8 years ago today we sold and walked away from WAM Personal Training.
8 years later we are still in contact with many from those days.
We were a community, the WAM Personal training community.
Our extended family you could say.
We made many great friendships that we still have today.
I still have a lot of clients that have followed my from the personal training days to my pilates days, my yoga days, my Yoga devotion by the ocean days, weekends away, fun run events, charity events and the list goes on.
We feel very, very lucky..
It all started like this.....
I had a dream..... ha ha. but it is true.
I started dreaming about my own business in 1997. I was working at 4 gyms at the time. I was doing lots of classes and working on reception and on the gym floor. I was helping clients with their fitness, writing programs.... I wanted more.
In early October 1999 at age 40 and Mario 43 we opened WAM personal training.
We worked together for the first time in our own business. We secured a small shop front near the corner of Webb street and Valley fair Drive, Narre Warren.
We had 10 clients between the 2 of us and we kept our jobs at the gyms until we established ourselves.
Our daughters were 16, 14 and 12. We juggled home life and work life between us, with after school activities, school meetings, school events, meals, part time jobs and of course the list goes on. We were lucky to have my step father Norm who would do some of the pick ups and drop offs for us. We only lived 1 km from the shop so this really helped. The hours of the fitness industry business does not lend itself easily to family life as outside normal work and school hours were our busiest times.
Our business grew very quickly from very humble beginnings with no google or facebook back then we relied a lot on word of mouth. We had whole families, friends, colleagues, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, all ages groups, fit people, sedentary people and everyone in between. We quickly realised that there wasn't enough hours in the day for us to fit everything in. We had to give up our gym sessions and classes at the other gyms and concentrate on WAM personal training only.
We soon started taking on other personal trainers to help us in our busy times. WAM was quickly becoming our extended family and our little community.
Our clients also had busy lives were involved in all sorts of peoples situations and lives, pregnancies, births, marriages, divorces, illnesses, sicknesses, injuries, breakdowns, breakups, deaths, graduations, fun runs, many, many dinners, weekends away, many charity events, motor racing events and championships and the list went on. We laughed with our clients and we cried with them many times.
We had many, many fun times and at times we had to pinch ourselves that we were having so much fun and this was our work.
Next...The problem was room. We had run out of room. We couldn't take anymore trainers on or clients because we had already moved some of our sessions out on the pavement at the front of our shop. It was time to move.
In 2006 we found a factory that we decided to buy and move into. The next problem was convincing the local council to give us a permit. 4 months later we finally got our permit because we convinced the council that our busiest times were outside normal working hours and that parking would not be a problem.
We moved in and brought a lot more equipment. We now had 13 trainers at our peak. Some worked only a couple of sessions for us and others worked more than 20 hours per week. Some of our trainers stayed with us for over 10 years and we were always very grateful for their dedication and loyalty.
We were lucky to enjoy some overseas holidays in Europe, New Zealand, Fiji, and many parts of Australia while our fabulous trainers held the fort for us.
During this time I wanted more. I missed the group fitness and decided to go to Brisbane for a week and learn all there was to learn about mat pilates. I qualified with my first certificate in 2006 and then in 2008 went to Sydney for 2 weeks and completed Certifcate 4 in Mat Pilates which gave me the full qualification. I then did a small course in reformer pilates but didn't really take that any further.
In 2009 I started my yoga journey. I went to Byron Bay for 3 weeks to qualify with my level 1, my first 250 hours of teaching.
In 2011 I went back to Byron and completed the full yoga certificate of 500 hours.
I combined my personal training and classes in pilates and yoga in an upstairs area that we had at the factory.
Lots of changes started to happen in the fitness industry and things started to shift a lot. New gyms started opening up in the area. Personal training became very big business and Mario had his sights on retiring early. There was a few health scares and unfortunately a few deaths in the family and extended family and we decided that life was too short.
After 14 years of WAM....
In 2013, exactly 8 years ago we sold the factory and the business and walked away. I continued to run my pilates and yoga classes and renamed myself I Love Balance.
We loved, loved those days and they will stay in our hearts forever. We still have a lot of those friendships that we formed over those 14 years today.
It is hard to keep in touch with all the 100s of people that crossed our paths over those years. I thank facebook and our extended community to help us keep in touch with a lot of the news. Even though we moved out of the area we still keep a presence with my classes in Narre Warren North and continue to stay connected with some of the clients that I have had now for over 20 years.
Some people may only touch your lives for a very short period and others are there for a lifetime.
WAM PERSONAL TRAINING,
GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN.
WAM WILL LIVE ON FOREVER.
FANTASTIC, FANTASTIC TIMES.
THANKS FOR ALL THE SPECIAL MEMORIES.