Photo: Dave Flave Our women in fitness series is a celebration of fly girls doing fly things. Meet Michelle – she’s the top lady at the annual Breakin’ Convention hip-hop festival and a PT who’s proving that when it comes to fitness, age ain’t nothin’ but a number.
My mum was into fitness when I was in my teens and we ate pretty healthy from the early eighties; in fact, we ate pretty different from most of the west Indian friends I had. Everything was wholemeal and mainly chicken and fish. I then got interested in watching Jane Fonda fitness videos! Although they inspired me, I wasn’t ready to commit yet. I started going to the gym regularly when I was 18 at Brixton Rec, then fell into dancing – so I was always either dancing or going to fitness classes. Circuits and high impact aerobics were my favourite.
I’ve always been active but in 2013 I discovered callisthenics and started going to Kennington Park with some guys I knew. That same year I started training with Block Workout in Brockwell Park. There were sometimes over 50 people at those sessions with ages ranging from 15 -30. I was definitely one of the oldest there but it inspired me to work even harder, and those sessions changed everything. I was doing 10-day bootcamps as well Saturday sessions and races around London. I was the fittest I had ever been and was in my early 40s.
At the end of 2014, I became a personal trainer and I currently run a weekly class at Sadlers’s Wells theatre. I’ve also run bootcamps and have trained clients in the past. I cut back on training people as my job is pretty demanding and doing that full time and personal training was too much – plus it stopped me from training myself as much and I couldn’t allow that to continue.
Fitness is my outlet and training is life. It truly keeps me balanced. When I walk into the office and I have a big smile on my face you know I’ve just come from training . I’m in my mid-forties, I have an 18-year- old son and I have a very busy work life, but I make sure that keeping fit is in integral to my weekly routine.
This year, I plan on going back to L.A as I love hiking there, so I’ll visit some new places to hike. I also plan on upping my training skills, try a lot more different types of training and doing more groups classes in the autumn.
Michelle’s fitness and health tips
You are never too old to start training and just doing a little bit each day is better than doing nothing at all. Plus, it gets easier.MichellePT and head of the international Breakin' Convention hip hop festival
Make a commitment to yourself to be fit. I'm fitter in my 40s than I ever was in my 20s.MichellePT and head of the international Breakin' Convention hip hop festival
There is no age limit when it comes to training – only the limits that you set yourself.MichellePT and head of the international Breakin' Convention hip hop festival