I am Claire, co-founder of The Female Fitness Academy and lover of all things health & fitness. I cant ever remember a time when sport or fitness wasn't a huge part of my life and I cant imagine a future without it either. Having somewhat drifted into a teaching career after university, I had kind of accepted that this was it - good secure job, decent pay as I was in management and really good holidays. The fact that it wasn't the job I had always dreamed of nor was it in anyway related to fitness seemed to become less important as life passed me by.
While both on maternity leave with our second pregnancies, my friend (and now business partner) jokingly suggested we quit our jobs and set up our own business doing what we love. Maybe it was the crazy pregnancy hormones, or maybe it was the thrill of finally doing something we both loved - whatever it was, we quit our jobs and decided to go for it. In our minds, we had 9 months off now to get it up and running.... I'm not quite sure we had fully thought through the fact we weren't just "off" for 9 months, we would both have a newborn baby to look after.
"The first year was a disaster, we made so many mistakes, lost a lot of money BUT at the risk of sounding cliché, we learned so much - more than we ever could have from a book, course or advice from other people."
We needed to make those mistakes ourselves because it drove us to make the next year so much better.
We re-branded the company, re-focused our services and started again - using all the lessons we had learned first time round. As women, and mums, we wanted to offer something different that mainstream gyms and health clubs were not providing. We both didn't want to be "just another fitness instructor", offering the same old sessions and promising to get women "summer bodies" or to "get back in those jeans".
Our goal is to make exercise and fitness a lifestyle and not just another trend that women jump on and off every time they have a dress to fit in or a holiday to slim down for.
Our aim is to work with women to teach them how to look after their bodies and to enjoy doing it so that it becomes an essential part of their life. We don't believe in fad diets, magic potions, deprivation and all the other weird and wonderful contraptions to shed weight. We work with women to help them become stronger and more confident, as well as educate them on how to make healthy choices, teach them to re-focus their mind away from the torturous task of stepping on the scales each day. Their self worth is not defined by those numbers.
In all of our programs, weight loss is NOT the goal; it is simply a by-product of a healthy lifestyle. We promote exercise as a way to feel confident, become stronger physically and mentally, sleep better, live longer, reduce stress/depression, become a positive role model, the list is endless.
We believe that by empowering women to take a different approach to their health and teaching them how to fuel their bodies and use them effectively, we can help create a healthy lifestyle which in turn will create a healthy family environment. I want my daughters to grow up thinking exercise is a part of every day life - we exercise/keep active as we would eat, sleep, and breathe.
So much has happened to get us to the point we are at now and I wouldn't change a thing!