We love catching up with our students to see where their fitness career has taken them since studying with us. So, we jumped at the chance to sit down for a coffee and chatter with Gill Park, a qualified Personal Trainer, Sports Massage Therapist, Gym Instructor and Padwork Instructor.
Where did it all begin?
Gill kickstarted her fitness journey in her late twenties. Sport had never been high on her interest list, and she tells us she was never a fan of her P.E teachers in school. Whilst living in London, Gill found a fondness for running which led her to enter a 10k run.
“The training was hard but I really enjoyed it and I soon went on to half marathons and then the London Marathon in 2008. After that I started training at a gym and got hooked on strength training and HIIT.”
A true socialite, Gill has previously always made excuses not to exercise, preferring post-work drinks over a trip to the gym.
“I worked long hours in an open plan head office for a large retailer, eating badly and at the end of the day I felt too exhausted to train. That has all changed and I prioritise health and fitness above most things!”
A passion begins…
“When our family left London in 2012 and moved to Wilmslow, I hired a really good Personal Trainer who helped me get in to shape post natally. He was encouraging and motivating and once my fitness was back on top form I began to think that I could train clients myself.”
Gill ran her own Sports Massage business in Wilmslow with a large client base, and developed a taste for something bigger.
“I had the anatomy and physiology expertise and my clients always asked me for training tips. I enjoyed taking friends to the gym and training them so I applied for the training course.”
“I heard about Focus through a sports massage colleague who had just applied to do the course herself. My experience was good. I had a couple of really good tutors who made the course enjoyable. I learnt so much and now feel very confident when training my own clients.”
The next chapter…
Gill’s working week is crammed with sports massage treatments, one-to-one personal training sessions and group training. She also runs four boxing fitness classes a week which are all over-subscribed.
All of Gill’s clients are female, and range in age from late thirties to early forties, with young families and an understanding of the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
“I really enjoy teaching and its very rewarding helping clients achieve their goals.”
What’s the best thing about being a Personal Trainer?
“I would have to say my clients! I love getting to know people, helping them set out their objectives, putting plans together and watching them achieve their goals. Everyone is different and I love the challenge of adapting a training and nutritional plan to suit each client.”
Any tips for those just getting started?
“Starting out in the industry can be tricky as it can take a while to build up clients. Be confident in what you do. Listen to your clients. Trust in your ability. Most importantly be passionate… I spent far too long in a career after University which didn’t suit me at all. After years of retraining, I’m finally doing what I love and I couldn’t be happier.”
What’s next on your agenda?
“My future plans are exciting! I’ve started to build my own gym at home (which was previously our garage). I will train clients in this new space and am also looking to increase the number of classes I do on a weekly basis. Watch this space.”
We certainly will. Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us Gill.