Fiona Graham at a HBF Fitness session

By her own admission, in her mid-fifties Fiona Graham was a lot less physically active than she wanted to be, and she wasn’t happy with the results. As a young woman she had loved her gym classes, but after becoming a mother, in her words “it somehow all fell away” and for fifteen years she had done very little to stay in shape.

“I had every intention of getting back into the gym but somehow it just didn’t happen and the years passed by” says Fiona.

Hearing that HBF would soon start local group fitness classes was enough to prompt Fiona to turn her good intentions into actions.

“I thought, well they’re free – what do I have to lose?”

Fiona decided to take the first step back to fitness and in September 2012 signed up for a beginner’s class at Joondalup Oval on Saturday mornings.

But before the first class some anxious thoughts crept into her head.

“What if everyone else is fitter than me? Am I about to make a fool of myself in front of strangers?” she wondered.

One session was enough to reassure her.

“I immediately knew I could relax. There was a sense of camaraderie and mutual support. We were on a journey together and no one was going to judge anyone. And from the instructor, no intimidation only encouragement”.

Fiona found that the classes were quite different from the gym workouts she remembered.

“Instead of constantly checking how they looked in a wall mirror, people were making eye contact with me. With every session I found myself getting to know someone new.”

Fiona was hooked and added an evening HBF Fitness session at Kings Park to her Saturday morning workout at Joondalup Oval.

14 Kilos lighter

By the time the spring season of HBF Fitness had ended Fiona felt fitter than she had in years. She signed up for a second season of HBF Fitness, again choosing the beginners group, but after a couple of classes she found that she was ready to move up to the more challenging intermediate level.

Two years after signing up for her first HBF Fitness session Fiona is 14 kilos lighter and proud of her progress.

“Two years ago I couldn’t do a sit-up, I now do 50 at a time. I couldn’t do a plank but now I can hold a plank for a minute” Fiona says.

When she went on holiday to Europe with her sister (who happens to be a personal trainer!) Fiona was delighted to find that she could keep up with her easily as they explored the cities on foot.

“I didn’t have to keep asking if we could stop for a coffee!” Fiona says.

Fiona is determined to hold on to the benefits she currently enjoys. She has joined a walking group at her work and at weekends loves nothing more than a long walk on the coast with her husband. She has set herself a goal to shed another 5 kilos and as well as exercising regularly has modified her diet to “cut out the empty carbs.”

Fiona is very clear that fitness for her is about much more than improved cardio-vascular health and shedding a few kilos. She explains that with her improved fitness has come an overall sense of wellbeing that is incredibly precious.

“When I walk down the street now I am looking straight ahead, not down at my feet” she says.