by DI Si
fitMK was started off the back a group of 6 chaps that were going on holiday and wanted to do some group training together so hired me as their trainer and we did this outside in the park and I made it an all-round fitness class that they could all take part in.
This was all the way back in 2006!
Once the guys had set off on their holidays I then had to concentrate on completing my Ironman in Switzerland.
When I came home I still had their time in diary and no personal training clients for that slot and because I really liked the small group training element; I thought it would be good to continue doing something that I really enjoyed!
So I created a Boot Camp to be run on Thursday evenings at 18:30.
As this was a world without social media I had to go out and find people and see who would like to join me.
I made some posters and put them up in the gym I was working out of in the theatre district and out in the street also.
First official week of Boot Camp – no-one came.
Second week - again, no showed up but this time I did the session I had planned anyway … it was a great workout!
Third week - it was getting ridiculous that once again I had to just train myself – but I really enjoyed running up and down the hills of Campbell Park.
The problem I had now was I had a couple of people asking for that time slot to personal train them.
I now had to make the decision whether to take ‘the money that was on the table’ or try again on making Boot Camp work.
I decided to give outdoor training another shot as I honestly believed if people would show up not only would they enjoy the sessions I had planned but they were pretty much guaranteed with getting results.
So; once again I rallied round and told everyone I knew what I was doing on a Thursday night and they should come and join me. I wandered round the gym I worked out of and mentioned it to as many people as I possibly could.
Thursday night came around and I literally had butterflies in my belly as this was a make or break evening of if I would continue doing Boot Camp after tonight. I walked up the stairs at 18:10 to the meeting point of Boot Camp in the gym.
There were THREE people waiting for me already!!! Get in there!!
Another two came along and I now had a group of people to take into Campbell Park and train!
At the end of the session I asked everyone if they would be coming back and the answer from everyone was that they already couldn’t wait for next week!
From this point on fitMK has been a weekly fitness class and has continued to be the case for the last thirteen years!
As time went on; I increased the frequency of the sessions and also brought in other really passionate trainers that would have their own style and personality. I always believed this was critical in making the sessions a bit different from just another fitness class.
Another part of fitMK that I am super proud of is that we have helped lots of trainers begin their careers in the fitness industry and helped them understand the standard to which has made the business a success. So much so that some have even branched out and gone on to create their own versions of what I have done with fitMK which is one of the highest accolades.
I am also very grateful that businesses like Fossil, Parks Trust, Dr Martens, Mirus IT, Bosch, Open University, MK parish councils, schools/colleges, academies, charities and many other businesses and organisations have allowed us to come in to train and educate their employees or people associated with them.
There are many more stories I could write about in the very long journey of fitMK and of course there are many more people that I have to grateful to and for in some way of being a part of helping fitMK grow to the business it has become.
So; thank you to all the trainers and Drill Instructors who have worked in the ‘front end’ of what fitMK is.
Naturally I need to extend this thanks to the people behind the scenes who make sure that websites, apps are created and emails happen, to the marketing and creation of content where I sometimes need to reach out and get help and of course the accountant that has to make do with a person who (well if the members of fitMK are to be believed … isn’t that great with numbers!!)
BUT of course, the people I would like to thank is anyone that has plucked up the courage to put on their trainers and make it out into the amazing world of outside training. I know it is not for everyone but if you have ever given it a try then you automatically have respect from me.
Finally, Happy Birthday fitMK Milton Keynes Outdoor Gym the last 13 years have been one hell of a ride – I can’t wait to see what happens in the future!