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I’ve never really felt like I loved traditional exercise

I’ve never really felt like I loved traditional exercise. At school I was told I wasn’t very good at sport by my peers and the sporty crowd weren’t very friendly so I never felt comfortable taking part in sports at school.  

When I was at university I participated in martial arts because I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to prove that I wasn’t unfit. I became hooked, my coach encouraged me and my confidence soared. 

Later on in life, having young children made it difficult to schedule in exercise class time, and because of the general lack of sleep happening, I had very little energy to participate. 

I took a few years out from formal exercise, just doing tap dancing once a week. I was speaking to someone and they’d asked me if I could do any activity, what would it be? I’d seen p!nk perform on aerial silks and thought that it looked amazing, so jokingly I said I’d love to do silks. 

The idea stuck in my head and I got googling for aerial silks classes.

It turned out that there was a studio just half an hour away. I tried it out and have been loving silks, aerial and circus ever since. 

I love it because it’s fun, it really doesn’t feel like exercise. It is such a challenge to move your body in different ways and to see progress every time you train is really encouraging. 

At the moment I have my daytimes free because the kids are at schoolI do a few daytime online classes – hula hoop, stretching and yoga. Any studio classes happen on an evening or a weekend, fortunately I can arrange my clients around the best classes that I want to go to, and my aerial classes actually take priority over filling my time with clients.  

It’s so important for my mental health, especially this year, to have an activity that is escapist and fun.

During the first lockdown, my aerial teacher started doing conditioning classes online, and when we returned to the studio we were all stronger than ever! I’ve bought myself some silks and can rig up my equipment outside on the swing frame. I can do strength and conditioning drills on my pull-up bar. 

When my tap and dance classes went online, I did them with my neighbour and we danced in our communal courtyard. I’ve also been meeting up for walks with friends, the other day we walked for 2 hours because we were having such a great chat! 

find it tricky to carry on with weightlifting when the gym is closed, but my Mum and Dad bought me a barbell for Christmas – I’ve been sneakily using it early!