My round-up for 2014 was filled with charity bootcamps, a snowboarding injury, Strongfirst, a crazy quadrathlon and the news that I was expecting a baby.

This year has been slightly less packed with business achievements, but what a rollercoaster! 2015 has, without doubt, been the most up and down year of my life. Two huge, polar opposite events took place: A birth and a death. Neither has been easy.

In April I had Milo, born at 38 weeks and weighing 6lb 7oz. I spoke quite openly in a recent Vlog about how challenging he has been. In spite of his fractious nature and dislike of sleep, he has been a gift I never thought I’d have and I adore every ounce of his chubby little body. Becoming a mother has certainly been the biggest thing to happen this year (or any, for that matter).

Then in August my husband and I suffered a massive loss. Our beautiful mastiff, Minnie, died unexpectedly at home over the bank holiday weekend and left us with a void we haven’t yet been able to fill. Even with a bouncing baby boy to keep me entertained, there isn’t a day that passes where I don’t mourn her absence. Those who haven’t owned a dog probably think this is all rather melodramatic. Those who have, will know that losing them is no different from losing any other member of your closest family. Minnie was the reason we moved into our current family home, I was cuddling her when Martin proposed, she was the first “person” (after me and Martin) to meet Milo – and man did she ADORE him. It breaks my heart that he won’t have any memory of her and won’t grow up with her as we had hoped.

Of course I will always remember 2015 as the year I gave birth to Milo. But I will also remember it as the year I lost one of my best friends.

Clearly both of these events are very personal, and you might be wondering how they have any relevance to Lovefit at all. The fact is, however, that when you run a small business, everything is personal. My clients know about my life outside of Lovefit, and so much of Lovefit is ME. This year was the first time I had to take an extended break from my work when I took my (far too short) maternity leave. I was quite shocked, after putting everything in place to have all my sessions covered, how few of my clients actually wanted cover. Many chose to go it alone until my return, rather than work with the two trainers I had hand picked to keep Lovefit running in my absence. Whilst this did present me with a serious cashflow issue (for which I thought I had mitigated), it made me realise how much my ladies value me and it was a great boost to have everyone return when I did.

It also brought home the fact that I am guilty of trying to please other people all the time instead of just cracking on with what suits me and is in my own best interest. I guess that’s what comes of working in an industry where the sole purpose is to help others. Trouble is, despite being quite overtly loud and chatty, I’m a pacifist at heart and can’t stand conflict. It really unsettles me, so I am always happy to go along with whatever makes everyone happy. So where is all this leading…

Well, it’s time for some changes at Lovefit. I’ve always worked with pre- and postnatal clients, but having gained further qualifications and since having Milo, I want to focus more and more on working with these women. As such, I resurrected my pregnancy class in August and so far we have welcomed six beautiful babies. The class has been getting rave reviews and I am looking forward to welcoming many of these women back with their babies when my new “tummy time” class starts in February. I’ve also been writing a column for the local paper and am part way through a pregnancy series; a written complement to my “Healthy Happy Pregnancy” YouTube series. Don’t be surprised if you see more pre- and postnatal blogs, videos and shares, as this is the direction I am heading in. I am passionate about helping women to feel confident during this often rather daunting time!

Having run bootcamps for many years, I’m having to reduce my sessions in order to make room for the above new offerings. Don’t worry – we’re not stopping bootcamps altogether (not when one of our members lost 3st since joining at the start of the year)! Most sessions will remain but keep your eyes peeled for our new schedule, which will include more kettlebell action and weekend workshops coming soon.

And I’ll be unveiling a top secret project later in Spring!

All that remains is for me to wish you a very happy new year wherever you are and whatever you’re doing this first day of 2016. I’ll leave you with a few photos from the Lovefit year: Including our Christmas meal, the varied bootcamp seasons, my pregnant ladies, me at 37 weeks pregnant (photo credit Sara Noel Photography), and mini Milo with Minnie dog.

2015 Lovefit Round-up