloody minute, every drop of sweat, every smile, tear,dirty look,grimace. I’ve met some of the greatest friends I could ever wish for enroute who are always there for me no matter how hectic my crazy bloody life is.


This is what I normally resembled at the end of the day.

It’s not an attractive look for a single gal.

So anyhow this isn’t the point of the story although I do have many great memories.

Flash forward a few years down the line.

6 years of doing constant activity all day most days was starting to take its toll on my body. I had over the years lost almost 3 stone in bodyweight. Well that would happen doing 7 hours of activity a day to be fair. Imagine saying to a PT client I would like you to do 7 hours of cardio today mate. They would run a bloody mile!! So the breaking point began about 18 months ago. I was running all over teaching classes in different health clubs trying to make a living. Did I say I was a single gal living alone. Now I was going through a breakup from a 15 year relationship, I know I don’t look old enough eh! I was sooooooooooo determined to prove that I could manage on my own, I forgot to care about, well caring about myself. And so the decline into MASSIVE burnout began. Because of the breakup, yes it was heartbreaking even though it was my decision, I threw myself into working even more! A gym I taught at told me if I went to work there they would pay for my personal training course. Great, you would think. No this added an extra 15 hours of unpaid gym hours and more classes to my already mental timetable! This is where my meltdown began. I was pretty much working 16 hour days to survive. Not sleeping, not eating. This is the darkside of fitness as I like to call it. Anyhow I started to suffer with really bad ear infections to the point where some days getting out of bed was even a bit of a chore. I began to hate the job I once adored with a passion. The final straw was seeing my parents for Christmas who told me to move back home so I could stop working such long hours and half killing myself.

So from the beginning of that year I slowly started to drop classes in clubs, but still felt seriously burnt out and knew I had to do something about it before I became seriously ill.

So I randomly met this chap who had a fitness software business. He asked me if I wanted to help him with business as I seemed quite clued up on marketing and sales and techiness. Great here is a knight in shining armour to save me from myself. Hurrah!!

So I finally finished my personal training course and dropped more classes. Slowly returning back to Smiley Claire.

Disaster Struck!!!

I fell over a barbell in the dark and badly smashed my wrist, which resulted in an operation to put it all back together and months and months of painful physio.

By this time I had dropped ALL of my classes. Thankfully plan B with Australiawow was starting to take shape. Good job really as I had no other source of income!!

So by January this year I decided it was time to return to teaching as I was missing my big love Zumba Fitness and had enquiries for personal training clients.












Meanwhile, in all the time I had off, I embarked on about a million marketing courses and facebook ad courses. Any webinar about social media marketing I was on it. I loved this stuff!!! So by chance a friend asked me if I would take over his Social Media campaigns for him as he didn’t have a clue and he said to me you know you could have a really successful business doing this, you are great at it.

So now I was torn. I still loved teaching, I still loved personal training clients!! Do I do both? I love both things. I love all the things!

Now don’t get me wrong after almost 18 months of being physically and mentally burnt out, I still loved my classes. By this time I had returned to teaching a few classes a week and realised I was missing it. But did I really want to go back to the beginning and start teaching freelance fulltime again or go into a gym to personal train.


Two weeks ago I slipped on a cobble in a pair of high heels and broke four toes on my right foot. I think the Specialist at the hospitals words were “I’ve never seen a break like this in my life”


















So I am currently still encased in the boot for a further 6 weeks with instructions only to walk on my heel aided by crutches. Which is a bit of a pain but not the end of the world.

It’s given me a bit of clarity and a boot (see what I did there) up the arse to set up the business i’ve been umming and agghhing about for the last 8 months or so.

So this is me semi-retiring from fitness. I am still keeping a few personal training clients on and will be massively involved in EdgePT’s online training business, probably as the techy person behind the scenes! I plan to return to teaching two Zumba classes in January but that will probably be my lot.

The Universe gave me not one but two signs to take a new fork in the Road.

I’m gonna listen this time before I break anymore bones.

Now don’t get me wrong the Fitness Industry is a great place to work but i’ve found I much prefer helping other trainers expand their businesses than falling asleep on buses and breaking bones.

So fingers crossed for my new business. It’s all going well so far. I think I got a lot off my chest there, I’ve not spoken about how I was feeling to many people.

So anyhow enough of my ramblings I have a website to finish creating!!

A big huge massive thank you to everyone I have met on my adventures, it’s been a blast.

me pic 2



















Here’s to the next chapter in my crazy life.

And a big thanks to Adele Kirby for making me see how I loved helping other businesses get up and running.

Claire “semi retired” Aberdeen

The Social Media Concierge



One Response

  1. By Nathan Jordan Posted on September 11, 2014

    Great article. It is very easy for trainers to work a ton. I run a group training type studio but it is very rare that I do the workouts. Normally I show everyone how to do everything and correct them during the course of the workouts. I cannot imagine actually doing everything in all of my classes. If I did I would not last a week. That is great you found something you could do while injured. Enjoy your semi-retirement.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.