Previously I have been a member of many gyms, however it has always been a chore to actually go and work out and most of the time the main motivator would be getting my money’s worth.

My weight fluctuated throughout my time at university, my third year particularly unforgiving to my figure. It was a stressful year which was expected but often my happiness came from the chocolate and snacks I would eat and I must admit Deliveroo and Domino’s became very good friends of mine.

The end result was a desperate need to do something active to get myself back into shape. I started swimming which worked well but that only got me so far.

It was more someone rather than something that sparked my interest in joining the gym and taking part in the classes. It is probably more than fair to say I was dragged into attending kicking and screaming (on the inside) not because I had anything against attending gyms but more because exercise had never been something I had enjoyed and the thought of working out in front of groups of people, strangers and friends sounded like a nightmare. My sister had been training for the last two years with Josh and it was her that pushed me to join Fortitude and it was because of her that I attended my first Fortifit class.

I was very nervous for my first class as I was aware most of the others that were attending were regulars with Josh. But this was unnecessary as everyone was so welcoming and Josh has had a never-ending amount of patience when showing me the different movements. It was different to any other classes I had attended or sessions I had had with other personal trainers. It didn’t kill me and, even though it had been too long since going to the gym, I couldn’t wait to go back. Everyone was so encouraging and happy to help if I ever got stuck.

The weights I use have now increased. As daft as it sounds, the things that used to feel really heavy and maybe a little intimidating are now a lot easier to handle and use for the different exercises.

Although I’m unsure of if I have lost any weight I definitely feel better in what I wear, certain clothes that haven’t previously fitted I can now squeeze into and I’m starting to see differences in the mirror in the morning. Even if this feeling is just because I know I’m doing the work needed rather than actually losing the weight, it’s still a boost that without Fortitude, wouldn’t have happened. Because of Fortitude I have never felt more in control of my weight and I now feel that my goals are more achievable than ever.

Training has actually benefited many different aspects of my life – not just the obvious ones. I’ve never been to a gym that is as social as Fortitude. It’s lovely to be able to go and know that you’ll see friendly faces that will always be encouraging towards you whether you’ve hit a new PB or whether you’ve just managed to keep going to the very end of a session.

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