“I needed more than being a mum.”

Today we’d like to share with you Kerrie’s personal fitness story with you all. As of right now, this story was first posted two years ago, and so many great things have happened since then. Enjoy!

[First posted June 27, 2014]

I thought it would a nice idea to share my story of where I began my fitness path with all of you who like my page.

I went to high school in the Campbelltown area and I always had a love for tennis. I played in Adelaide and continued for a short period in Sydney. The more I got involved with school work and friends, the more I let tennis go by the wayside.

I started my career as an administrative assistant at a law firm in the city. After 9 years it was time for Trevor and I to start our family.

I was lucky enough to be a stay at home Mum. I had always loved babies, it was my dream come true. I couldn’t have been more excited that my time had arrived. I could give up work and do what I had always wanted; take care of my little family. I was only young, 24, so parenthood was a humongous shock to my system. I wasn’t coping with the sleepless nights, dealing with mastitis from breast feeding, the endless crying (both myself and bubs!) and being responsible for this little being. Work, I thought I had given up, yet this was more work that I could have ever imagined!

I took myself off to the gym and started exercising, using the treadmills and other equipment in front of the mass of televisions. One hour and I was done, feeling happier than when I entered.

It didn’t take long for me to become completely and utterly bored with the hamster wheel equipment! I would always peek in the group fitness studio doors and think, Gee they look like they’re having so much fun. I was so shy. If anyone would speak to me I would go bright red in the face!

One day I thought, enough is enough, and I went in for a BodyStep class. Well I tell you, I never looked back. Group fitness was the bomb. Music pumping, everyone having fun together. It was just what I needed.

It wasn’t long and I was pregnant again. Our 5 year plan wait for our second was not going to be the case. It was already written in the stars. Our two gorgeous babies were going to be close in age! (I wouldn’t have it any other way now. It was meant to be!)

I was very blessed with another wonderful pregnancy and continued group fitness right up until the week I gave birth! My obstetrician was always up to speed on where I was at, and I never pushed myself to the extreme (like I do on a daily basis today!!).

It didn’t take long after being at home with two children under two to find myself back in a fog, a haze, feelings I couldn’t explain. I mean, this was what I always wanted. Why was I feeling like this? It was hard trying to appreciate my gorgeous family when I was in a constant state of sadness.

I would get up, do what I had to do, but go back to bed in the middle of the day. Trying to hide from the world. Through family support and recommendation from my doctor, I started medication for depression. I could now finally see clearly. Appreciate everything and everyone around me. The haze lifted. If only I’d sought help earlier instead of suffering.

It was apparent I needed more than being a mum. I needed to get out in the world and make people feel good about themselves. Give them purpose to get out of bed in the morning. Take their health and fitness on like a job. You get up, you do it, and you can have fun all at the same time.

My constant talk at the dinner table to Trevor, then at family gatherings to my Mum, Dad and sisters about group fitness, music and new exercises I had learnt lead to my family banding together for me to go and get myself trained.

I’d found my calling! With my youngest only 9 months old, I took my passion for group fitness and became an instructor! Thanks to my family I was able to go and complete my Certificate 3 in Group Fitness, followed by training in my Les Mills programs.

I was hired at the gym I trained at, Fitness First Campbelltown, and couldn’t have been more thrilled! It wasn’t much longer and I was also teaching at Fitness First Bankstown and Wollongong.

I was living the life. Loving everything Les Mills. Loving the joy I brought to those who attended my classes.

For ten years I taught non stop, except for Christmas holidays, never missing a class. I was recognised by Les Mills and awarded Australia Asia Pacific Instructor of the year in 2008.

I was loving it.

Then the news came that Fitness First was selling numerous clubs. I was devastated Campbelltown was on the list.

As the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens. Nothing ever stays the same forever.

Christmas 2012 were my last classes with Fitness First Campbelltown. I continue to work with Fitness First Bankstown and love every moment.

Trevor’s words, “I should open you your own studio,” came back to bite him! We spent December 2012 to July 2013 trying to find the perfect place to open our own studio for my loyal and faithful members from Campbelltown. It was no easy task. There was blood, sweat and tears put into building our dream studio!

Every waking moment when I’m not learning Les Mills and Zumba choreography, I’m trying to come up with new ways to torture- oops, I mean train, my wonderful members with KERRIE CORE and KHIIT!! Motivating you through Facebook is a daily occurrence to keep you all coming. As you will be well aware, fitness isn’t a quick fix. Once you achieve what you set out to achieve, you need to maintain it!

I couldn’t be more proud to have my gorgeous little fam all involved. Trevor is now an instructor. Not to mention builder, handyman, cleaner, supporter for all I do and sounding board before it hits you guys! Our beautiful kids, Keely and Tyler, help out in Junior Care.

Life is sweet.

In just one week KERRIE FITNESS will have been open for 1 whole year. O.M.G. Time flies. I have met the most beautiful people who have become not just members, but friends. There are genuine connections. I feel a part of their lives and couldn’t be happier. Each class is like hosting a party and the excitement comes with seeing who shows up to join in on the fun!

It’s been a big first year. I was privileged to again be awarded Les Mills Australia Asia Pacific Instructor of the year 2014. We were also awarded a finalist in the Campbelltown Local Business awards. What an achievement!

Everyone has their own struggles in life. Whether it’s with weight issues, family issues, mental issues. What ever it may be. The best thing about group fitness; it’s your escape. You take yourself away from your worries, you de-stress at the same time as having fun, you make new friends. The bonus: You become fit, strong and lean machines in the process!

The most exciting thing about my whole story, which I would never have thought would have been possible, is I haven’t been on anti-depressants for 9 years now. I’m pretty sure it’s been that long since I’ve seen a doctor too!

Exercising releases happy endorphins. There is so much more to exercise than just the way you look. It’s the way it makes you feel too. I’ve found my calling and I just hope others get to experience this high I have to offer at KERRIE FITNESS 🙂

By the way, I no longer go red in the face when someone talks to me!!!!

You may be reading wondering why I’ve decided to get so personal. I asked my members this week if they would like to share their fitness stories so I can post them on my page on a weekly basis. I believe in leading by example. If I’m going to tell my story, it needs to be my whole story, the truth.

Even if there is only one person reading this now thinking there is no hope out there for them, I tell you THERE IS; turn to exercise. It will be your saviour. One day at a time. The fog will lift. Lean on those around you. We’re all on this earth together. Kindness is in everyone. Once you show you’re vulnerable side, you will see it 🙂

Thank you for reading about “ME”. I couldn’t finish without a WHOOP WHOOP!!

Side note: After asking Keely (13) and Tyler (11) to read my story before I post and ask me any questions afterwards, here were their responses:

Keely: “Awesome!”

Tyler: “Good girl Mummy. You spelt every word right!!!”

Awww melt my heart, too sweet  🙂

‘Till next time, Kerrie <3