I've been working in the fitness industry since 2007 and teaching community fitness since 2011. After working in a gym for a few years and not really enjoying it, I realised my true passion was teaching in the community, bringing people together and making fitness fun, accessible and affordable for all those in the community who struggled with self-esteem and had nowhere to go. Where they felt comfortable, included and supported. I had attended a few group fitness classes in gyms over the years but I could never stick at it because I either felt intimidated and under pressure to keep up with everyone else or didn’t feel welcomed or included, as there were always little cliques of regulars & instructors and I felt like I didn’t fit in. I realised there must be loads of others like me who felt the same, who lacked confidence and self-esteem with nowhere for them to belong. So in 2011 I quit my job in the gym and launched my own community fitness business, Buena Vida Health and Fitness. I enthusiastically set out to provide a variety of fully inclusive, enjoyable fitness classes where everyone felt supported, cared about and had a sense of belonging. I quickly found out the hard way though that I had little to no business knowledge, no potential customers, no client base and no marketing skills. I made a ton of costly mistakes in the initial couple of years and struggled to get more than a small handful in my classes. However, what I lacked in knowledge and experience I made up for with passion and sheer determination and it frustrated me that there were so many people out there that I knew I could help but I just didn't know how to reach them. So, over the next few years, I invested a lot of time & money in learning as much as I could about business and marketing. I sacrificed a lot both personally and financially for about 8 years, working for almost nothing to get Buena Vida where it is today. But every penny, spent, every hour worked, every tear shed and every emotion I've gone through has been so worth it and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I now have an amazing, ever-growing fitness family with friendly, supportive & welcoming members and a team of caring, talented and passionate community-focused instructors. I now want to take my passion for community fitness even further by using my own knowledge and experience to help, support and inspire my fellow community fitness instructors on their own journeys and do what I can to support our common goal to increase awareness and participation in community fitness.