Like so many others, Esther attended her first BODYPUMP® class looking for a new exercise plan to keep her motivated, but she didn’t predict the emotional and psychological extras that come hand in hand with the ‘Group Effect’. Esther found Group Fitness as not only a motivational way to keep her in shape but a way to escape the constant reminder of her battle with cancer, a positive bonding experience with her children, and a social environment to make a new circle of friends.
The start of her story sounds all too familiar to those who have been in the Fitness Industry a while. Esther spent years joining different gyms, but felt the workouts on the gym floor were too boring for her, and therefore lost interest while begrudgingly paying her membership fees every week for a service she was not using. .Then several years ago the cycle broke, when Esther tried her first BODYPUMP® class, which effectively started her Les Mills journey. Since that day Esther has enthusiastically and regularly tried new Les Mills classes and is loving the sense of community received and being part of the Tribe.
Last month, Esther travelled to New Zealand for filming. While there she shared her emotional joys and experiences with LMAP and we couldn’t resist sharing her feel good story as she has come a long way, “I never imagined I would end up at the filmings in New Zealand with my daughters who are now both BODYPUMP®, BODYATTACK®, GRIT™ and SH’BAM® Instructors. What an amazing experience we all shared together; one I will remember for the rest of my life.”
Esther shares Group Fitness with her children, “Exercise has brought me and my three children much closer, we have had so many fun times exercising together. I wish other mums could experience what I have been lucky enough to.” Responsible for the girls love of instructing, by dragging them both to their first Group Fitness class several years ago, Esther now loves nothing more than attending the girls classes, especially when they team teach.
Sadly, just over two years ago Esther was diagnosed with breast cancer. Again, Group Fitness was there to help her cope with the emotional aspect of the illness by surrounding herself with the happy, positive, and strong people that you see in every Les Mills class. “I honestly believe that I got through surgery and treatment reasonably well because I was fit.” Esther, not willing let her illness keep her down, would go for treatment in her gym clothes and then stop at the gym on her way home for a session of spirit lifting Group Fitness. For one hour she could forget about her health problems and simply enjoy what she was doing.
As it happened, this year GRIT™ filmings fell on Esther’s two year anniversary of life saving surgery and she couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate how far she has come than flying across the ditch to participate. “I survived cancer but almost died from GRIT™.” (We know that feeling, Esther!) Group Fitness helped Esther through one of the toughest times of her life. “I have got so much out of doing classes, mentally, physically and emotionally and I hope I can inspire people who have been diagnosed with cancer to still exercise. I have come home from New Zealand tired but inspired, happy and grateful.”
I want to acknowledge the Trainers, Presenters, and Program Directors, I never realised what tough and demanding jobs they have. I would also like to do a shout out to Louise Ullah (BODYJAM® and SH'BAM® Trainer, BODYCOMBAT® Presenter at Les Mills Asia Pacific), I walked into her SH’BAM® class by mistake a few years ago and it has been a privilege to watch her grow over the last few years I consider her a friend and I was so proud to see her up on stage.