For some, being a group fitness instructor is a full time gig – running from class to class, rapidly changing from sweaty clothes to non-sweaty clothes to rinse and repeat day in day out. For others, being a group fitness instructor is their other job.
In the fourth part of the series, “The Secret Life of Group Fitness Instructors”, we introduce you to another member of the Les Mills Tribe who has an interesting, extraordinary and very busy other job.
A professional musician with career highlights including performing with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Ben Folds and playing tribute to David Bowie, Heather Lloyd not only graces some of Australia’s best theatre stages, she is also a regular on Sydney group fitness stages.
Heather is a professional musician and independent freelance artist, meaning her job varies from week-to-week “every day of the week I am either rehearsing, practising, gigging or teaching music.” Her instrument of choice is the Viola and plays it in a variety of settings and genres: classical and modern, film recordings, orchestral concerts, small festivals, intimate house concerts with string quartets, jazz and pop gigs with singers, recordings supporting artists around Australia, and sometimes performing overseas.
Her foray into group fitness (Heather teaches BODYSTEP and BODYBALANCE) started when she was studying at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne and needed a release from the intensity of the music performance. “I joined the gym and found an amazing community of friends, who provided support and knew how to have fun! Group fitness really lifted my mood and I noticed my mental space starting to shift. I felt a buzz after every class.”
After participating in classes 5- 6 days a week for a year, she took the plunge and enrolled in a Certificate III in Fitness and completed her BODYSTEP module (“with the awesome Wendy Elphinstone”), and has never looked back. “It was absolutely petrifying to get up on stage in a completely different zone to music. I don't think I slept a single wink that whole module weekend!”
While some days are more hectic than others: 12-hour rehearsals one day – and simply her own practice the next, Heather says the regular gym classes help keep her grounded “having a busy gig schedule makes me even more appreciative of my classes…I always finish a class feeling grateful for the experience and refreshed both physically and mentally.”