Hey! Introduce yourself to us!

Hi, my name is Emma and I’m 29 years old. I’m a Software Test Manager for an Ecommerce Company in Atherstone near Tamworth, so my week days are mainly spent commuting a lot with a good Spotify playlist or working from home - a lot of sitting down as you can imagine. I live in East Bridgford with my Fiancé Mark and my 2 cats, Raspberry and Alfie. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a crazy cat lady, secretly going on 75 with a passion for cooking, eating and drinking wine (who doesn’t love food and wine?) Oh, and I make THE best Ginger cakes - considering a career change given the demand these things generate. I’ll be taking orders for Christmas soon! ;)

When did you start the classes with Nottingham Health and Fitness and what made you choose us?

I first started Clubbercise with Paige at Car Colston in September 2018. I struggle a lot with anxiety, worry, stress and a real inability to switch off. It was all taking over my life and getting too much and, not knowing many people around here having only lived here for a few years and working so far away, I did what I thought was best and sought someone to listen. I’d seen the advert for Clubbercise on Facebook, and kept viewing the Nottingham Health and Fitness page over and over, wishing I had the courage to book myself in as it looked like exactly what I needed - SOME FUN! All of the classes looked so exciting but I couldn’t pluck up the courage to go on my own, until someone asked the million pound question “what’s stopping you?” - and other than myself there was nothing! So I did it - I booked on, and messaged Paige who was SO lovely! She automatically made me feel part of a family - telling me not to be worried, answering any questions I may have had about the classes, and generally just putting my mind at ease. From then, I knew i’d make the right choice.

What was your goal for attending classes?

My main goal initially was to prove to myself that I could do something like this on my own, and to overcome my fears and I did it! From there, I met some amazing people who made me feel like I was a part of something great, and then my main aim went from overcoming anxiety, to socialising and getting to know people, to pushing myself out of my comfort zone both physically and mentally and to feeling the best I’ve ever felt in myself. Every class allows me to push myself further and further, and even on those days where I want to hide away, or go home and curl up on the sofa, I know I have something great to look forward to on class days!

What was your experience like at your first class?

My first class was Clubbercise on a Wednesday night. I’d spent all evening waiting to go, worrying about what to wear, what to expect, over thinking it all to the point where I’d looked at Street View to make sure I knew exactly where the hall was! I turned up dreading it, not knowing if I should go in or not, but I did. I was met by another Emma, who made a real effort to say hi, and then Paige who got me geared up with my Glow Sticks and the neon ninja face paint! Automatically the pressure was off, I was there and ready to go for it, and I never looked back. 45 minutes of glowing madness, often going in the wrong direction to the others, but I loved every damn second. It was like being on a night out with some great routines but I was getting fit in the process. I went home, and booked straight on for the following week, getting Mark to take photos of me with the face paint on as proof that I’d done it but also because I felt amazing knowing I’d met a beautiful group of people who made me want to go back and get to know them more.

If you have attended an event with us, how was it, what was your favourite moment?

There have been SO MANY events that I’ve been to and loved every second. If i had to pick some highlights, I’d say the first main event that I attended with Paige which was the 2 day Boot Camp in the Peak District. I’d never done anything like this before, but it was where I first pushed myself to my limits and did my first burpees (all be it walking ones) but Paige made me feel like i’d conquered the world! The Boogie Bounce Birthday Bash was something special, and it was great to see so many people there to celebrate the community that Paige had built through this class. I go to every back to fitness event for 4 hours of class variety and a good chance to spend time with some really motivational ladies. My all time favourite event was the Halloween Clubbathon with the BBC. Paige absolutely smashed it with the pressure of the camera on her, and she really captured the atmosphere of the classes. It’s all about women supporting women! No one is judging you, we all come together to make each other feel amazing and it was the most fabulous feeling to share that with the BBC (and to finally have the confidence to not only be on camera… but in a witches outfit with makeup and sweat dripping down my face!)

What has made you continue your journey with us?

So many things… First of all - Paige. She has given me so much confidence in myself, in my abilities and has made me realise that there is no such thing as “I can’t”. I couldn’t do a burpee… over a few weeks she broke it down, encouraging me each time to push it a bit further and then celebrated with me when I finally cracked it! Every week, without fail, she makes us laugh with her humour, determination and warmth that remind you you’re not alone. 
Secondly, the neon ninjas! These women are so friendly, and when we come together it’s like we’re all working towards our own goals but as a community. I’ve made some amazing friends through these classes, and it’s a great feeling to share that friendliness with new Ninjas when they join. 
Thirdly, the class variety. I started on Clubbercise, and then built up the confidence to try Boogie Bounce, and then gave everything on the timetable a good go to see where my favourites were. I love classes with energy and routines, so Clubbercise, Broadway Boogie and Boogie Bounce are some of my favourites, but I also love Funky Step because of the way the routines are built through the class. By the end, you’re a real pro without realising it!

Important question... what is your favourite class?

CLUBBERCISE without fail. This was my first one, and the one that gave me the confidence to be myself with a room full of strangers who then became friends. It’s the one that gives me the chance to throw away the stress and worry from the day, and the one that takes me back to good nights out with friends, or moments where you’re on the dance floor feeling like no one is watching. Even now, I go the wrong way, or I’ll be so caught up in the moment I get a move wrong, but with Paige and the others, you laugh it off and carry on. I look forward to this class every week without fail.

What advice would you give to someone who hasn't attended classes but is looking at joining us?

Ask yourself what’s stopping you, and get booked on. If you’re coming with a friend, be the one that books you both on and pushes you both to come to the class. Your friend will thank you for it afterwards. If you’re looking to come on your own, don’t be shy. Be bold and be brave and push yourself out of your comfort zone a little. Someone from the classes will always be there to greet you with a smile, and Paige is there to take you through it at your own pace. No pressure, no judgement, just women supporting women!

What is Paige like as an instructor?

Paige is more than just an instructor; she’s a true friend. I never once feel like I can’t do something, or that I’m not good enough. She doesn’t take herself too seriously, always throwing in jokes, and sometimes going wrong with us but showing that everyone is human and its OK to make mistakes. If she sees you struggling, she’ll be there beside you coaching you through. If she sees you’re flagging, she’s there giving it 120% no matter how she is feeling in herself, and if she sees that you need a bit of a boost, she’s there cheering you on or putting your favourite Clubbercise track in the playlist to make your day brighter. Without Paige, I’d be lacking in confidence always afraid to take the plunge, but with her around I’m saying yes to everything. So thanks Paige, here’s to you!

Have you got any final advice or words of wisdom?

Don’t ever think you’re not good enough. Paige and the rest of the NHAF crew will be there with you every step of the way, so come and join us!

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